MARK SHENTON has been a full-time freelance London-based theatre critic and journalist since 2002. He has variously (and sometimes simultaneously) been chief theatre critic for the Sunday Express, The Stage, WhatsOnStage, What’s On in London magazine and LondonTheatre.co.uk, and also written for The Guardian, The Observer, Time Out and the Independent on Sunday during this time. He has taught at ArtsEd London in Chiswick on musical theatre history since 2012, as well as on the BA Acting course. He was until recently President of the Critics’ Circle, and is also on the board of Mercury Musical Developments and the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF). You can follow him on Twitter @ShentonStage, and on instagram at @shentonstage.
Birth and education
Mark Shenton was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has lived in London since 1979. He read law at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1982-1985), where he regularly produced theatre and also wrote reviews for the student newspaper Stop Press with Varsity, where be became arts editor. Amongst the directors he produced plays for were Nick Ward and Tim Supple; and amongst the reviewers he commissioned reviews from was Tom Morris.
His first job in London was at Dewynters plc where he edited and co-ordinated the publication of theatre programmes and souvenir brochures for West End and Broadway shows, from 1986 to 1990. He became editor for Arts and Entertainment at the Press Association in October 1990 and subsequently managing editor for Arts and Lifestyle, finance data and television listings, before becoming a freelance arts journalist in April 2002, specialising in theatre.
In addition to his ongoing assignments above, he has also contributed regular features to London and regional theatre programmes and has also written liner notes for many cast albums, including the West End cast recording of Chicago.
He is co-author of Harden’s Theatregoers’ Handbook with Roger Foss (published 2004).
He was formerly theatre critic of the Sunday Express, from 2002 to 2013.