What is The Crush Bar?

The Crush Bar is a weekly newsletter about emerging theatremakers written by me, Fergus Morgan, and published here on Substack. Usually, it is published on Friday morning, arriving straight into subscribers’ inboxes at 11.45am-ish.

Regular issues of The Crush Bar feature essays on contemporary UK theatre, interviews with emerging theatre artists, and recommendations for shows to see. Every now and again, there is an international issue: a dispatch from a theatre festival, or an interview with a theatre artist based overseas.

Around the big UK theatre festivals – VAULT Festival, Brighton Fringe and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe – The Crush Bar mixes things up a bit. Every now and then, it hosts promotional content, too. And that is pretty much that.

What is Shouts And Murmurs?

As of January 2024, I am introducing a new email from The Crush Bar, one sent out only to paid supporters. It is called Shouts And Murmurs, it is sent out on Tuesdays, and it contains…

  • a round-up of the week’s best - and worst - writing on theatre elsewhere

  • a look at the week’s theatre reviews from around the country

  • a weekly theatrical quiz/puzzle of some sort

  • any other interesting or fun theatrical bits I come across

If you would like to receive Shouts And Murmurs and are not yet a paid supporter, then you can become one via the button below. It costs either £5/month or £50/year - or a cup-and-a-half of coffee a month or a fairly crap West End theatre ticket a year.

And if you really, really, really want to get Shouts And Murmurs, but don’t think you can afford the monthly fee, then just let me know by replying to this email, and I can make that happen, no questions asked.

Who is Fergus Morgan?

I am Fergus Morgan. I’m a freelance arts journalist and critic specialising in theatre. As well as publishing The Crush Bar, I write regularly for The Stage, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Evening Standard, and others. My stuff has also appeared in The Scotsman, TimeOut, WhatsOnStage, Vice, and elsewhere.

I’m a member of the UK Critics Circle. I was shortlisted for the Allen Wright Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. I was born and raised in Suffolk originally, went to the University of Oxford, then rented in London for a bit, and now live in Edinburgh with my partner and my dog.

My email is fergusmorgan@hotmail.co.uk if you need it. You can find me on Twitter as @FergusMorgan, too. And you can visit my website using the button below.

My website

How can I support The Crush Bar?

Well, thanks for asking. The Crush Bar takes up quite a bit of my time and is – and will always be – totally free to read. I do need a bit of support to keep it going, though, and there are a few different ways you can do that:

1)      You can become a paid supporter. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are already a free subscriber and already get The Crush Bar in your inbox every Friday. If you want, you can become a paid supporter via the button below.

From January 2024, paid supporters will now be getting one extra email a month - Shouts and Murmurs, sent out on Tuesdays. See above for more details a month. You can become a paid supporter for £5 a month, or £50 a year if you want.

2)      You can make a one-off donation. For a while, I used the platform Ko-Fi to accept donations to support The Crush Bar. In order to keep everything in one place, I have stopped those donations. If you made regular donations to me via Ko-Fi, you should have been contacted by me already to let you know that your donations have been cancelled.

If, though, you’d rather make a one-off donation, instead of becoming a paid subscriber, then you can still do so via Ko-Fi. It is all pretty straightforward. Just hit the button below.

Make a donation

3)      You can share The Crush Bar. I started The Crush Bar in January 2020 with zero subscribers. As of the time of writing this, three years later, it has nearly 2500 free subscribers. It has got there through people sharing it far and wide – and that really means a lot to me.

Tell your friends about it. Tweet about it. Forward the issues to anyone that might be interested and encourage them to subscribe, too. That would be brilliant. In fact, you can share The Crush Bar right now using the button below.

Share The Crush Bar

4)      You can promote with The Crush Bar. As I explained above, The Crush Bar does include promotional content every now and then. It is always relevant to subscribers’ interests and I never take money off people that can’t afford it – but it does help keep all this going.

If you are interested in using The Crush Bar to promote something – a show, a season, a service, whatever – then have a look at the information sheet below, or feel free to get in touch with me directly via email. That’s fergusmorgan@hotmail.co.uk, again.

Promote with The Crush Bar

Subscribe to The Crush Bar

Weekly essays on theatre, interviews with emerging artists, show recommendations, and more...

People

Fergus Morgan

Freelance arts journo, specialising in theatre