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The Stage Critic Search 2016

What is The Stage Critic Search?

The Stage Critic Search 2016 is a competition to find the best new critics. Launched in 2015, it is part of our ongoing commitment to improving and developing coverage of the nation’s theatre.

This year’s judging panel includes leading industry figures, Anna Jordan, Rachel O’Riordan and Madani Younis, there’s a prize of £1000 to be won, the chance to be mentored by some of the UK’s top critics, as well as the opportunity to review for The Stage on a regular basis.

If you’re in need of further inspiration The Stage’s joint lead critic Mark Shenton talks about the changing shape of theatre criticism [1], reviews editor Natasha Tripney offers her tips for aspiring critics [2] and last year’s winner Dave Fargnoli talks about his experience over the last 12 months. [3]

How do I apply?

Write a 250-word review of a recent production (you must have seen it in April or May 2016), adhering to The Stage’s review guidelines [4]. Then submit your review using the entry form [5].

The deadline is noon on May 28, 2016.

Enter Critic Search [5]

Who is eligible for Critic Search?

Anyone aged 18 or over can enter. There is no maximum age and no restriction on experience (although we would expect the competition to appeal to undiscovered writers).

Then what?

All the applications will be anonymised and read by a judging panel of industry experts. A shortlist of up to 12 entrants from around the UK will be announced by mid June.

The Stage Critic Search – Round 2

Shortlisted candidates will be provided with a mentor. They will review a show at a theatre local to them, and their reviews will be published in The Stage newspaper and online. They will be paid our standard freelance review rate.

The Stage Critic Search – Round 3

The judges will choose a list of three finalists by early July. They will all submit a 450-word review to be published in The Stage.

The Prize

The winner, as selected by our team of judges, will receive a cash prize of £1,000 and the opportunity to review regularly for The Stage.

We aim to announce the winner by the end of July.

Appendix I – Regions and nations

Northern Ireland
North East
North West
Yorkshire and the Humber
West Midlands
East Midlands
Greater London
East of England
South East
South West

Appendix II – Judging panel

Alistair Smith Editor, print, The Stage (chair)
Natasha Tripney Reviews editor and lead critic, The Stage
Mark Shenton Associate editor and lead critic, The Stage
Rachel O’Riordan Artistic director, Sherman Cymru
Madani Younis Artistic director, Bush Theatre
Anna Jordan Playwright

Appendix III – Mentors

Lyn Gardner The Guardian
Henry Hitchings London Evening Standard
Sarah Hemming Financial Times
Andrzej Lukowski Time Out
Andrew Haydon Postcards from the Gods
Maddy Costa Dialogue, Exeunt
Sam Marlowe The Times
Thom Dibdin The Stage
Roger Foss The Stage
Matt Trueman Variety and WhatsOnStage

Enter Critic Search [5]