Experience Opportunity

New Critics Programme

The VAULT Festival New Critics Programme is for new & early career arts and culture critics to develop their critical voice.

Taking place at VAULT Festival 2022 (25th January – 20th March), this unique opportunity gives you expert mentorship from leading industry critics, support in getting your reviews published, and free access to VAULT Festival shows!

What Does it Involve?

This Programme is a unique opportunity for four early career reviewers to develop their writing and critical voice. You’ll be fully supported by the Programme’s mentors to regularly review different types of performances at VAULT Festival. This will include one-to-one feedback sessions, group feedback from fellow participants, and support in getting published.

There will also be selected ‘guest’ Q+A sessions from leading reviewers, bloggers and industry professionals, plus you’ll be featured on the VAULT Festival website, including a link to your blog or website.

Who are the mentors?

Rosemary Waugh and Ava Wong Davies will be returning as mentors for the New Critics Programme for 2022.

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh is an arts critic and journalist who regularly reviews theatre and dance for The i, The Stage and the New Statesman. Her arts and culture writing has been published by titles including Conde Nast Traveller, the Financial Times, the Evening Standard, Time Out, The Independent, Dance Gazette and Art UK. From 2016 - 2018, Rosemary was the Reviews Editor for Exeunt and from 2018 -2020, she was the Arts and Culture Assistant Editor for Time Out London. She is currently working on a book of interviews with leading female theatre directors working in the UK, commissioned by Nick Hern and due for publication in 2022. rosemarywaugh.com.

Ava Wong Davies

Ava Wong Davies is a writer from London. She writes theatre criticism for The Independent, The Stage, and Exeunt Magazine, and in 2018 she won the Harold Hobson award for theatre criticism. She is represented by Independent Talent.

Who is it for?

This Programme is aimed at new & early career critics particularly from under-represented backgrounds. To be eligible you must –

• Be over 18 on or before 25th January 2022.

• Be available to see and review one show per week at VAULT Festival 2022 from Tuesday 25th January – Sunday 20th March 2022. Tickets will be provided for free as part of the programme.

• Have had no formal training or professional experience in arts journalism.

We think you’d be suitable for this if you self-define as ‘early career’ in writing critically. This could include: having no critical experience to date, having written solely for your own blog/online platform, or having written under five reviews for online, non-mainstream arts press in exchange for a ticket but no fee. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, we invite you to email us for an informal discussion before applying.