the debate about new writing; find out more:
in 2003!, more or less...)
Views on the English Stage: Women Playwrights 1990-2000 by Elaine
Aston (Cambridge University Press, 2003) £45
Academic study of the work of playwrights such as Caryl
Churchill, Sarah Kane, Rebecca
Prichard, Bryony Lavery, Sarah Daniels, Winsome
Pinnock, Timberlake Wertenbaker et al.
Me or Kill Me': Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes by Graham Saunders
(Manchester University Press, 2002) £14.99
The first full-length study of Sarah Kane examines
her plays, stressing continuity with theatre tradition. Excellent book
which includes interviews with key figures in the new
writing scene. (See review)
Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting by Dominic
Dromgoole (Methuen, 2000) £8.99
The former artistic director of the innovative Bush
theatre gives his highly idiosyncratic, provocative and vivid view
of new writing, from Samuel
Adamson to Richard Zajdlic. (See review)
of Play: Playwrights on Playwriting by David
Edgar (Faber, 1999) £9.99
After a lively introduction by playwright David Edgar comes a collection
of short pieces by today's hot young writers,
including Mark Ravenhill and David
Greig. Ends with a superb critical essay by Phyllis
The Future of Theatre by Benedict Nightingale
(Phoenix, 1998) £2
A very short, but informative, account of British theatre today by the
drama critic of the Times newspaper. Includes a couple of choice
paragraphs on the Young British Playwrights of the 1990s.
Live: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Writing and Live Art
by John Deeney (New Playwrights Trust, 1998)
A collection of essays on the changing relationship between writers and
live art performers, this has an excellent piece by Ben Payne which succinctly
charts the development of new writing from 1956
to today. (See review)
Liverpool to Los Angeles: On Writing for Theatre, Film and Television
by Peter Ansorge (Faber, 1997) £8.99
An account of new writing which is critical of
the more exaggerated claims for its importance - Ansorge is rightly sceptical
of some current developments and looks back to a golden age in the 1960s.
Bush Theatre Book by Mike Bradwell (Methuen,
Edited by its artistic director, this celebration of 25 years of new
writing at the Bush includes contributions
by writers, actors and directors; a chronology of plays; plus the texts
of Hilary Fannin's Mackerel Sky and Helen
and Reason: Women Playwrights on Playwriting by Heidi Stephenson and
Natasha Langridge (Methuen, 1997) £9.99
A good collection of interviews with 20 women writers, including Sarah
Kane and Phyllis Nagy, introduced with a polemic
against gender discrimination. But where's Caryl
3: Critical Mass by David Tushingham (Methuen, 1996)
A collection of excerpts of plays by Harwant Bains, Kate Dean, Sarah
Kane, Phyllis Nagy, Joe
Penhall, Philip Ridley and others, which
amounts to 'a sampler of the brave, the beautiful and the heartbreakingly
Night Stands: A Critic's View of Modern British Theatre by Michael
Billington (Nick Hern, 1993) £10.99
The Guardian newspaper's theatre critic casts a sincere eye over
two decades of drama. Gives a good impression of the state of new
writing on the eve of the creative boom of the mid-1990s.
new writing bibliography
For the latest news and reviews of the hottest shows, brought to you by
the top theatre critics. A great website where the critics discuss new
plays and revivals, while practitioners also have a voice: explore the
archive - amazing new writers and theatre legends. Now
Website that supports the international theatre journal, TheatreForum,
that covers experimental work as well as printing contemporary playtexts.
With comprehensive coverage of back issues.
For the latest critical barbs, updates on new shows and spirited polemics.
Plus heroes, losers and people who deserve a kick up the arse. Whether
you agree or not, this site makes today's theatre seem to matter again.
Impressively well-designed blog run by Andrew Eglinton. Good reviews and
provocative postings about the London theatre scene. Plus some excellent
Great for news and gossip, with plenty of info about current theatre shows.
Has features, reviews and the chance to vote on controversial issues.
Free newsletter available by e-mail.
