The best of Tynan's theatre criticism, selected and edited by his biographer Dominic Shellard - with a foreword by Tom Stoppard.
'A clutch of Kenneth Tynan's reviews are worth more than a hundredweight of almost anyone else's. This volume, edited by his biographer, stamped with Tom Stoppard’s approval in the foreword, contains all the classics' Sunday Times, Books of the Year
'One can only wonder why Tynan’s theatre criticism, the crowning achievement of his professional life, has until now been mouldering out of print... His reviews aren't just a brilliant record of this or that production; as Tom Stoppard writes in a generous foreword, they stand "in lieu of an autobiography, the adventures of someone who happened to care very much about the theatre." ... To read Tynan is to be thrilled into paying better and closer attention - which, in short, is the point of criticism in the first place' Daily Telegraph
'Tynan was unique in that he combined the soul of an artist with the descriptive skill of a journalist. His style, blending voluptuous ease with verbal precision, was a constant instrument of pleasure' Michael Billlington, Guardian
'A sentence from him is worth a book from all the rest' Time Out
Kenneth Tynan was born in April 1927 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he left to become drama critic of the Evening Standard in 1951. He moved to the Observer in 1954, where he wrote on theatre every week until he left in 1962 to join Laurence Olivier's new National Theatre as its Literary Manager - and later Consultant. He died in July 1980. He was also a theatre producer - of shows ranging from Oh! Calcutta to Soldiers - and a prolific feature writer: a selection of his Profiles is published by NHB. Also published since his death are his Diaries and Letters.
Dominic Shellard is the author of Kenneth Tynan: A Life (2003), 'an excellent biography, so cool, so impeccably researched, and so often very moving' (Spectator).