Wellington-born and raised, John Smythe is a graduate of NIDA and the AFTRS. He has worked as an actor and writer for theatre, television and film on both sides of the Tasman. His trilogy of short plays, Entrancing Exits, was presented during the 1988 Wellington International Festival of the Arts; Where There’s a Will was staged at BATS Theatre in 2015. In 1991 his first novel, The Peace Monster, was published by Vintage. His non-fiction books are: Downstage Upfront: the first 40 years of New Zealand’s longest-running professional theatre (VUP, 2004) and The Plays of Bruce Mason– A Survey (VUP & Playmarket, 2015).
John has served as a theatre critic for the Melbourne Times, The Australian, Theatre Australia Magazine and the National Business Review. Since 2006 he has been the managing editor of Theatreview for which he has written some 1,200 reviews so far.