The Playgoer: The Royal Court at 50

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Royal Court at 50

"In 1956, the Royal Court enjoyed a virtual monopoly on new writing. Today the Bush, the Hampstead, the Tricycle, the Soho are similarly dedicated to new work. The National actively promotes living writers, and Michael Boyd plans to give them equal houseroom with Shakespeare at the RSC. Regional theatres up and down the land are hungry for local writers.

Living dramatists, you might think, have never had it so good. Yet there is a strong opposition that argues that the future lies elsewhere - that young audiences are bored with text-based plays, and crave group-devised work, visual and physical theatre, and site-specific experiments. But, rather than reflecting this hectic eclecticism, I passionately believe that the Court should continue to fulfil its historic role: that of putting the writer at the centre of the theatrical event."

-The Guardian's main man Michael Billington, reflecting on both the past and now the next 50 years of London's haven of new writing.

By extension, of course, he's talking about the future of playwriting itself.

1 comment:

Village Green said...

Can't we have some of both? A constant diet of either would bore me silly. As for the future, let it be open to numerous possibilities.