London’s National Celebrates Playwrights' Scheme

News   London’s National Celebrates Playwrights' Scheme The National Theatre's Platforms series will present a celebration of 30 years of the Pearson Playwrights' Scheme on May 18.

Over the past 30 years, the Pearson Playwrights' Scheme has supported and helped launch some of Britain's finest playwriting talent. This special performance features scenes by some of the writers who have been a part of the remarkable theatrical journey.

Presented by Sir John Mortimer, Chairman of the scheme's panel and himself a noted playwright, the event offers an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the last 30 years of British playwriting.

The featured playwrights are David Edgar (Pentecost), Alan Bleasdale (Having a Ball), Sue Townsend (Bazaar and Rummage), Timberlake Wertenbaker (Three Birds Alighting on a Field), Billy Roche (The Wexford Trilogy), Joe Penhall (Blue/Orange), Martin McDonagh (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Charlotte Jones (Humble Boy) and the most recent winner, Fin Kennedy (Protection).

The Pearson Playwrights' Scheme was originally established by Thames Television in 1973 to encourage new writers in the theatre. Pearson took on the scheme in 1994 and offers bursaries to writers working in the theatre and awards to the authors of plays that are staged. The judges include Michael Billington, Thelma Holt CBE, Sir John Mortimer CBE QC, Sue Summers and John Tydeman. The scheme is administrated by Jack Andrews, MBE.

Speaking to us recently, Jack Andrews commented, "It's only appropriate that the scheme was started by a television company, as television has pinched so many talented playwrights and taken them away from the stage!"

A Celebration of the Pearson Playwrights Scheme takes place at the Cottesloe Theatre at the National Theatre on Sunday, May 18 from 4 PM to 6 PM.