'His criticism has been theatrical Viagra of another kind': Theatre critic Charles Spencer steps down after 25 years with the Telegraph

Daily Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer has announced his retirement after more than 25 years at the paper.

Spencer, a two-time British Press Awards critic of the year, joined the paper as a sub-editor on the arts pages in 1988. After a couple of years as deputy theatre critic he was appointed chief theatre critic in 1991.

Before joining the Telegraph, Spencer – who coined the term "pure theatrical Viagra" to describe Nicole Kidman's performance in The Blue Room – worked on the Surrey Advertiser, the Evening Standard, The Stage and the London Daily News.

He said: “I have loved my job, but critics shouldn’t go on too long. I feel I’ve had my say and it’s time to stop and put my feet up.”

Andrew Pettie, head of arts and entertainment across Telegraph Media Group, said: “Charles has been a great servant of the Telegraph and its readers for many years. Although we are all sad that he is retiring, he has more than earned the right to step down at a time that feels right for him.

“Passionate, vigorous and arresting: his criticism has been theatrical Viagra of another kind for generations of theatre-lovers.”

Sarah Crompton, arts editor-in-chief, said: “Charles Spencer’s honesty – both about the play in front of him and his own life – and the way he speaks so directly to his readers have made him the critic people turn to when they want to know what a play is really like.

“He has always said exactly what he thinks, and that is why people have come to trust him so much. We will all miss reading his reviews.”

Asked who would be replacing Spencer, the Telegraph said: "Theatre criticism will remain at the heart of the Telegraph’s arts coverage, with an experienced team of critics led by Dominic Cavendish, who has been writing for the paper since 2000."

Here are some tributes to Spencer's career:

Comments
No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × 4 =

CLOSE
CLOSE