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Festival celebrates 10 years of new writing with visit to London

21 May 2024 4 minute read
Moon Licks by Charlie Josephine. NEW 22 Credit Kirsten McTernan

A new festival from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is set to visit London as part of a series of anniversary celebrations.

NEW’24 will premiere in Cardiff from 24 May to 31 May before transferring to London’s Young Vic Theatre from 5 June to 14 June.

In its 75th birthday year, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’ new writing festival celebrates 10 years of commitment to nurturing original work and bringing diverse narratives to the stage with a move to its 2024 venue, London’s Young Vic Theatre.


Jonathan Munby, RWCMD’s Director of Drama Performance said: “No other drama school commissions on this scale or is working with this breadth of writing talent.”

“This unique fully paid partnership gives the writers and directors the chance to take risks, with proper development time, space, collaboration with our design department, and in-house expertise and support.

“And of course, they also get to work with the next generation of actors, and a larger cast, supported by dramaturg Chris Campbell.

“We are also deeply grateful for the support for this project over the years from Paines Plough and Sherman Theatre.”

Empowering talent

This year NEW, after premiering in Cardiff, will transfer to London’s Young Vic, one of the most progressive and prestigious venues in the UK.

Lucy Davies, Young Vic Theatre Executive Director, said: “NEW has been a truly significant engine and playground for writers and directors in our sector.”

“It’s such a brilliant simple idea. Over a decade NEW has offered a unique space where fantastic theatre-makers meet the emerging, graduating generation, linking up a pipeline of talent.

“What a body of new plays now exist as a result. The Young Vic is delighted to partner on the 10th edition and to host all of these theatre artists, at all the stages of their careers, in our spaces.”


NEW’24 brings together some of the UK’s top creative talent to deliver ambitious and thought-provoking new plays: Simon Longman working with director Andrew Whyment, Isley Lynn with Debbie Hannan, Paula B. Stanic with director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, in collaboration with Paines Plough, and Rhiannon Boyle and director Eve Sampson, in collaboration with Sherman Theatre.

Freedom (March on Selma) by Roy Williams. NEW 22 Credit Kirsten McTernan

Over the past decade NEW has collaborated with Paines Plough, Sherman Theatre and the Royal Court, producing over 40 plays that have helped to shape the future of theatre, including global hit ‘Pomona’ by Alistair McDowell, Isley Lynn’s ‘Albatross, ‘VS9’ by Hayley Squires, ‘White Sky by Simon Longman, who returns to NEW again this year, ‘Ring Ring’ by Gary Owen and ‘All that I Am’ by Daf James.

Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner, Joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough shared:”We’re so proud to have been part of the NEW festival’s journey over the last ten years, and to play our part in bringing Paula B Stanic’s incredible play Dissonance this year.

“We cherish these collaborations deeply, and in this difficult climate for new work, the opportunities that the NEW festival gives to writers, directors and performers are indispensable.

“So – happy birthday, NEW! May you be with us for many more years to come.”

NEW Voices: training actors as creatives

In addition to established playwrights, ‘NEW VOICES,’ launched last year gives current RWCMD students the opportunity to create, direct and perform their own productions – focusing on training actors as creatives. Mentored by one of the UK’s leading directors, Roxana Silbert, students Stella Elliott-Fortnum, Liam Whiting and Joe Flynn will bring their own creative voice to the festival, performing their short plays alongside the established playwrights.

‘NEW VOICES’, which has so far produced seven new works, include Gaby Foley, who gained a literary agent, and is taking her production ‘Flicker’ to Edinburgh this year, and Melodie Karczewksi who joined the BBC Writers Room Voices 23.

Bringing diverse stories to the stage…

NEW continues to champion diversity across its creative teams, projects, and subjects, amplifying queer and minority voices on stage.

Previous writers include Philip Ridley, Charlie Josephine, Roy Williams and Chinonyerem Odimba (both previously RWCMD Writers in Residence), Yasmin Joseph, Penny Skinner and Daf James, and directors such as Ned Bennett, Adele Thomas, Millia Bhatia, Jesse Jones, and Titas Halder bring their unique perspectives to the productions, ensuring a rich tapestry of contemporary storytelling.

Find out more here.

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