Network of Independent Critics:
Two Weeks Left in Crowdfunding Campaign
Founded in early 2016 by Katharine Kavanagh and Laura Kressly, the Network of Independent Critics exists to champion quality arts writing outside of the mainstream press. They have selected 21 experienced performance critics from an international applicant pool to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a one week stay, and their crowdfunding campaign is now two weeks away from closing.
Through the NIC’s campaign, the critics will benefit from an affordable immersion into the largest arts festival in the world, where they can hone their skills, increase their portfolio and network with their peers. Artists and performers at the festival will benefit from the presence of specialised, knowledgeable writers – who may otherwise find costs of attending prohibitive – that will see and review work that oftentimes falls outside of mainstream publications’ radar. Funds raised will be split equally between participants to go towards living costs in Edinburgh.
With salaried arts critic posts disappearing, the internet offers a direct route to tailored critical coverage for readers. The demand for this work exists, but making independent criticism a sustainable vocation is still a struggle.
The scheme will also include a week of mentorship in reviewing circus for 3 participants, in partnership with TheCircusDiaries.com, the UK’s only publication dedicated to circus critique. Applications for these places will be opening soon.
The critics who have been selected, and their specialist areas of interest, are:
Amy Stutz – dance and plays with integrated music
Benjamin Huxley – poetry and spoken word
Ben Walters – cabaret
Beth Madeline Iredale – physical theatre and street performance
Victoria Durham – work from minority groups
Callum Moorin – stand up, sketch and musical comedy
Carl Woodward – work by young people
Charlotte O’Growney – new musical theatre and small cast shows
Eda Nacar – BAME performance and classical adaptations
Fergus Morgan – student and low-budget shows
James Waygood – LGBT theatre
Joanna Trainor – In-Yer-Face theatre
Johnny Fox – new musical theatre
Kirsty Alexander – children’s theatre
Lee Anderson – new writing
Mary Nguyen – opera and musical theatre
Meaghan McGurgan – work not normally seen in Asia for a Hong Kong readership
Michael Davis – female-led performance
Natalie O’Donoghue – drag and cabaret
Steve Stratford – LGBTQ performance
Rosie Curtis – experimental performance