Network of Independent Critics announces participants for Edinburgh 2017


The Network of Independent Critics’ aims

•    Providing accommodation for independent critics to cover Edinburgh Festival Fringe without breaking the bank.
•    Enabling increased media coverage of niche interest and emerging work, which struggles to find representation in the mainstream press.
•    Not a publishing platform, but a support system for established and developing critics who work independently for little or no pay.
•    Participants will be selected based on passion, knowledge and a proven track record within their chosen area of the performing arts industry.

After a successful first season at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the NIC has again selected a team of specialist critics who will each focus on niche or genre performance over a six-night stay at the Fringe.

Tiffany Asta: musical theatre & cabaret
Jafar Iqbal: BAME performance
Saoirse Anton: children’s theatre
Rosie Snell: new writing
James Waygood: LGBTQIA theatre
Joanna Trainor: non-UK comedy
Eve Allin: new writing & student work
Holly O’Mahony: emerging talent
Hannah Greenstreet: feminist & LGBTQIA work
Charlotte Coster: book adaptations
Chanel Williams: dance & new musical theatre
Daniel Perks: solo performance
Rebecca Nice: circus & physical theatre
Marianna Meloni: new writing
Francesca Peschier: visual/scenography-led work
Beth Lawless: physical theatre
Meagan Mulgrew: classics & classical adaptations
Alexandra Gray: dance
Jess Howley-Wells: sexual politics & gender identity
David James: performance art & experimental theatre
Callum Moorin: stand-up & comedy
Kathryn Osenlund: political theatre & performer process

Each critic will see a minimum of 15 performances within their specialist area, and their responses may include traditional written reviews, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, tweets and visual responses.

Last year, over 400 reviews were produced by 19 participating critics, as well as additional social media content and reportage. The NIC scheme was launched by Laura Kressly and Katharine Kavanagh to support the work of independent critics and facilitate their continued practise, whilst generating visibility for arts that regularly slip below the radar of the mainstream press.

Whilst this critical coverage is an increasingly valuable resource for the arts industry, the work remains largely unpaid and the cost of visiting Edinburgh during Fringe season can be prohibitive. By joining forces to rent an apartment as a group, the costs are considerably lowered.

Rebecca Nice took part in last year’s scheme, and will be returning again 2017: ’It has been so essential and a catalyst for me to raise my profile. I loved it and it has been so important to me in an incredibly hard climate. Without the cheap accommodation NIC offer, none of the rest would have been possible’.

Rebecca will also be taking part in a second edition of the #CircusVoices critical development residency run in association with NIC and The Circus Diaries, exploring analytical languages and communication strategies for the circus industry.

‘Circus artists exist in a culture of doing, not discussing, their work,’ explains Katharine Kavanagh, who leads the scheme. ‘Establishing norms of critical discourse is vital for development of the circus sector.’