Network of Independent Critics

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, 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