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Six degrees of brutality

The "rude-brood" of new playwrights which emerged in the mid-1990s was meant to shake up theatre and bring in younger audiences

By Stephen Brown   July 2000

It was london theatre’s equivalent of the art show Sensation. It was hip to be a playwright again. During 1995 and 1996, several young playwrights from Britain and Ireland premiered plays in London to great acclaim, transferred productions to the West End, were showered with awards and film deals and gathered labels such as “rude-brood” (The Guardian) and “shock-horror dramatists” (Daily Telegraph).

The story took off in January 1995, when Sarah Kane’s Blasted opened at the Royal Court. Patrick Marber’s first play, Dealer’s Choice, followed a month later-although it is really his second play, Closer (May 1997), which earns him…

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