Court Stages New Writers Festival, 27 NovDate: 9 November 1998
The Royal Court will stage a host of world premieres as part of its Choice festival, the largest festival of new writing ever produced in the West End, which will open at the Royal Court Upstairs) (at the Ambassadors) 27 November and run to 19 December.
The culmination of a two-year search for the freshest voices in world theatre, from Eltham to Uganda, Choice will introduce four hour-long plays and six shorter pieces from the playwrights of the future, staged by leading theatre figures including director and TV star Richard Wilson and Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson. These are complemented by readings of twelve further plays and a one-off club night blending extracts from ten more pieces.
The plays were selected from 400 submissions, many the result of a Royal Court promotion in which Write a Play beermats were distributed to pubs and clubs throughout the country. Aged between 13 and 27, the writers featured in Choice were free to write about whatever they wished, in any style or form.
The winning plays include the following: Bluebird, written by Simon Stephen (27) and directed by Gordon Anderson, about an evening in Jimmy's cab becomes a dark odyssey of the soul as he shares the bleak and sometimes shocking stories of his fares; Trade, written by Richard Oberg (23) and directed by Janette Smith, about a family of loners who seek escape via boxing, bathing and a gas oven; Four, written by Christopher Shinn in his UK debut and directed by Richard Wilson, about four young Americans searching for independence on the Fourth of July; and About the Boy, written by Ed Hime (20) and directed by Rufus Norris, about a beer swilling, chain smoking family trio called Nev, Kev and Trev.