Greater Manchester’s producing theatres the Royal Exchange Theatre, Contact, HOME, The Lowry, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Oldham Coliseum are seeking 10 participants from across the region to take part in the third year of their free theatre criticism scheme. The theatres invite applications from anyone aged 18+ with an interest in critical evaluation for the theatre. Both new and emerging writers, video and audio bloggers are encouraged to apply. No previous experience is necessary, only a love of and interest in live performance.

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Upstage Review blogger Matt said of his experience last year - 

"It’s an unmissable opportunity for anyone who wishes to discuss theatre with other enthusiasts and develop their critical voice. It equips you with extensive, authoritative advice from a range of leading critics while immersing you in the diversity of the Manchester theatre scene."

The scheme, which runs over a twelve-week period starting in the last week of September, will be run by professional theatre critic Catherine Love. Over those twelve weeks, you will have the opportunity to see ten pieces of theatre across Greater Manchester, sharpen your critical writing skills and hear from two professional guest speakers. You will analyse about what you see, discuss it with your fellow participants and learn how to set up your own blog.

To apply all you need to do is write, film or record a short piece, (200 words / 1min) about a performance you have seen and write a paragraph about who you are and why you want to be involved (200 words).

"I absolutely loved my time on the course. It was fantastic to meet like-minded people and to see so many varied performances, from classic plays to children’s theatre and opera. Catherine Love was an inspirational course leader and it was great to receive encouragement and words of wisdom from other influential critics along the way.Reviewsmith blogger, Natalie. 

The deadline for applications is Sunday 1 September 2019. Please send all applications to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post them - C/o Paula Rabbitt – Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH.

Feedback from other participants of the 2018 GM Critics Scheme:

"GM Critics empowered me to explore my writing after years of self-doubt; challenging me to think about what I really want to say. I learn not from only the 'experts' but also from the variety of voices also on the scheme. Manchester has so much wonderful theatre and the scheme gave me an open window to view things I would have never considered. I wish I could do it again.Cath. 

"GM Critics was a fantastic opportunity to hone my critical voice as a writer and audience member. It opened a whole new world of wide-ranging theatre and performance that was on offer in Manchester, that I never imagined I would enjoy. Meeting likeminded people and receiving advice from both Catherine and the group was invaluable. I couldn't recommend the scheme more.Reviews blogger, Emma. 

"An exceptional opportunity - not only do you get to see top quality theatre on a weekly basis, you also receive excellent tuition in how to write as a critic, across a range of audiences. Feedback is excellent, and the collaborative nature of the group development creates a real dynamic buzz. If you want to become a better writer, this truly helps.Mama-G blogger, Jude. 

"To say that this scheme is life-changing may sound like a cliche, but it is absolutely true. It gave me the opportunity to see more theatre, reviewing genres that were out of my comfort zone. The workshops are informative and help improve your skill as a writer. Since the scheme, I have achieved more than I thought possible. I now watch more theatre than ever before, and met great friends along the way. I have even discovered a new-found love of opera.The Play's the Thing blogger, Nicola.