NEWS: Young playwrights given the chance to showcase their work on West End stage

A scheme that gives young, emerging playwrights the chance to show their latest work on a West End stage, in front of industry figures starts this week.

Pitch Your Play is a Masterclass scheme, aimed at helping new creatives showcase their work on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The first of these staged readings takes place on Friday, with Shakespeare’s Sister by Emma Whipday.

Blayne George, the programme director at Masterclass, said: “Cuts to arts funding is being seen more and more frequently.

“This alongside the closure of organisations like IdeasTap leaves young, emerging creatives with very few routes into an already oversubscribed industry.

“Now more than ever it’s important for arts organisations, such as Masterclass, to continue supporting emerging talent through opportunities like Pitch Your Play and shouting about them far louder than before.”

Two other plays have been chosen to be part of the Pitch Your Play Scheme, Hilldrop by Joel Samuels in October and Arthur by Ben Weatherill in December. 

All tickets to the performances are free.

Ahead of Friday’s performance, Emma Whipday said: “To develop new work, writers need the support of industry professionals, and the opportunity to hear our work read aloud by actors and to see it onstage.

“Masterclass’ Pitch Your Play is an amazing scheme which has given me all of this, as well as significant insights into the entire process of making work within a major London theatre.

“It has been amazing to work with such a great creative team in an incredible venue with the support and assistance of everyone at Masterclass.”

Writers aged 17-30 applied for the Pitch Your Play scheme in January, where they had to pitch their ideas to a judging panel.

The panel consisted of Literary Manager at the Royal Court Christopher Campbell, producer Richard Jordan, and Masterclass’ Programmer Hazel Kerr.

Shakespeare’s Sister is being performed as a staged reading at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on September 11. For more information, and tickets, click here.