Posts

,

The Olivier Awards 2019: Who I Want To Win and Who Will Win

SO, musicals Company and Come from Away lead the 2019 Olivier Award nominations, both receiving nine nominations, which is absolutely ideal. 

If you haven’t seen Marianne Elliott’s gender-switched revival of Company or the exuberant 9/11 musical Come From Away yet – please do because I no longer wish to speak to anyone who hasn’t watched them at least once. 

Company

Company

It’s another storming year for Sonia Friedman, who has received a total of fifteen nominations across three productions for Summer & SmokeAll About Eve The InheritanceMatthew Lopez’s The Inheritance nabbed eight of those nominations.

The expression theatrical gold doesn’t begin to do justice to Lopez’s 2-part, seven-hour play about young gay New Yorkers. It’s a genuine masterpiece that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as The Ferryman or Chimerica

The Inheritance 

The Inheritance

Rather surprisingly, four productions from Daniel Evans’ inaugural season as artistic director at Chichester Festival Theatre (King Lear ft. Sir Ian McKellenQuiz byJames GrahamCaroline, Or Change starring Sharon D. Clarke & Pressure by David Haig) have received eight nominations between them. (these shows had west end transfer written all over them). 

Other talking points are the hit show Six, a sassy new musical based on Henry VIII’s wives, receiving five nominations. This includes a joint nomination for all six of the queens in a best actress in a supporting role in a musical category. 

SIX 

SIX

Look, I am a sucker for the plucky underdog but let’s not kid ourselves here.

I’m delighted that Young Vic’s musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home has been recognised but furious that Jenna Russell has been snubbed.

Fortunately, stars of stage and screen will light up the Royal Albert Hall as Vanessa Redgrave, Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Gillian Anderson and David Suchet are among those nominated.

Anyway, from the nominees I have picked my deserving winners, and I’ve also taken a guess at who might actually win.

Note: Only Fools and Horses: The Musical & Heathers were overlooked.

FULL LIST OF NOMINATIONS FOR OLIVIER AWARDS 2019 WITH MASTERCARD

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Jonathan Bailey for Company at Gielgud Theatre

Clive Carter for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Richard Fleeshman for Company at Gielgud Theatre

Robert Hands for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Who I want to win: Jonathan Bailey

Who I think will win: Jonathan Bailey

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Patti LuPone for Company at Gielgud Theatre

Ruthie Ann Miles for The King And I at The London Palladium

“The Queens” – Aimie Atkinson, Alexia McIntosh, Millie O’Connell, Natalie Paris, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Jarneia Richard-Noel – for Six at Arts Theatre

Rachel Tucker for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Who I want to win: Rachel Tucker 

Who I think will win: Patti LuPone (don’t @ me)

 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

Come From Away – Book, Music and Lyrics: David Hein and Irene Sankoff; Music Supervisor, Arrangements: Ian Eisendrath; Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen; Musical Director/UK Music Supervisor: Alan Berry; and the band of Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Fun Home – Composer: Jeanine Tesori; Lyricist/Bookwriter: Lisa Kron at Young Vic

The Inheritance – Composer: Paul Englishby at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

A Monster Calls – Original music composed by Benji Bower and performed live by Benji with Will Bower (The Bower Brothers) at The Old Vic

Six – Original score, orchestrations and vocal arrangements: Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss, Tom Curran and Joe Beighton at Arts Theatre

Who I want to win: Fun Home 

Who I think will win: The Inheritance

 

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Kelly Devine for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Christopher Gattelli based on original choreography by Jerome Robbins for The King And I at The London Palladium

Carrie-Anne Ingrouille for Six at Arts Theatre

Liam Steel for Company at Gielgud Theatre

Who I want to win: Kelly Devine for Come From Away 

Who I think will win: Liam Steel for Company 

Come From Away 

Come From Away

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre

Company at Gielgud Theatre

The King And I at The London Palladium

Who I want to win: Company

Who I think will win: Company

 

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Marc Antolin for Little Shop Of Horrors at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

Zubin Varla for Fun Home at Young Vic

Ken Watanabe for The King And I at The London Palladium

 Who I want to win: Zubin Varla for Fun Home

Who I think will win: Ken Watanabe for The King And I

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Sharon D. Clarke for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre

Rosalie Craig for Company at Gielgud Theatre

Kelli O’Hara for The King And I at The London Palladium

Adrienne Warren for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

 Who I want to win: Sharon D. Clarke

Who I think will win: Sharon D. Clarke

 

