Thursday, October 06, 2005

National Theatre Studio

Maddy Costa in The Guardian goes behind the scenes of the National Theatre Studio, where work is developed away from the public gaze.
One playwright who has benefited from the Studio is Gregory Burke. He first came here on a year-long attachment following the success of his debut play Gagarin Way in Edinburgh and at the National in 2001. When he arrived at the Studio, Burke admits, "panic set in. I wasn't a writer in any way, shape or form; although I had a lot of bravado about writing my second play, I didn't know what I was doing." Primarily, the Studio gave him a sense of community. "I got to know loads of other writers - Roy Williams, Moira Buffini, Richard Bean. We would go out once a month for a spurious 'artistic meeting' that involved going to the pub for five hours. After a week of staring out the window doing nothing, it was reassuring to know that everybody else had been doing exactly the same thing." Without that, he thinks, "I probably would have gone back up to Scotland and not even have bothered to write."

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