Nicholas de Jongh
is a British theatre critic and playwright. He served as the senior drama critic of the Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...
from 1991 to 2009. Prior to that, he worked for the Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...
newspaper for almost 20 years. At the Evening Standard
, de Jongh established a reputation for his acerbic reviews; nonetheless he is regarded as a fixture of the London theatrical establishment.
In 2008, he successfully made the transition from critic to playwright when his play Plague Over England
Plague Over England is a play written by Nicholas de Jongh, based on an incident that occurred during John Gielgud's life, when he was arrested for lewd behaviour; it offers an insight into the changes of the gay lifestyle over the last fifty years...
was staged at the Finborough Theatre
The Finborough Theatre is a fifty seat theatre in the Earls Court area of London, United Kingdom , which presents new British writing, UK and premieres of new plays, primarily from the English speaking world including North America, Canada, Scotland and Ireland, music theatre, and rarely seen...
in Earl's Court. Set in 1950s England, the play takes a look back at the arrest of the actor John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...
for homosexual soliciting at the height of his fame. Plague Over England
was an instant hit and sold out for its run at the Finborough. In 2009, the play transferred to the West End
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...
Following the success of his first play, de Jongh then resigned from his post at the Evening Standard
in order to pursue a full-time writing career.
He has also written two books, Not in Front of the Audience
(1992), a study of the depiction of homosexuality in English drama, and Politics, Pruderies and Perversions
(2000), a history of British theatrical censorship.