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Too many new plays are safe and forgettable. Who’s to blame?

By John Nathan   March 2012

Classics and revivals are all very well, but if you run a theatre company, the way to grab attention is to work with new playwrights.

In the past decade British theatre has seen a new writing boom. It began in 2003, when Arts Council funding leapt by 72 per cent, an increase described by Guardian critic Lyn Gardner as “the largest annual increase in subsidy ever received by an art form.” The result was more new plays than ever before. In Rewriting the Nation, Aleks Sierz reports that about 3,000 new plays were produced in the 2000s, more than twice…

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