Drama critic job

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Susan Hall writes reviews for newspapers, magazines and online theatre guides – advising us all what's hot and what's not! She also does some interviewing and has written many articles on theatrical subjects for magazines and books.

Do you have a set working day?

As I am freelance – working for myself - I don't have a specific routine – everything depends on the work I need to tackle that week. The number of plays I'm reviewing fluctuates widely. I do make it a priority, though, to keep up to date with new productions opening in London.

Why did you choose to become a drama critic?

I have always wanted to write and, having acted when I was a child, I've had a lifelong interest in the theatre. After leaving university, I contacted local papers and began my writing life reviewing films.

What do you like about being a drama critic?

The opportunity to see a wide variety of drama and to meet some of the interesting people connected with the theatrical world.

Describe typical projects you've worked on?

One minute I could be researching online for a feature, the next reviewing a show or play either in London's West End or at a fringe theatre. One of my most enjoyable experiences is interviewing actors and listening to their stories.

Do you work in an office with people?

No. Writing's a solitary occupation, but I am in regular contact with my editors and various drama publicity organisations.

Susan's route to her drama critic job

  • Degree in English language.
  • Applied to lots of newspapers and magazines for work reviewing films and drama.
  • Postgraduate certificate in periodical journalism.

Susan's drama critic tips

  • Take every opportunity – write for your college paper or approach local, free or online publications. Initially expect to write for free, just for the experience.
  • Buy a copy of the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook – it's so useful for aspiring writers.

Drama critic related jobs

  • Actor
  • Arts administrator
  • Newspaper Editor
  • Publishing Editor
  • Journalist
  • Press officer
  • Public relations officer
  • Stagehand
  • Stage manager

Drama critic job salary

  • As a trainee writer on a local paper you'll earn between £8,000 and £12,000.
  • On a magazine this could be up to £14,000, and in radio or television, up to £21,000.
  • Freelance writers negotiate a fee for each piece of work they do – the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) sets recommended amounts.

Drama critic job

  • Many drama critics start off as reporters or journalists – often on local newspapers. They then go on to specialise in writing on arts and entertainment.
  • Others work as freelance writers and may specialise in theatre after working in the arts or gaining experience of drama and writing at school, college or in an amateur dramatic group.
  • See the journalist case study for further information.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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