Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Play's The Thing

In The Observer, Brian Logan goes behind the scenes of Channel 4's upcoming reality playwriting series.
'There's almost a fear of being selected,' says a young writer, shifting nervously from one foot to the other. 'Because, you might actually get your play put on in the West End. Which six months ago none of us had imagined.'
It's hard to be critical of a project promoting new writing, but you do wonder if putting a brand new writer on in the West End is almost inevitably setting them, up to fail for the sake of TV. The producer Sonia Friedman almost admits as much herself.
'So am I panicking?' asks Friedman. 'No. Have I got a great play? Probably not. Do I have a theatrical event?' Pause, for dramatic effect. 'Probably.'

The Play's the Thing starts on Channel 4 on 12 June. Preview performances of the winning play begin on the same day at the New Ambassadors Theatre, London WC2.

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