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Arts journalism cutbacks a threat to emerging theatre talent, Nica Burns warns

Nica Burns, Nimax chief executive Nica Burns, Nimax chief executive
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Producer Nica Burns has warned that arts journalism cutbacks are “incredibly serious”, and a threat to emerging theatre talent.

The co-owner of Nimax Theatres was speaking at The Stage Debut Awards 2017, where she presented the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award.

Speaking to The Stage, Burns said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to The Stage for doing such an incredible job, doing so many reviews nationally.

“We need them, and in particular emerging talent out in the regions needs reviews. It’s becoming a lost art and lots of editors are cutting them down, so having an awards like this, which is completely all over the UK, everybody’s included, that’s how we get young talent through.”

Burns said the awards would not happen without a strong network of regional critics.

She added: “It’s incredibly serious. A lot of critics go, but they can’t get it printed half the time.

“Half the time the editors want names because that’s what they think the public wants. But how do we get the new names? If we don’t start to acknowledge people when exceptional talent is shown young, how do we bring people through?

“I believe that the editors are wrong. The public wants to know, because theatre sells more tickets than football. So let’s remind you of that.”

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