This year marks the 30th anniversary of the International Playwriting Festival organised by the late and much-lamented Warehouse Theatre.
The Warehouse Theatre, housed in an old coal merchants’ warehouse on the edge of what is now the Ruskin Square development, was the highly successful Croydon studio theatre until the previous Tory administration on the council pulled its modest grant funding in 2012.
The building was subsequently demolished, but there remains the possibility of a £3million grant from developers Stanhope towards a new studio theatre within Ruskin Square, provided that Croydon Council doesn’t try to snaffle the cash and misappropriate it within the Fairfield Halls redevelopment. That was certainly the intention of Philistines who ran the council until May 2014; the jury’s still out on Timothy Godfrey and the present lot.
Through most of the Warehouse’s existence, and since, it staged an acclaimed competition to uncover new playwriting talent. And it is calling for entries for 2016 now.
The first winner of the prize, in 1986, was history teacher Kevin Hood with his play Beached. The Warehouse produced it to great reviews and the production later transferred to The Old Red Lion.
Hood’s next play was an incredibly successful production, The Astronomer’s Garden, which transferred to the Royal Court where it sold out all performances.
Hood now writes for film and television.
But who might be his successor in 2016? With a closing date of February 29 (an extra 24 hours of writing time thanks to the leap year) entry details can be found here: www.internationalplaywritingfestival.com
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