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I became Yorkshire Post Theatre Critic in 2004.

I love theatre.

It began when I was about nine-years-old and went to the Bradford Alhambra to see a show - Prince Caspian and the Sea. Halfway through the show a boat came on to the stage. A boat. It was like magic. I was hooked. A couple of years later, just before I left primary school, I went to a warehouse in Saltaire and saw a site-specific (although I didn't know that was what it was at the time) production of Romeo and Juliet. There is a direct line between that experience and the fact that I became a theatre critic.

Lots of theatre makers have a difficult relationship with theatre critics. I think our job is really important. I have a wide perspective on what is being made, particularly in Yorkshire, which gives me a fairly exceptional understanding of the relevance of a piece of work. I don't think theatre criticism is a case of 'this is good because and this is bad because' - although that is an important part of the job. I think we're there to talk about work in a context, to place work in its historical resonance and examine it. 

I've been on the end of some harsh criticism as a theatre maker. It's all valuable. And it's all good.

For me, the most important detail about the fact that I'm a theatre critic is to understand that I come from a position of being a fan, first and foremost, and someone whose life, literally, was changed by theatre.

I love theatre.


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