A treasury of info, with a huge amount of links, exploring the glories
of British theatre in all its diversity. Includes mainstream theatre as
well as the more experimental frontiers of creativity. Free newsletter
by Peter Lathan available by e-mail.
Theatre Record is an essential resource for anybody interested in contemporary
British theatre. The fortnightly magazine reprints the main national newspaper
reviews of all new shows, both in London and the regions,
as well as giving castlists and other info.
The official website of the Society of London Theatre, which not only
gives news, latest infomation and other useful snippets, but also runs
the Theatre Tokens Scheme,
a great help to anyone scratching their heads about an easy idea for a
A huge site with details of literature, drama, genre (oh, how long
have you got?). Easy to navigate and easy to read. Well worth checking
out. Like, now.
Classy website that explores controversy in the arts, and has a section
devoted to fringe theatre. Run by the Institute of Ideas, it has good
links and some excellent writing. It also includes a lengthy interview
with Aleks Sierz.
Writernet is an organisation which helps writers for all media at any
stage of their careers. Its website is an excellent resource, easy to
use, and packed with useful advice and contacts, plus lots of articles
and interviews about theatre today.
UK Theatre Web's site is a comprehensive one, listing shows, events, and
so on - and it has a well-uesd noticeboard plus good links. The archive
of past shows is particularly impressive.
Theatre news, events and special offers. Very straight mainstream theatre
website which has plenty of information, especially in its huge archive
- but you need patience to look for it.
Super trendy north London theatre that stages
both new plays and revivals of classics. Stylish and good-looking but
low on information.
Useful programme information and a short history of the Finborough,
a London pub-based new writing venue. But, hey
guys, where are the production shots?
Pleasant website for one of London's premier new writing venues. Details
of new shows, new theatre building and job vacancies, but no archive of
Large, rambling, full of detail - a bit like the National
Theatre itself. Has a useful list of commonly asked questions, details
of archives and bookshop, with noticeboards for questions and colour production
Very hip website for a very hip theatre. Details
of new shows, young writers programme, theatre's mission statement, bookshop
and job vacancies, with occasional live netcasts. But not informative
Smart, clean website gives details of new shows, online booking and the
theatre's writers' centre, but has no critical
comments on the plays and no archive of past productions.
Excellent website for Scotland's premier new writing
theatre, with details of new shows, new writing projects, the theatre's
mission statement and an in-depth archive. Happy browsing.
Specialist theatre book publishers give details of their play texts and
a small but excellent collection of books by theatre practitioners.
New York-based alternative theatre webzine is a mine of information
about the American scene.
Iain Fisher's website dedicated to Sarah Kane,
with biographical information, production photographs, advice on further
reading, poems and a discussion board. Very colourful and creative.
Playwright Judy Upton's website includes production
photographs as well as details of her work. Look out for pictures of her
pets too - so sweet.
Playwright Samuel Adamson's home page includes
details of all his plays, plus production photographs.
Playwright, song writer and translator Caridad Svich's website includes
info about her upcoming gigs worldwide.
Superfluities Redux is an excellent blog by George Hunka, a New
York based critic and cultural commentator who knows his Rothko from his
Beckett, and who clearly appreciates both.
Playwright Fin Kennedy's cool website includes
information about his work, plus some good theatre links.
Almeida Street, London N1 (020 7359 4404).
Shepherds Bush Green, London W12 (020 8743 3388). www.bushtheatre.co.uk.
Earlham Street, London WC2 (020 7369 1732).
Broad Street, Centenary Square, Birmingham (0121 236 4455). www.birmingham-rep.co.uk.
Finborough Road, London SW10 (020 7373 3842). www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.
Avenue Road, London NW3 (020 7722 9301).
27 Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne (0191 232 1232).
South Bank, London SW1 (020 7452 3000).
Sloane Square, London SW1 (020 7565 5000). www.royalcourttheatre.com.
21 Dean Street, London W1 (020 7478 0100).
503 (formerly Latchmere)
Battersea Park Road, London SW11 (020 7978 7040). www.theatre503.com.
Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 (020 8534 0310).
Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED (0131 228 1404).
269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 (020 7328 1000).
new writing bibliography