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Believing theatre

As a critic, I lost faith in the meaning of live drama. Yet my belief came back

I recently compiled a web archive of the pieces I have written as a drama critic. It forced me to step back for a moment and wonder what it was all about. There they are, at www.shutters.org.uk, around 1,500 reviews, the sum total of my professional relationship to British theatre. What does the “collected works” of my criticism amount to? A public resource? A gesture of vanity? Or perhaps an act of desperation on the part of a critic trying to remember what it was that he once loved about the theatre, or thought was important about it? It is…

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