New Play Festival Launches 16 PremieresDate: 28 April 1998
The London New Play Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with this year's month-long season, 13 May - 13 June 1998. Organisers say this year's festival is the biggest and most ambitious yet with 16 premieres and, for the first time ever, a West End Platform season. The West End programme, at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, includes a live debate between David Hare (author of The Judas Kiss, Amy's View, Skylight) and Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and F***ing) on the recent success of new writing in the commercial theatre.
The festival includes other discussions, readings, short performances and fully staged productions at three venues - Riverside Studios, Diorama Studios and the Apollo. The, as usual, eclectic and modern range of issues tackled in the programme of new works include visual art and pornography, the effects of TV and games on the young, gay relationships, drugs, immigration rulings, village insularity, racial identity and aging.
The festival's schedule of fully staged productions opens with David Bridel's art versus porn drama The Last Girl and includes Helen Cooper's psychological thriller The House of Ruby Moon as well as Finneas Edwards' futuristic TV Tots Meet Bomb Boy about media obsessed youth. In addition, the festival has commissioned five young writers from its own Writers' School to look at the hidden side of life in Britain for a play, Underbelly.
To tie in with the 10th anniversary season, the festival will also be launching its first anthology, Best of the Fest (Aurora Metro Press), during the season. The collection, with a full production history listing over 100 productions, publishes the first work of Joe Penhall, Naomi Wallace, Laura Bridgeman, Mark Jenkins, 'Biyi Bandele and 1994 George Devine Award winner Judy Upton.
The London New Play Festival has grown, since its Fringe inception in 1989, to become one of Britain's largest producers of new plays. The 1998 season is supported by Stoll Moss Theatres. Call +44-171-209-2326 for a Festival brochure. Festival passes for all events are available for just £25.