‘In the nineteen-seventies, when I was a teen-ager and had fantasies of growing up to be a writer, I didn’t dream of being a novelist or a poet. I wanted to be a critic.’ With these words art critic Daniel Mendelsohn opens an article in the New Yorker titled A Critic’s Manifesto. Finding teens with similar ambitions these days is quite unimaginable, especially when looking at the role of the much-beleaguered theatre critic. The critic-as-consumer-adviser has had an especially rough time of it lately, but there’s more to theatre criticism than snappy one-liners and star ratings, which the current debate does not reflect.