CUNARD BEST REVIVAL

King Lear at Duke of York’s Theatre

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre

The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre

Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

 Who I want to win: Summer And Smoke

Who I think will win: Summer and Smoke

 

BEST NEW COMEDY

Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre

Nine Night at National Theatre – Dorfman and Trafalgar Studios 1

Quiz at Noël Coward Theatre

 Who I want to win: Nine Night

Who I think will win: Nine Night

 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Moe Bar-El for his performance in Every Day I Make Greatness Happen at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs

Flesh And Bone at Soho Theatre

Jonathan Hyde for his performance in Gently Down The Stream at Park Theatre

The Phlebotomist at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs

Athena Stevens for Schism at Park Theatre

 Who I want to win: Flesh and Bone

Who I think will win: Jonathan Hyde 

 

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Neil Austin for Company

Howell Binkley for Come From Away

Jon Clark for The Inheritance

Lee Curran for Summer And Smoke

 Who I want to win: Jon Clarke for The Inheritance

Who I think will win: Neil Austin for Company

 

ROYAL ALBERT HALL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN

Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid for The Inheritance

Mike Beer for A Monster Calls

Carolyn Downing for Summer And Smoke

Gareth Owen for Come From Away

Nick Powell for The Lehman Trilogy

Who I want to win: Mike Beer for A Monster Calls (this was glorious!)

Who I think will win: Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid for The Inheritance

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Fly Davis for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre

Anna Fleischle for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre

Gabriella Slade for Six at Arts Theatre

Catherine Zuber for The King And I at The London Palladium

Who I want to win: Catherine Zuber for The King And I

Who I think will win: Anna Fleischle for Home, I’m Darling

 

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

Bunny Christie for Company

Bob Crowley for The Inheritance

Es Devlin for The Lehman Trilogy

Anna Fleischle for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman

Who I want to win: Bunny Christie for Company

Who I think will win: Bunny Christie for Company

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Keir Charles for Quiz at Noël Coward Theatre

Adam Gillen for Killer Joe at Trafalgar Studios 1

Adrian Lukis for The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre

Malcolm Sinclair for Pressure at Ambassadors Theatre

Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre

 

Who I want to win: Malcolm Sinclair for Pressure at Ambassadors Theatre

Who I think will win: Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Susan Brown for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre

Monica Dolan for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre

Cecilia Noble for Nine Night at National Theatre – Dorfman and Trafalgar Studios 1

Vanessa Redgrave for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

Olivier Awards

Olivier Awards

Who I want to win: Monica Dolan for All About Eve (Dolan is excellent)

Who I think will win: Vanessa Redgrave for The Inheritance (Hmm)

 Monica and Gillian in All About Eve

Monica and Gillian in All About Eve

BEST ACTOR

Adam Godley, Ben Miles and Simon Russell Beale for The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Arinzé Kene for Misty at Trafalgar Studios 1

Ian McKellen for King Lear at Duke of York’s Theatre

Kyle Soller for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

David Suchet for The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre

Who I want to win: Kyle Soller for The Inheritance OR Arinzé Kene for Misty

Who I think will win: Ian McKellen for King Lear

 

BEST ACTRESS

Gillian Anderson for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre

Eileen Atkins for The Height Of The Storm at Wyndham’s Theatre

Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Sophie Okonedo for Antony And Cleopatra at National Theatre – Olivier

Katherine Parkinson for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre

Who I want to win: Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke

Who I think will win: Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke

 

SIR PETER HALL AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR

Christopher Ashley for Come From Away

Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance

Marianne Elliott for Company

Rebecca Frecknall for Summer And Smoke

Sam Mendes for The Lehman Trilogy 

Who I want to win: Marianne Elliott for Company

Who I think will win: Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance

 

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY

The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Misty at Trafalgar Studios 1

Sweat at Donmar Warehouse

Who I want to win: The Inheritance

Who I think will win: The Inheritance

 

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL

Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Fun Home at Young Vic

Six at Arts Theatre

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

 Who I want to win: Come From Away

Who I think will win: Six at Arts Theatre 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.

Bookmark this page and come back on the night to see how I did, but be quick because I’m definitely going to come back and change all my predictions so that it looks like I knew what I was talking about.

 Cheers!

The Olivier Awards take place on April 7 at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Jason Manford.

