After a successful first season at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the NIC has again selected a team of specialist critics who will each focus on niche or genre performance over a six-night stay at the Fringe.

Last year, over 400 reviews were produced by 19 participating critics, as well as additional social media content and reportage. The NIC scheme was launched by Laura Kressly (creator of ThePlaysTheThingUK) and Katharine Kavanagh (TheCircusDiaries) to support the work of independent critics and facilitate their continued practise, whilst generating visibility for arts that regularly slip below the radar of the mainstream press.

Whilst this critical coverage is an increasingly valuable resource for the arts industry, the work remains largely unpaid and the cost of visiting Edinburgh during Fringe season can be prohibitive. By joining forces to rent an apartment as a group, the costs are considerably lowered.

Rebecca Nice took part in last year’s scheme, and will be returning again 2017:

It has been so essential and a catalyst for me to raise my profile. I loved it and it has been so important to me in an incredibly hard climate. Without the cheap accommodation NIC offer, none of the rest would have been possible.

The Network of Independent Critics’ aims

  • Providing accommodation for independent critics to cover Edinburgh Festival Fringe without breaking the bank.

  • Enabling increased media coverage of niche interest and emerging work, which struggles to find representation in the mainstream press.

  • Not a publishing platform, but a support system for established and developing critics who work independently for little or no pay.

  • Participants will be selected based on passion, knowledge and a proven track record within their chosen area of the performing arts industry.

Each critic will see a minimum of 15 performances within their specialist area, and their responses may include traditional written reviews, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, tweets and visual responses.

The 2017 Critics

Tiffany Asta:

Musical Theatre & Cabaret

Saoirse Anton:

Children’s Theatre

James Waygood:

LGBTQIA Theatre Comedy

Eve Allin:

New Writing & Student Work
Hannah Greenstreet:

Feminist & LGBTQIA Work

Chanel Williams:

Dance & New Musical Theatre

Rebecca Nice:

Circus & Physical Theatre
Francesca Peschier:

Visual/Scenography-led Work

Meagan Mulgrew:

Classics & Classical Adaptations

Jess Howley-Wells:

Sexual Politics & Gender Identity

Callum Moorin:

Stand-up & Comedy

Kathryn Osenlund:

Political Theatre & Performer Process

Jafar Iqbal:

BAME performance

Rosie Snell:

New Writing

Joanna Trainor:


Holly O’Mahony:

Emerging Talent

Charlotte Coster:

Book Adaptations

Daniel Perks:

Solo Performance

Marianna Meloni:

New Writing

Beth Lawless:

Physical Theatre

Alexandra Gray:


David James:

Performance Art & Experimental Theatre


The Network of Independent Critics exists to champion quality arts writing outside of the mainstream press. The goal is to widen the coverage of niche interest and emerging work across the amorphous field of performance based arts and entertainment, by offering support to independent writers focused in these areas. If you wish to contact NIC to find out more you can contact them through any of the methods below.