How did you get into theatre criticism?
I had been working in children?s publishing for a few years when I decided I wanted to transition into a career which allowed me to write about the arts. I came across a scheme with the Royal Shakespeare Company which paired me up a national theatre critic. For a year, I was able to watch and write about a range of theatre. I had been bitten by the theatre bug and there was no turning back.
What do you see as the significance of the arts?
The arts for me, is the medium through which we explore the human experience. The arts world has the power to engage and connect with communities across the board. Stories, lives and histories can all be played out on stage to entertain, educate and offer the ultimate escapism.
Why do you think there needs to be more diversity in theatre criticism and the industry as a whole?
Very early on in the RSC?s scheme I noticed a complete lack of diversity within the critics? circle and the stalls. There?s more than one reason for this, but I think that theatre reflects and examines the world around us, and so should the people discussing it. I remember watching the furore surrounding the play Behzti. I was a student at the time and remember thinking that we need to have people within the arts from all backgrounds, who can bring their perspective to certain issues and themes that arise within theatre.
I?d also like to see more diverse audiences engaging with the arts, and have the industry engaging with a more diverse audience. It?ll enrich the arts landscape.
How can people find out about your work?
I?m currently writing about the Creative Case for Diversity, the Arts Council?s new approach to diversity within the arts. You can read about it here: http://disabilityarts.creativecase.org.uk/creativecase-amardeep-sohi-blog
I?ve also set up my own blog which will focus on diversity related issues and a range of theatre reviews. You can read it here: http://admit1.wordpress.com/
And like the rest of the world, I?m also on Twitter and Facebook.