His stepping down is long overdue. For nearly the past decade or so when he has been reviewing an oft-revived play he continues to focus on the play itself rather than the production he is reviewing. his musings on the umpteenth production of 12th Night or Uncle Vanya while insightful to drama lit majors rarely offered insight into the productions themselves. Of course he has been the best of a bad lot - but his dismissive attitude toward musicals and his hatred of America in general should not go unmentioned.
Quits is a little bit over-dramatic. The man's 80!
Last of the old breed. A very erudite and usually fair-minded critic. His biography of Pinter is highly recommended as is his "State of the Nation". Wish him all the best in his retirement. If I had his job I'd never retire.
That's the end of the generation of Wardle/Billington/Coveney/Spencer/Nightingale .... all now departed from their posts. I guess Susannah Clapp becomes the reigning theatre critic by default. At least it isn't Quentie Lettuce.