Following the news that the Royal Court Theatre literary department may be at risk, WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said:
“It is extremely troubling to hear that the literary department at the Royal Court may be at risk. While we are reassured to hear that the theatre remains committed to new writing via script submissions and writers’ programmes, this still raises some very serious questions.
“Playwrights will rightly be asking, ‘where next for the future of new writing?’ if a ‘writers’ theatre’ can fail to protect the core infrastructure that is needed to sustain it? What does this mean for other theatres, for regional theatre and the next generation of playwrights? Where will the future playwrights like John Osborne, Caryl Churchill, Wole Soyinka, Sarah Kane, Jez Butterworth, Jasmine Lee-Jones and others take their work? And at a time of global instability, where drama has a vital role in holding a mirror to our collective concerns, who else will challenge the political and social orthodoxies of the day? It is essential for the UK theatre writing ecosystem that the Royal Court is able to continue to commission and develop single voice playwrights and new works.
“We will be requesting urgent conversations with the Royal Court, Arts Council England and other partners to raise these and other concerns.”