Thurlbeck unveiled as Surrey Comet's new theatre critic

Former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck has joined weekly newspaper the Surrey Comet as its new theatre critic.

Thurlbeck, who was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking last year, will write reviews of shows from the Rose Theatre, Kingston, from next month.

‘Theatre is a passion of mine going back many years,’said Thurlbeck, who lives in Hinchley Wood. “I did English and theatre studies at university in 1980 so it has been a 33-year passion.

‘I have been going to the Rose Theatre since day one, not to every piece, but regularly. Last year I saw The Importance of Being Earnest and a few other things. It is an extremely high standard and it deserves to succeed because of all the hard work that went into it.”

His first assignment will be a review of the Lady from the Sea on Monday, 5 March. Assistant editor Julia Kennard said she was ‘thrilled’Thurlbeck had joined the paper.

‘As a newspaper at the heart of the community we welcome the opportunity to have even greater coverage and comment of the arts in Kingston,’she said.

Thurlbeck’s reviews will be posted on a revamped Rose Theatre section of the Surrey Comet website and also in the paper, which is hoping the high-profile arrival will help ‘spark artistic debate in the borough”.

Thurlbeck added: ‘In these days of flagging interest in the arts the Surrey Comet is a crucial medium to advertise and get the message across about the artistic lifeblood that’s rich and flowing through the borough.”

The reviews will be posted on www.surrey comet.co.uk/rosetheatre.

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