Network of Independent Critics: Participants Chosen and Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

The Network of Independent Critics has selected 21 experienced performance critics including our own Michael Davis - Female Arts London Editor, from an international applicant pool to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a one week stay in subsidized housing. The campaign to cover their accommodation costs has been launched via IndieGoGo

The goal is to achieve £6500 to provide free housing to each specialist participant, who will cover performances from within their distinct critical genre. A wide range of perks are offered, and donations from as little as £1 will be gratefully received.The Network of Independent Critics has selected 21 experienced performance critics from an international applicant pool to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a one week stay in subsidized housing.

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.

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. Unpaid critics’ biggest obstacle to covering work at the Fringe is the cost of housing. The NIC scheme provides subsidised accommodation to the team, but in order to bring the rent down to zero we need the support of others who value high quality, informed specialist arts critique as an important part of the creative arts ecology. Any additional funds raised will be split equally between participants to go towards transport and living costs in Edinburgh

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
B. 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

They will join NIC founders Katharine Kavanagh and Laura Kressly, who specialise in critique of circus and Shakespeare respectively, to champion quality performance outside of the mainstream presses.

The Network of Independent Critics exists to champion quality arts writing outside of the mainstream press. The goal is to widen the coverage of niche interest and emerging work across the
amorphous field of performance based arts and entertainment, by offering support to independent writers focused in these areas.

Find the network on twitter @NICritics and facebook

The Circus Diaries is the only UK publication dedicated to circus critique, established in 2013 by Katharine Kavanagh, and funded solely through the support of subscribers via Patreon.

The Play’s The Thing UK is a London-based publication supporting small-scale and fringe theatre with a focus in Shakespeare and new writing, established in 2015 by Laura Kressly.

Author's review: