I wrote something about ‘A Very Expensive Poison’, a play on at the Old Vic last year about the Litvinenko poisoning, how I enjoyed it (the play, not the poisoning) and what I thought it said about the way in which we think about ‘Russia’ for the Observer/Anthony Burgess Foundation prize for arts journalism and it ended up being shortlisted. The review is now online with the rest of the shortlist and the winning piece by Lucy Holt.
This the first time I’ve been published in a newspaper since a highly prophetic but entirely ineffective letter to Nick Clegg about the 2010 election. The Observer also gave us all these nice plastic blow-ups which make the article look like a real thing in a broadsheet, which is sweet. Reviewing is an unnerving job, and any critic with any self-awareness will feel like an imposter. So, it is good that the prize is encouraging new writers, and I would encourage anyone who even vaguely thinks of themselves in those terms to look out for it next time.