James Agate was an English diarist and an influential theatre critic between the two world wars. He took up journalism in his late twenties, on the staff of The Manchester Guardian (1907–14), became a drama critic for The Saturday Review (1921–23) and The Sunday Times (1923–47).
He also reviewed drama for the BBC (1925–32). The nine volumes of Agate’s diaries and letters cover the British theatre of his time and his non-theatrical interests, including sports, social gossip and private preoccupations with health and precarious finances.
He also wrote film and literary criticism for London newspapers, published three novels, translated a play briefly staged in London, and regularly published collections of his theatre essays and reviews.