I know it is a secret code, but the Law of Critic Club begins with 'don't discuss the play until you have written your review'. This is especially useful when leaving a production, because I never know whether the director's partner is standing beside me as I announce 'that was a big load of shit.'
Having said that, I can't wait to discuss plays with Lorna Irvine. If you haven't been reading her reviews, get wise. It's not just that we've been working together for years now, or that I can pretend to be her boss on The List. Lorna's perspective is fresh, witty and she frequently points out themes that I miss. There are at least half a dozen theatre companies who need to go round her house with flowers and chocolates to thank her for her insights.
It's not just the quality and frequency of her writing that makes her important. Lorna's ability to recognise the gender subtexts in theatre is superb. I am always banging on about diversity of voices, and Lorna combines a distinctive identity with the kind of attitude that some people call objective. It's not objective - no such thing, thanks - but it is generous and clear.
She has been working over at Tempo House for the past month or so, and her work-rate is astonishing. There are supposed to be some other collaborators on the site (naming no names), but she is giving the site an identity and purpose. Okay, she is my friend and all, but she's starting to scare me into working harder.
She also came up with the headline...