An intriguing experiment in what new writing company Nabokov has coined “backlash theatre” is underway this week. As the term suggests, “backlash theatre” gives playwrights an opportunity to respond directly to issues in the news. And pretty immediately too. In the company’s Present : Tense challenge, participating artists have just seven days to work up and stage a dramatic response to a selected news story.

This year’s artists, including playwright Nicholas Wright (Vincent in Brixton), met yesterday and selected the story about Baby P - the toddler whose systematic abuse and death at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend has sparked an investigation into child protection services – as their starting point. The resulting play will premiere at Southwark Playhouse this Sunday 23 November at 8pm. In the meantime, theatregoers can track the creative process on the Present : Tense blog at www.nabokov-online.com/ptblog.

There’s also more information on the Present : Tense challenge on Whatsonstage.com Off-West End.