The Sydney Morning Herald has announced that Walkley-award winning journalist John Shand and senior arts writer and author Joyce Morgan will form a new-look theatre reviewing team for the newspaper.

Joyce Morgan. Photograph © Nick Moir

The announcement follows hot on the heels of the news that the SMH has dropped Jason Blake as its chief theatre critic because of a perceived conflict of interest with the new online arts platform Audrey Journal that Jason and Elissa Blake have formed. Read our story here.

Shand, who is also a playwright, librettist and drummer, has written on music and theatre for the Herald for more than 24 years. He won this year’s inaugural Walkley Award for Arts Journalism.

Morgan is a former Arts Editor of the Herald, a Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, and the author of two books, the most recent being a biography of artist Martin Sharp. Before she went to the SMH, she was an arts writer for The Australian.

“We’re delighted Joyce and John will be bringing their authoritative and well-respected voices to our comprehensive theatre coverage,” said Life Editor Monique Farmer. “The Herald remains committed to bringing readers the very best arts writing and analysis every day.”

“I’d like to thank Jason for his contribution and wish him all the best for his future endeavours,” added Farmer.