When asked at yesterday’s press conference (whether David Hare – who will be represented with no fewer than three productions in the National’s upcoming season, including The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens, which takes the government to task over, respectively, the railways and the war in Iraq – had become the theatre’s ‘house dramatist’, NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner turned his response back on the assembled journalists See News, 5 Feb 2004). “The question I think you should be asking is: Where is the new generation of playwrights who is going to write this type of play?” While he accepts there are many talented younger writers, Hytner believes there are none coming up through the ranks who are willing to create “immediate theatre”, large-scale, large-stage epics about the big political and social issues of the day. “The new generation has to invent their own way of doing this,” he says.