Picture the ideal arts critic: immersed in their chosen field, with an appreciation of and a fascination for practitioners of the past. This critic speaks knowledgeably about landmark events, placing them in context with other moments – even moments not necessarily within their own area of expertise – and marries all of that knowledge to a firm grasp of what is happening now. This critic can write and talk about local, national and international developments. This critic has the benefit of 20 years’ experience in the business and yet has the bright-eyed enthusiasm of an absolute beginner. He – or should that be she? – writes so well it makes you long to dig deeper into what they’ve put on the page or screen. It makes you want to share it with a friend, or simply smile, nod or even shake your head in defiance but the writing has gripped you anyway. This critic writes so well, the review not only fizzes on the page, it practically burns a hole in it. This critic is clever, relevant, funny, insightful and brave, sparking debate and providing a useful service to his or her readers on how to spend their money and time. This critic is accurate and fast as they go about their business recording, reporting and evaluating all that they see and hear.