Clive Davis has been appointed chief theatre critic of the Times.
Davis already reviews for the paper in a freelance capacity but takes over as its permanent lead critic from Ann Treneman, who stepped down in September 2019.
He will work alongside existing critic Dominic Maxwell, who has been appointed to a new position of deputy theatre critic and theatre commissioning editor.
Davis said: “I’m looking forward to covering theatre at a time when our politics and culture are in a state of flux – we seem to be locked in the modern equivalent of a religious war at the moment.
“Going to the theatre has become a ridiculously expensive pastime, especially in the West End, so I hope to help readers avoid productions that are long on hype and short on quality.”
Before his appointment, Davis was a freelance journalist, regularly covering theatre, music, radio and comedy for the Times and the Sunday Times.
Announcing his recruitment, the Times arts editor Alex O’Connell said: “Clive is a born critic with deep knowledge of the arts, vast writing experience and excellent judgement. I’m delighted he has been appointed to one of the most exciting and challenging jobs here.”
Davis becomes the Times’ chief critic as Arifa Akbar takes over the lead reviewing role at the Guardian, replacing Michael Billington, who stepped down from the job in December after nearly 50 years.