A frequent complaint these days is that modern young playwrights are ill-equipped to write for large performance spaces, opting instead for more intimate studio pieces. But one group of dramatists – including rising and established talents like Richard Bean, David Eldridge, Moira Buffini, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Roy Williams and Colin Teevan – aims to change that. They call themselves the Monsterists, and they too want to know why there are so few new BIG plays with BIG casts for BIG stages (their emphasis on the BIG). A survey the Monsterists conducted, based on London theatreland’s autumn 2004 season, showed that of 236 plays produced, only 42% were original new works and, of those, the average cast size was 4.3. The group is holding a day-long conference at Hampstead Theatre next week (Friday 1 July 2005) to try and get to the bottom of the problem and come up with ideas to inspire change. The keynote speaker for the “Monster Day Out” is the more mature playwright, Nicholas Wright, whose recent work includes the massive two-part adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for the Olivier, the National Theatre’s largest stage.