Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Where have the good new playwrights gone?

In The Guardian, Lyn Gardner laments a lack of new playwriting talent.
A decade ago this week British theatre was enjoying its greatest flowering of new writing since the Jacobeans. Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking had just opened at the Royal Court Upstairs at the Ambassadors, just one of an abundance of new plays written by emerging talents such as Martin McDonagh, David Eldridge, Simon Bent, Nick Grosso and David Greig who all premiered their first major plays during 1996.

A decade on, all those writers are going strong, but where are the emerging talents of today? My guess is that they are clogged up somewhere in Britain's burgeoning playwrighting schemes unable to find their way out. Over the last few years many theatres have put in place extensive play development programmes, yet despite these schemes there has been a tailing off in good new plays by great new writers since the heady days of the mid-90s.

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