UK Theatre and Education Industries Debate Urgent Issue of Creative Arts Provision – Friday 20 April, Birmingham

Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Roxana Silbert

Roxana Silbert

The full line up for the Big Arts and Education Debate has been confirmed. On Friday 20 April, leading figures from the worlds of theatre and education will meet to debate the urgent issue regarding the reduction in creative arts provision in schools across the UK.

The Big Arts and Education Debate will welcome teachers, practitioners, educators and young people and will be opened by Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert.

Representing the arts will be Olivier Award-winning playwright, James Graham; Head of UK Theatre, Cassie Chadderton, Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre, Indhu Rubasingham and Punch Record’s CEO, Ammo Talwar. Representatives from the education sector include Pauline Tamblin, Chief Executive of Creative and Cultural Skills, Christine Quinn, West Midlands Regional Schools Commissioner, Sam Cairns, Cultural Learning Alliance and Tim Boyes, CEO of Birmingham Education Partnership.   Chairing the debate will be Steve Ball, Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, alongside Carl Woodward, Media and Learning Specialist.

As part of the debate, Marilyn Rice, Producer of Education, Lyric Hammersmith and Romana Flello from the Royal Court Theatre will present the findings of the London Theatre Consortium Education symposium held earlier this year.

Steve Ball, Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre said:

“We’re looking forward to bringing together the worlds of theatre and education to discuss the issues surrounding creative arts provision in schools.  Since 2010 there has been a 28% drop in the number of children taking creative GCSEs, with a similar drop in the number of creative arts teachers being trained. These diminishing opportunities for children and young people are a real concern and we hope that by the end of the debate to have established some recommendations for improvement.”

Carl Woodward also said:

“To deprive state educated children the opportunities to pursue a career in the arts is nothing short of perverse. The Big Arts and Education Debate is a prophetic and practical opportunity to come together to address this very serious situation. We very much look forward to seeing what recommendations and solutions that we can achieve together.”

The Big Arts and Education Debate takes place at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Friday 20 April, 2pm – 5pm.  Tickets £10 / £5 concessions are available from birmingham-rep.co.uk / 0121 236 4455.

, , ,

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5
Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

A Hangover from the depths of hell ahoy!

My first show was The Nature of Forgetting” at The Pleasance, which, it’s fair to say, is not messing about. The charming production is part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2017 and follows a sell-out run at the London International Mime Festival. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this lot.

During the afternoon I arranged to meet the writer of the sublime ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ – Mr Luke Barnes. It all went swimmingly.

As the day marched on I made my way down to the Churchill Studio Theatre for ‘Flight’. A highly imaginative production that is an adaptation of Caroline Brothers’s 2012 novel Hinterland and part of the International Festival. Sadly, though, it was 45 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. (I mean I would have preferred to have a nap but what can you do).

Thankfully my spirits were lifted at Henry Naylor’s Fringe First winning play: ‘Borders’ at the Gilded Balloon. This is all pretty grown-up stuff, and is done with the rackety humour and invention that we’ve come to expect from Naylor’s work. Very moving.

Later that evening I arrived at Edinburgh Playhouse for Nederlands Dans Theater (Sol León and Paul Lightfoot / Gabriela Carrizo). The slick show contains a gently rippling score by Philip Glass and has some of the finest dancers on the planet in it’s company.

During the interval there was a press drinks reception thing.

‘Having a good Festival season, Donald?’ I asked the Independent dance critic: Donald Hutera

‘Yes! I’m on show 91 now!’, he replied.

‘Jesus wept,’ I exclaimed.

During the second interval it all got rather humid in the Mezzanine bar and Donald decided to strip to a blue vest. At first I thought it was a leotard.

Incredible scenes.

I ended the evening with friends at a bar.

Arriving back at my Hotel I explain the day I’ve had. The staff fall about, and soon after, I fall into bed.

Keeping a daily diary has been more demanding than I would have expected; deploying metaphor and hyperbole; attempting to capture in words the work I’m seeing and the emotions I’m feeling. I’m nearly ready go home. I don’t know how these proper critics do it.

One more day, folks.

On balance, I’ve had more productive days.

Note: Nothing to declare.

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR THE NATURE OF FORGETTING

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR FLIGHT

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR BORDERS BY HENRY NAYLOR

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER

 

, , ,

 Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 2 

Friday 18 August

 

I started the day at the Pleasance for The Scotsman’s Fringe First awards – a ceremony recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Fringe.

