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The guilt of being a theatre critic

By Stephen Brown   July 2001

A young actress attacked me at a party recently. I had let slip that I write about the theatre. Her face twisted with aggression. Surely it was unethical, she said, for “one person’s opinion” to stand in judgement over a show? What qualifications did I have? How could I review theatre when I had never acted? (I kept quiet about my rare amateur performances, so daringly wooden that I could be mistaken for part of the set.) I responded, trying to suppress my irritation. Did she really want plays to be assessed by committees? Which qualifications was she thinking of exactly?…

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