➤ Gary Kemp steps onstage to join London’s theatre critics

Robert Sheehan ,Ruth Negga, Playboy of the Western World, Old Vic, theatre, Critics at the Cri

The Playboy of the Western World: Robert Sheehan makes his stage debut as Synge’s anti-hero Christy Mahon, seen here with Ruth Negga as the vindictive Pegeen Mike. (Photography Manuel Harlan)

❚ THIS THURSDAY LUNCHTIME songwriter Gary Kemp becomes a theatre critic in a live a panel discussion taking place onstage at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus in London. Critics at the Cri is a live monthly review, featuring Britain’s leading critical voices who will debate three recent theatre openings in and around London. As a joint initiative by the Criterion and What’s On Stage, each discussion takes place on the first Thursday of the month at 1.15pm, lasting for 45 minutes. The session aims to open up the conversation for the audience to engage with the guest critics.

Gary Kemp, Criterion Theatre , Critics at the Cri, London theatre,

Gary Kemp: popstar, songwriter and acclaimed autobiographer

On October 6, the opening panel includes theatre critics Michael Coveney and Patrick Marmion, BBC Culture Show theatre presenter Clemency Burton-Hill and special guest Gary Kemp, reviewing three very different openings: Mike Leigh’s latest play Grief at the National Theatre, the Broadway transfer Rock of Ages the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre, and J M Synge’s Irish modern classic from 1907, The Playboy of the Western World at the Old Vic Theatre. Tickets cost £7.50 in person from the Criterion box office but Kemp fans will find that Spandau Ballet’s website has a special offer. Critics at the Cri Two is scheduled for Thursday Nov 3 at 1.15pm.

❏ Update: On Tuesday Gary Kemp collected a BMI Multi Million Award for his hit True with Spandau Ballet in 1983. This makes the song one of the most played songs on US radio and TV, which is rare for a recording from the 1980s.

READ UP ON REVIEWS ALREADY PUBLISHED

➢ The Playboy of the Western World at the Old Vic
— Michael Coveney at What’s On Stage

➢ Playboy — Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail

➢ Rock of Ages the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre
— Michael Coveney at What’s On Stage

➢ Grief at the National Theatre
— Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail

➢ Grief — Michael Coveney at What’s On Stage

Rock of Ages the Musical,Shaftesbury Theatre,Critics at the Cri,

The London cast of Rock of Ages: the musical is set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip, where a small-town girl meets a big-city rocker in LA’s most famous rock club

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