The Guardian, Cultural Professionals Network, Steve Winter and Cat Jones, May 2, 2013 - Theatre attendance and revenue for West End theatre rose by 9% in 2012 and The Book of Mormon scored the highest one-day box office sale in London's theatre history in March 2013. Conversely, In Battalions, a report into the effect of Arts Council England cuts on the capacity of theatres to develop new plays and playwrights, paints a more sombre picture.
For me, both demonstrate the great divide and the great passion people have for theatre, be it as an audience for the big blockbusters or as struggling practitioners experiencing the intrinsic difficulty in developing new work. Certainly there is an audience, and undoubtedly there's the talent, but it's getting more and more difficult to get work off the ground, to take those first tentative, often expensive steps to actually being creative.
The chance to be commissioned is rare and the chance to fail, as well as succeed, even rarer. Which is why, in 2013, Old Vic New Voices (OVNW) has decided to change tack, to worry less about projects but more about process, and to be led rather than lead. Our offer is simple, a direct response to those we work with and what they need to get work from page to stage.
Firstly, it's about space, the holy grail in London, a place where rent alone can break a creative practitioner's bank balance never mind the thought of finding a nice(ish) rehearsal room. It's important space doesn't dictate a performance, and doesn't demand an 'outcome' – and this is what our new OVNV Lab is about. Read More
Canopy Arts Desk
Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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