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Follow the debate about new writing; find out more:

(last updated in 2003!, more or less...)




Feminist 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.

'Love 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)

The 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)

State 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 Nagy.
(See review)

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.

Writing Live: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Writing and Live Art by John Deeney (New Playwrights Trust, 1998) £10
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)

From 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. (See review)

The Bush Theatre Book by Mike Bradwell (Methuen, 1997) £9.99
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 Blakeman's Caravan.

Rage 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 Churchill?

Live 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 true'.

One 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.

Plus: 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 on wikipedia!

Website that supports the international theatre journal, TheatreForum, that covers experimental work as well as printing contemporary playtexts. With comprehensive coverage of back issues.

Encore Theatre Magazine
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.

London Theatre Blog
Impressively well-designed blog run by Andrew Eglinton. Good reviews and provocative postings about the London theatre scene. Plus some excellent photographs.
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 present.
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 past productions.
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 photographs.
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 enough.
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).

Donmar Warehouse
Earlham Street, London WC2 (020 7369 1732).

The Door
Broad Street, Centenary Square, Birmingham (0121 236 4455).

Finborough Road, London SW10 (020 7373 3842).

Avenue Road, London NW3 (020 7722 9301).

Live Theatre
27 Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne (0191 232 1232).

South Bank, London SW1 (020 7452 3000).

Royal Court
Sloane Square, London SW1 (020 7565 5000).

21 Dean Street, London W1 (020 7478 0100).

Theatre 503 (formerly Latchmere)
Battersea Park Road, London SW11 (020 7978 7040).

Theatre 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).


Plus: new writing bibliography

More Sierz...










Further info

What's in-yer-face theatre?
First edition

The nasty nineties
New writing A-Z
Hot hits
What's on