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Playwrights of the north

Will the recently established National Theatre of Scotland give rise to a new golden age of Scottish contemporary drama?

By Michael Coveney   October 2006

One of the most important things to emerge from this year’s Edinburgh Festival is that the new National Theatre of Scotland—an informally arranged enabling agency with no permanent theatre, no building, no red carpets and a modest budget of £4m a year—might not be such a bad idea after all.

This revisionist thought is prompted by the resounding success of two NTS Edinburgh productions of new plays by Gregory Burke and Anthony Neilson. These suggested that a flexible policy of commissioning and co-operation bypass the problems of a bureaucratic institution locked into anxieties about its status or programming.

Burke’s Black…

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