Toronto Critic Robert Cushman Announces Departure from The National Post
In his review for The Shaw Festival's Androcles and the Lion, National Post critic Robert Cushman announced his next column would be his last.
With no replacement announced, it appears The National Post will no longer have a regular theatre critic.
"Productions like this, performances like these, inspire me to continue writing about and celebrating Canadian theatre and theatre in general. However, my next column will be the last theatre review I shall write for the National Post..." he wrote as his final paragraph.
Cushman also writes "Canada's theatrical best can stand up to anybody's, and I have sometimes wondered if the country knows what a great resource it possesses. Maybe we need to shout about it more."
Read his review and announcement here.
Cushman has been the paper's sole theatre critic for 19 years, since it began in 1998. He has been rated as one of the best theatre critics in the world by The Economist, and was the only Canadian critic on that list.
Cushman was born in London, and educated at Cambridge University. He went from there to the BBC where he worked in radio drama, TV arts programs, and for the World Service. He then directed in the London and regional theatre, and was theatre critic of The Observer from 1973 to 1984.
He moved to Canada in 1987, and has been theatre critic of the National Post since its inception in 1999. He has written extensively for other British and Canadian newspapers and magazines, and for the New York Times. He has continued to work in the theatre as an author, director and even performer; the musical Look to the Rainbow, which he devised and directed, was produced in the West End in 1985.
He was director of corporate communications for Livent Inc. in 1998-99. He has also been a prolific broadcaster, especially on musical theatre and American popular song; popular series include Book, Music and Lyrics (BBC) and Songbook (CBC).
His book Fifty Seasons at Stratford, a history of the Stratford Festival, was published in 2002; and he is a record eight-time winner of the Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Theatre Criticism. He is married, with three children, and lives in Toronto.