The winners are announced each Friday morning. The last time I was in this particular venue, somebody stripped to a thong and sang ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. Anyway, there was plenty of coffee and thankfully the crowd (journo/media types) remained clothed for the duration.

The second group of 2017 winners are as follow:

ADAM 

How To Act 

Borders 

A Super Happy Story (About Being Super Sad)

The Shape of Pain

Woke 

£¥€$

(Congratulations to all the winners!)

Rendered Retina / HTWAH

My first show of the day was ‘Form’ by Rendered Retina Theatre Company at 10 Dome. Rendered Retina is made up of the extremely talented Tom Mangan, Alex Mangan & Jordan Choi. As well as the show being wonderful on its own merits, ‘Form’ was good and the crowd reacted quite positively to it, ie they were engaged and laughed in the right places.

Having known the lads for several years, it was exactly how I’d expect it to be: a polished performance, attention to detail, all ‘on point’. Rendered Retina were recipients of the LET Award 2017 and selected to receive a performance slot at the Pleasance, a cash injection of £1000 plus industry mentoring from Les Enfants Terribles. Well done, boys!

I spent the afternoon at my rather nice hotel, mostly hydrating and arranged to meet a friend.

‘Why are you watching that?’, said Lyn Gardner.

‘Aaaaghh!’ I cried, wrestling the tickets out of my pocket. She laughed.

We compared schedules and had a cup of tea.

Later I got chatting to a friendly lady called Annette. We talked about shows and I shared my schedule concerns.

‘Be ruthless’, she said.

‘How so?’, I asked.

‘Your time is limited here — if you have a bad feeling or word of mouth about a show – don’t go. Time is too precious.’

‘Right you are’, I said.

Perhaps this is news to you, but How To Win Against History’ is back at the Fringe. Unfortunately for them and their PR, all their attempts at creating a buzz –  the giant colourful posters, Oberon Books publishing its first musical score, social media blitzing etc – have been generally ignored, which is a shame.

I am of course employing sarcasm for ironic effect because this show is all everyone’s talking about. This musical about a cross-dressing Marquess is certainly at home at Assembly George Square Gardens.

How To Win Against History is astouding and Seiriol Davies is a genius.

Note: I went to bed early with a Moroccan Mint Green Tea with Rose. Bleak.

, , ,

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 1 

Day 1 – Thursday 17 July 

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

Edinburgh is right in the middle of celebrating the 70th anniversary of it’s world-famous festivals, the Scottish capital has rightfully become known as the world’s best festival city.

What better time to turn up and get involved?

With my luggage dropped off and a ham sandwich partially consumed I decided to start my Edinburgh odyssey. As is tradition, I wandered through the Royal Mile. The anticipation was high: would I witness three actors kissing while dressed as nuns? Would a performance artist reveal their pregnancy live on the cobbles? Would a comedian frighten a defenceless civilian? Anything is possible.

Whatever was about to happen I had a feeling that there would be surprises (ideally involving Quentin Letts and a glitter canon, but this is just a pipe dream of course).

Seanmhair

Seanmhair

My first show was at Bedlam Theatre: a gorgeous, 90 seat theatre housed in a former Neogothic church at the foot of George IV Bridge for Seanmhair‘. Director Kate Wasserberg’s production has a sinister aesthetic beauty while the remarkably gifted performers avoid the easy path of desolation. It was a total joy to witness this stunning coming of age story set in 1950s Edinburgh. In every respect, though, Seanmhair is a puzzling production but one that warrants a visit. Cardiff’s The Other Room is not messing around with this one, offering direction from Kate Wasseberg, Hywel John doing the writing bit, neon light strips and opaqueness throughout and, as a result, a renewed sense that — hey, do you know what — Fringe theatre might be alright after all.

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR SEANMHAIR

Butt Kapinski

Butt Kapinski

Later, a volunteer at the Pleasance Dome Press Office tells me: “Go and see Butt Kapinski; it’s amazing… I went twice.” So I did just that. Kapinski is a cod-detective, a ‘comedy character’ that doesn’t make any sense, but is often engaging. The meta-theatre interactive piece packs a pretty entertaining punch and Deanna Fleysher’s alter-ego relies on the audience *a lot* for LOLs with mixed results. (I’m sure the Pleasance volunteer is a really nice guy and that’s all I have to say about this episode.)

CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR BUTT KAPINSKI

With an abundance of choice in a connected theatre ecology, you’re likely to be influenced by blogs, friends or word of mouth. It’s probably worth pointing out that both Fringe and International Festival have plenty to offer. You should never believe that theatre-going has any rules and if there are any rules, you should break them all.

Note: I ended the evening with a large glass of Pinot Grigio.

, ,

So, in 2017 who is getting it right?

Rufus Norris and Carol Ann Duffy

British Theatre is in a state of evolution and everyone has an opinion.

It’s all very confusing. *Stares wistfully out of the window*

This week, critic Michael Billington issued a brutal indictment of the National Theatre’s desertion of classic plays, stating: “A theatre that cuts itself off from its past is denying itself access to world masterpieces. Actors, designers and directors will eventually lose the ability to recreate the works of the past.”  His fellow-critic Matt Trueman responded aspersively: It’s safe to say there are more pressing matters than whether or not audiences appreciate the nuances of Jonson and Moliere.”

Meanwhile, playwright David Hare claimed that classic British drama is ‘being infected’ by radical European staging and the untraditional ‘distortion’ of plays. Lyn Gardner rebuffed this in the Guardian: “All theatre cultures have plenty they can learn from each other. It’s when you stop learning and become insular that theatre culture becomes desiccated and begins repeating itself. Particularly when it comes to classic texts.” I agree – there is room for everything. The debate over the value of new work versus revivals is as old as theatre itself.

Image result for NATIONAL THEATRE

All these opinions have been a joy to read, yet left me cold, angry and in the dark. Why?

It seems to me that there are now two quite separate theatre industries at play. One is generating all the quality stuff that tends to be hidden away. The other is spinning out mainstream froth in a void.

In a 2007 article, playwright Anthony Neilson wrote: “Boring an audience is the one true sin in theatre. We’ve been boring audiences for decades now, and they’ve responded by slowly withdrawing their patronage. I don’t care that the recent production of The Seagull at the Royal Court was sold out. To 95% of the population, the theatre (musicals aside for now) is an irrelevance. Of that 95%, we have managed to lure in maybe 10% at some point in their lives, and we’ve so swiftly and thoroughly bored them that they’ve never returned. They’re not the ones who broke the contract. They paid their money and expected entertainment; we sent them back into the night feeling bored, bullied and baffled. So what are we doing wrong?”

British Theatre should be leading the way in fostering genuinely exciting new work, because now more than ever (as we find ourselves isolated from Europe and tied to a toxic America) we need theatre with bite. In this dismal new world of “alternative facts” and “post-truth”, theatre needs to be properly amazing, i.e. not just a Wobble Board of traditional Ibsen and Ayckbourn.

It’s not all bad news. The state of the world has already inspired quality work at Theatre 503 in the form of ‘Top Trumps’, an evening of satirical plays by a range of writers responding to current affairs. This year at the NT, alongside crowd-pleasers like Angels In America and Imelda Staunton in Follies, Rufus Norris is throwing his hat in the ring with a new Brexit play, ‘My Country; A Work in Progress’, a verbatim piece collated from interviews, fine-tuned by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

But for an industry that is apparently booming, there is little risk taking. There are only two big British West End musicals opening this year: Stiles and Drewe’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ (London Palladium) and Gary Barlow/Tim Firth’s ‘The Girls’ (Phoenix Theatre). Meanwhile, rising ticket prices are pushing West End shows beyond the pockets of all but the affluent. This is bleak, right?

And perhaps restricted resources have limited artists’ disposition to experiment and progress. Traditionalists penalise anything outside a narrow idea of what theatre ‘should’ look like, but I believe that view favours short-term benefits for artists and the theatre as a whole. British theatre-makers should feel like they can do anything. But how can we persuade more people in power to take more chances? It’s worth speculating what might have happened to a cutting-edge writer like Barney Norris or Lucy Kirkwood if their first plays had received little to no mainstream support.

Cultural organisations dependent on public subsidy are preparing themselves for real-terms cuts as Arts Council England has cautioned standstill funding in the next round of national portfolio grants. How can we safeguard opportunities for our mid-career writers, composers, designers and directors to progress to greater spaces that are bountiful? The Arts Council urgently needs to take a chainsaw to publicly-funded rubbish and maybe also have a word with those commissioning work that is not fit for purpose.

Change is imperative – whatever Billington and Hare might say.