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Improbable's Monthly D&D Satellite
What are we going to do about Theatre Criticism?

Rich Mix
21st June 2011, 7pm 
Hosted by Lyn Gardner & Jake Orr

Facilitated by Phelim McDermott 

Lyn Gardner is quite old and has been reviewing theatre for The Guardian and other print media since the 1980s. She used to think that as a theatre critic she was a bit like a dodo on the verge of extinction, but in the last few years she has started blogging and tweeting and finds that she rather likes it.

Jake Orr is very young, a digital native, and founder of 
He writes and tweets about theatre with a wide-eyed excitement that comes from not even being born when Lyn started her theatre writing.

They would both like to invite you to a Devoted and Disgruntled Satellite at Rich Mix on Tuesday 21st June to explore the role of the theatre critic of 2011 to discuss whether we still need theatre critics and what part they have a part to play in the digital age.
Until quite recently there were probably only around dozen critics whose voices were really heard, and all of them worked on national newspapers. The Internet has changed the way we communicate, opening up dialogues in a public sphere that previously went unheard or which only happened around a pub table. Now with an increasing number of websites, blogs, and tweepers, everyone can be a critic and everyone can be heard.
Some say that this has lead to a loss of critical authority, but has new media diluted the critical voice or merely allowed more voices to be heard in a profession dominated by people who Nicholas Hytner once characterised as “dead white males?” With review space increasingly squeezed in mainstream media and the critic’s opinion often reduced to a star rating, can these new outlets widen the critical debate? If that is the case, then why do so many bloggers want to review the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber and so few want to review live art or experimental theatre?
We’d like you to join us, not we hope just to have a jolly good moan about critics, but to discuss what sort of critics we really need in the 21st Century and whether it is possible to forge a new relationship and create a genuine dialogue between critics and theatre-makers of all kinds that will be to the benefit of theatre.

Tuesday 21st June 2011 at 7pm 
Venue 2, Rich Mix
35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road
E1 6LA

The evening runs using Open Space technology which gives anyone the chance to propose a starting point for discussion, then take part in one of these conversations, flit between them all, or head to the bar.

This event is free! No need to book, just turn up on the night.

For further information or to discuss access requirements get in touch with the Improbable Office on 0207 240 4556 or email

P.S. Many thanks to all of you who came along to our last D&D Satellite on The Funding Cuts at The Roundhouse, a list of all of the issues raised, and reports that were sent in to the office are now on our blog site.
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