:: Encore Theatre Magazine :::: British Theatre: Polemics & Positions ::
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:: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 ::
I vote Lucy Morrison or Jessica Dromgoole - brilliant unsung parts of Paines Plough's success in the decade under Featherstone, and Lucy's direction of Mark Ravenhill's Product is cracking. Strange feeling that something a bit more radical than re-appointment might happen though...
Given that the running of the Studio is also going to be rather radically overhauled, I wouldn't be surprised.
Sebastian Born has been appointed Associate Director (Literary) to replace Jack.
The new head of studio is Purni Morell.
So it sounds like the Royal National Theatre are following the National Theatre of Scotland in that. John Tiffany is Associate Director (Literary) there. I have to say I don't think all the playwrights you mention have contributed that positively to the National's position in new writing circles. Samuel Adamson's Southwark Fair, for example, bored me to tears.
Sure, Southwark Fair wasn't perfect, but it's still about encouraging an important writer with a lot of potential. That is also about allowing people to make mistakes.
The appointment of Sebastian Born is interesting and it confirms the rumours we'd heard. It looks like the shake-up is about integrating the National's activities more directly. Sebastian will be less of a classic 'literary manager' fighting the writers' corner, since he has as much of a track record representing directors at the Agency. They've been talking about making the Studio feed more directly into the mnain stages. Jack was perhaps too wayward for the new regime. So it's looking likely that Jack was pushed.
Purni Morell is a longtime friend of Nick Starr, so it's an appointment that obviously brings that Studio under the wing of the central artistic team.
What a shame. Jessica Dromgoole would have been the ideal choice - there isn't a more perceptive or generous literary manager.
i have to disagree with encore here. on a personal level, none of the replies i've received from jack have struck me as perceptive, intelligent, or generous. and the theatre has tended to produce plays that don't represent a writer's best work. it was very clear watching the overwhelming, or southwark fair, or market boy, or the pillowman, that these plays could have been so much better than they were, if the writers had had the chance to work with a skilled and imaginative dramaturg..
Anonymous - You obviously know J.T. Rogers's previous work better than me, but I would certainly say that The Pillowman was economical, haunting, extremely engaging to watch and, in my opinion, Martin McDonagh's best play yet, so I'd have to disagree with you there. Southwark Fair and Market Boy were both ambitious (in different ways) and this is something that should be commended. I wouldn't say I enjoyed either of them enormously, but I wouldn't blame the dramaturgical support the writers had been given.Post a Comment
Theatre Worker - do you think the appointment of Sebastian Born could mean more auteurish directors coming on to the scene at the National to join Katie Mitchell? Speaking of which, anyone know what Neil Bartlett's been up to of late?