The Art of the Review: Forum for Emerging Critics

On Saturday 19 May, Griffin Theatre Company is delighted to welcome to the stage a titan of Australian theatre criticism – Stage Noise’s Di Simmonds. Di will be joined on stage by her esteemed colleague, Time Out Sydney’s Arts Editor Darryn King. They will be hosting an exclusive, one-off event for up and coming young theatre reviewers, called The Art of the Review: Forum for emerging critics.

Griffin are now taking applications from emerging theatre reviewers to take part in the session. It includes a one-hour workshop with Di and Darryn, with an opportunity to ask all your burning questions, lunch and a matinee performance of the fast-selling out Angela’s Kitchen. The catch? Attendees have 48 hours to write a 300-word review of the show. And, after tough scrutiny and tender workshopping from Dx2, the top five will be published on the Griffin Theatre Company website. We know criticism can hurt, but at Griffin we believe it is an essential part of a healthy theatre eco-system, so come and be part of it!

The Art of the Review will look at:

- How to approach theatre criticism
- The history and changing face of theatre criticism in Australia
- The evolution of social media and blogging
- Your rights – how to protect yourself and your work as a reviewer
- Being an ‘expert’ – honing your technique
- Shit on the crit – dealing with disgruntled reviewees and fellow reviewers
- Theatre reviewing terminology – does language matter?

All attendees will be required to present a 300-word review of Angela’s Kitchen following the forum. The top five reviews will be published on the Griffin Theatre Company website.

11.15am Attendees arrive
11.30am Forum and workshop in the theatre
12.30pm BBQ lunch on the deck
2.00pm Attend show – Angela’s Kitchen
4.00pm Post show debrief

There will also be a follow up session with all attendees at a date to be agreed on 19 May.

Keen applicants just need to send a one-pager to, which answers the questions below. There are limited spots available, so you will need to be quick.

In your application, please outline:
- What you are currently doing in regards to study and /or work
- Why you want to be involved in the Art of the Review forum
- Name your three top plays of all time (and your favourite performance of it, if you feel so inclined)


Diana Simmonds

Diana is one of Sydney’s best-known and most respected arts critics and commentators. She currently runs the dynamic website Stage Noise with Diana Simmonds and broadcasts Eastside 89.7FM’s Tuesday Arts Show.

Diana started writing critically and professionally in London for Time Out and City Limits magazines. In Australia, she has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin, The Australian and the Sunday Telegraph.

She is also the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books, and has lectured in writing and journalism at UTS and Charles Sturt University. She is also a founding member of the Sydney Theatre Reviewers, a group that came together in 2006 to annually honour the theatre practitioners of Sydney.

Darryn King

Darryn King is the resident theatre critic and Arts Editor at Time Out Sydney. He is also an occasional editor of Hasbro’s Trivial Pursuit board games. He has written about music, film, theatre, books and video games for publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Economist, The Vine, Drum Media, and Filmink magazine, among others. He is a published author of short fiction.

For more information about Angela’s Kitchen click here.


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