London Evening Standard Critic Will Quit Post to Focus on Other Writing

News   London Evening Standard Critic Will Quit Post to Focus on Other Writing
Nicholas de Jongh, chief theatre critic of London's Evening Standard is to step down from the post that he has held for the last 17 years.

De Jongh has been on the paper since 1991, and prior to that was deputy theatre critic to Michael Billington on The Guardian, where he was also previously an arts correspondent.

De Jongh is currently also represented in the West End by his first full-length original play, Plague Over England, currently running at the Duchess Theatre to May 16. The play was previously presented at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court in 2008, before transferring to the Duchess, where it has been running since Feb. 11 (and where it officially opened Feb. 23).

De Jongh's books include "Not in Front of the Audience," a history of homosexuality on stage; and "Politics, Pruderies and Perversions," a history of theatre censorship in the U.K., which won the Society of Theatre Research Prize in 2001, and which he dramatized for a performance at the Royal Court in 1996. He also contributed a one-act play to the Royal Court's May Days season in 1991.

According to a news report in The Guardian, he has decided to step down for his role as theatre critic to spend more time writing. He is reported to be working on a film version of Plague Over England, with Simon Fuller's entertainment company 19 Entertainment and the theatre impresario Bill Kenwright, and is also writing a book.

He is quoted as saying, "I have been brooding for some months now about stopping. I want to spend more time on my creative work while I feel I am still able to." It has not yet been determined when de Jongh will write his final review for the paper, but he commented, "I don't want to hang around not so much as a lame duck as a dying duck." His successor has not yet been appointed.

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