Last Friday (1 July 2005) marked the first “Monster Day Out” at Hampstead Theatre (See The Goss, 23 Jun 2005). The self-styled Monsterists are made up of ten rising and established playwrights who ask the question: why are there so few new BIG plays with BIG casts for BIG stages (their emphasis). Friday’s event was to encourage discussion and action on the subject and the 80+ attendees seemed to like – in principle – the idea of the “Dead Writers’ Levy”. Currently, there’s less incentive to stage plays by living writers as the producing company has to pay royalties. The Levy would mean that a charge would have to be paid for dead writers’ plays too, and the suggestion on Friday was that the money collected could then be used to fund theatres who decided to produce BIG plays, particularly for paying the extra actors necessary and commissioning the work. However, the attendees - who included artistic directors (Gemma Bodinetz, Mike Bradwell, Tony Clark, Giles Croft, Greg Hersov, Katherine Mendelsohn, Abigail Morris, Max Stafford-Clark and Sam Walters amongst others), producers, playwrights and literary department representatives - agreed the main problem would be the administering the monies collected. The Monsterists are made up of Richard Bean, Moira Buffini, Ryan Craig, David Eldridge, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Jonathan Lewis, Shelley Silas, Colin Teevan, Roy Williams and Sarah Woods. For further information and a full report on the day’s outcome (to be published in the next few weeks), see the Monsterists Website.