Category Archives: What the Experts say

What the experts say about Young Critics workshop

“I had a very good time at the Young Critics workshop in Winchester. More important, however, was the palpable commitment and hunger to learn of those who attended. A scheme like this is vitally important at a time when young critics need all the practical help they can get in a world where the digital revolution has created new opportunities.” Michael Billington (@billicritic) writes for The Guardian.

“I was delighted to take part in the Young Critics scheme. It’s terrific to see a theatre encouraging young people not just to engage with performance but to think and write about it too. Supporting a critical culture is good for theatre as a transferable skill that can be applied in many areas of life.” Lyn Gardner (@lyngardner) writes for The Guardian.

“Criticism is in a time of great flux, with less opportunity and column inches in traditional print media, yet potentially unlimited space and unlimited potential to discuss and develop ideas online. With less opportunities to make a living from writing, it is more important then ever that these young, talented people are nurtured to allow them the confidence and the knowledge of how to gain opportunities to develop into the next generation of critics who will be read in years to come such as Agate, Tynan and Billington are today. For those of us who spend many a night on our own in the stalls it is a great privilege to discuss and share our own thoughts, insights and advice on the work we do and its continued importance to the industry moving forward.”  Kris Hallet (@krishallet) writes for Whats On Stage. 

“As the author of How to Write About Theatre, I am impressed with the ambition and drive of the Young Critics programme. Carl Woodward has not only recognised the willingness of young people to think critically about theatre, but has given them access to the highest level of expertise in his line-up of visiting speakers. It’s an accomplishment that deserves to continue and flourish.” Mark Fisher (@MarkFFisher), Guardian theatre critic and author of  @WriteAboutTheatre.

“As the first non-full-time professionals invited to engage with the Young Critics, I was delighted the new media and blog market was such an intense focus of interest for the project. Our presentation was enjoyable to compile and deliver and we got lots of useful feedback both at the time, and subsequently as members kept in touch and shared ways in which they’d taken our advice or suggestions on board. Helping them to identify ways in which they could each make their websites or blogs unique and saleable was, for me, the most rewarding part of the activity. The country isn’t short of ‘creative writing’ or ‘journalism’ courses but harnessing it to fringe and regional theatre where such writers can make an active and effective contribution to the publicity, evaluation and arts funding decision making is undoubtedly an untapped area which deserves encouragement.” Johnny Fox (@johnnyfoxlondon) writes for Londonist.

“The chance to bring together people from various backgrounds with a range of experiences and share their knowledge makes this type of scheme really special. Taking part in Young Critics was a great opportunity to review with Johnnyfoxlondon what we have been doing over the past few years and think about why we do it, and what gets us excited. I think we were able to share our enthusiasm and love for theatre while also pointing out that it wasn’t the only thing you can do in your life.
“I have been a blogger for more years than I care to remember and an avid user of a range of social media platforms. So it was great fun to engage with a group of enthusiastic young writers and discuss the opportunities, angles and performances.” Paul Ewing