The landmark New Play Commission Scheme (NPCS), created by WGGB in partnership with HighTide Theatre, UK Theatre and the Independent Theatre Council, is a response to the decline in new play commissioning following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The New Play Commission Scheme was supported using public funding by Arts Council England and by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre through the Theatre Development Trust. The scheme raised over £50,000 in donations from major producers, actors and writers, with Faber making a donation to the scheme as well as awarding an additional £5,000 to the best play by an unpublished playwright.
You can see the full list of 18 playwrights who were selected as recipients of the scheme here and below the plays that have opened or are due to open (plus how to book tickets).
A comedy about black womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood – and babyhood.
After an unexpected break up with her long-term boyfriend Dami and being beaten down by constant comparison to her married little sister, Brenda embarks on a crazed 365-day journey to become a mother.
This fast-paced, fearless and satirical comedy cross examines the pressures placed on modern women through the lens of a young Black British woman navigating the nuances of sibling rivalry and racialised healthcare systems. Brenda’s Got A Baby takes a daring dive into the world of dating, conception and modern fertility solutions; an unending series of awkward conversations, embarrassing encounters and defiant decisions.
Brenda’s Got a Baby ran 31 October to 2 December 2023 at New Diorama Theatre
Peak Stuff by Billie Collins (producing partner ThickSkin)
Peak Stuff is a lyrical, theatrical, multi-thread dive into young people’s relationship with stuff. In an age of fast fashion, planned obsolescence, NFTs, thrifting, hoarding, minimalism, retail therapy, climate crisis and click and collect – what does it actually mean to ‘own things’? When do we become consumers? How does our stuff define us? And do we know how to stop? Peak Stuff uses one performer and multiple stories to chip away at the role consumer culture has to play in coming-of-age and its impact on our sense of identity, consciousness and choices.
On tour from February to March 2024. Book tickets
Woodhill by Matt Woodhead (producing partner LUNG)
In 1992, HMP Woodhill was opened on the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Designed to protect and reform prisoners, it was supposed to be a flagship facility. Instead, what happened was the biggest scandal the UK criminal justice system has ever faced. 27 prisoners died by their own hand at Woodhill. Despite multiple death investigations and coroners’ reports, this number continues to rise.
This new verbatim play will examine life on the inside, the individual vs the state and the failings of the UK criminal justice system. This is a contemporary British story about how much this Government values a life. This is the story of families of Woodhill who continue to fight for justice.
Edinburgh Fringe Preview took place in July 2023. Showing in London and Oxford in September/October 2023 plus upcoming dates and ticket bookings here.