Today’s episode of the Show People Podcast is with world-renowned Theatre Critic and Journalist Mark Shenton – Associate Editor and New York Theatre Critic for The Stage, London Theatre Critic for LondonTheatre.co.uk, he’s Chairman of the drama section of the Critics Circle Awards, he was the former Theatre Critic for the Sunday Express for eleven and a half years, however he was laid off due to a highly controversial legal batter after ‘inappropriate’ images of him were leaked to his employers. He’s just launched a brand new theatre podcast called Commit No Nuisance with fellow critic Carl Woodward and can often be found amidst a Twitter fiasco under the handle @ShentonStage.
Mark talks openly and honestly about his life growing up in Johannesburg and its thriving theatre scene, studying at Cambridge with various famous alumni, coming out and his early relationships, the genesis of his career including working for companies such as Dywynters and the Press Association and ultimately his journey to becoming an internationally recognised theatre critic.
Mark is passionate about Musical Theatre and in particular British composer Howard Goodall, he also teaches the first year Musical Theatre students at Arts Ed and has an extraordinary track record of championing Musical Theatre in the UK. As well as sharing the many things that bring him great joy, Mark also goes into great detail about the demons in his life including sex addiction, depression and the simple but effective things he does to stay happy, healthy and continue to be one of the finest critics in the UK.
Episode features include:
Mark Shenton has recently taken to Twitter and his blog at thestage.co.uk stating the following, “By going to review work at venues where actors are not paid, or paid very little, I am effectively endorsing a system that advantages some at the expense of others. So now I’m making a personal commitment not to review shows for which actors and other participants are not paid, unless they’re in a collaborative, non-hierarchical venture. An individual or group of friends who collaborate on a show together make their own decision to do so; the moment they hold auditions, they’re holding a job interview. The same applies to arts journalism: I will only read reviews and features written by people who are paid to write them”.
Andrew talks to Mark about his historic championing of work on the fringe and whether his decision may lead to him losing out on discovering new and upcoming talent, whether producers and directors really are getting rich on the fringe and the consequences both Mark and the industry may face thanks to his decision. Mark talks about his own concerns and the difficulties that now lie ahead of him as well as clarifies where he stands not only on his stance, but also about a lot of the injustices that are occurring on the fringe, the Twitter battles he’s faced because of his announcement and his own experiences and mistakes he made when producing a production at the Cock Tavern.
Andrew covers the latest dramatic news, including stories about David Haig’s new play Pressure transferring to the West End, Bat Out Of Hell, the return of Arion Productions’ Steve Furst In Character coming to the Underbelly Festival in June 2018 and news about the 10th anniversary product of Green Day’s American Idiot – The Musical.
Todays platform is given to The Hidden Theatre Company and a song called So Many Different Windows from their new musical Island Song. With words by Sam Carner, Music by Derek Gregor and Story by Sam Carner, Derek Gregor and Marlo Hunter. The recording comes straight from their rehearsal room and features the full company; Abby Restall, Drou Constantinou, Joshua Wills, Jack Anthony Smart & Stephanie Lyse.
Andrew Keates: @AndrewKeates, Mark Shenton: @ShentonStage, The Hidden Theatre Company: @HiddenTheatreCo, The Show People Podcast: @ShowPeopleUK, Arion Productions: @ArionProds, Theataccounts: @Theataccounts and use #ShowPeoplePodcast.
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Andrew Keates’ Website: www.andrewkeates.co.uk
Mark Shenton’s Website: www.shentonstage.co.uk
Mark Shenton’s Blog at the Stage: https://www.thestage.co.uk/author/mark-shenton/
Commit No Nuisance Podcast at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/commit-no-nuisance/id1338378185?mt=2
The Hidden Theatre Company: https://www.thehiddentheatrecompany.com
Theataccounts Accountants: www.theataccounts.co.uk
Steve Furst – In Character @ Underbelly Festival: http://www.underbellyfestival.com/whats-on/steve-furst-in-character
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The Show People Podcast is a biweekly podcast. The next episode will be released Monday 23rd April 2018. Please hit subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or whichever platform you listen to us on. Thank you.