#FlashbackFriday The importance of the critic today!

Around two years ago I was a University student finding my voice, trying to figure out where my opinions lay and thinking that I would graduate with a clue. What a complete lie I was fed, thinking that this would be the case, as all us grown ups know, we are never fully grown. Well, in my last year at University I was studying a subject called Theatre Criticism, and found myself writing this – check out today’s #flashbackfriday:

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This year I took a module called Theatre Criticism, and one of the discussions we had in class regarded the importance of the theatre critic today…

It is slightly ironic that I am blogging about this, as it was mentioned several times that the blogging sphere is one of the culprits behind the fall of criticism. Many journalistic critics have too joined the internet generation and write extensively about the topic, as well as expanding their opinions on plays, movies, music etc.

The critic is still a role that in my opinion holds a certain relevance. Audiences search for that expert opinion that will drive them to buy tickets. However, there is no doubt that the internet is changing the face of criticism. It is no longer one opinion, but a conversation starter. With discussions held between critics and audiences regarding the quality of shows/productions.

It is still true that critics can impact careers and duration of productions, but most of all, they can begin an intriguing conversation between the populace and the theatre. It is another way that we can engage with what we see, as we no longer merely take it on board, but widely talk about what we see.

This all because today, on twitter, @SardinesMag tweeted: Reviewers still needed… Please contact us at reviews@sardinesmagazine.co.uk if interested – whole of UK needs to be covered!!! #sardines

I found this fascinating and retweeted at once! I for one would be rather shabby at the job as it takes me a long time to fully grasp what a production has done to me. However, I feel it is a great opportunity for bloggers all over the country that pine for a career in criticism and reviewing, a chance to extend their blogs into the published world of press/magazine! Stay connected guys, and apply for the job at once!

I am posting this today, as an onset for the fact that tomorrow I will be going to the theatre. It seems so odd that a figure that plagues so many performers, directors, writers, productions would be stripped of their relevance! The wonderful world of blogging, in my opinion, only offers the chance to expand on the discussion and analysis of the great works of art that we see performed on stage. Things that may never cross a critic’s mind because it is not their field of interest of expertise, cross bloggers who refer to modern pop culture to compare things to, rather than dated concepts.

I still follow the opinions of some critics, and scold others’ words entirely! However, I am given that choice. It will be sad the day that I am not able to open the entertainments section of a newspaper and read about the thoughts of our most established critics on the world of theatre today. As I said two years ago, audiences look for an expert opinion, and damned be the day when we cannot get one! I, for one, am always anxious for a lively debate to begin, and some of the debates initiated by theatre critics really make my mind fly to some highly intellectual, eloquent and argumentative side of me that I rather love.

I hope that in the future, many theatre bloggers are able to appreciate the discussion that is opened by the critic and themselves. It is important to continue these because they add more wood to the fire that is live theatre! As an art form, it might one day be replaced and we only hope it won’t. It would also be incredibly moving to see expert bloggers become some of the most influential critics in the industry, don’t you think? Let us aspire to continue sharing our opinions in the hopes of creating and nurturing the next generation of critical genius that will come into the theatre industry! And might I note, may that not be me, because I am far too soft majority of the time. Will be back in the theatre subject with a review of tomorrow’s theatrical adventure!

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