Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to Fund Studio at Royal Court

23 February 2012

PRESS RELEASE

THE ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER FOUNDATION MAKES DONATION TO THE ROYAL COURT STUDIO TO DEVELOP YOUNG WRITERS AND UNHEARD VOICES

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will donate £150,000 over two years to help fund the Royal Court’s Studio programme, which aims to seek out, nurture and support emerging playwrights, enabling them to develop innovative, original and exciting new plays. The Studio programme includes the Unheard Voices project, which aims to find and develop plays from minority communities who are underrepresented in the theatre.

Enabling opportunities for talented individuals who might not otherwise be able to realise their creative potential is an important priority for the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
The Studio is the Royal Court’s creative cornerstone and the donation from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will support the Studio’s key projects which include:

• The Young Writers Programme, which offers year-round playwriting groups for writers aged 18 – 25 years old. It aims to find and develop young writers, giving them the tools to develop their writing and opportunities to meet and learn with and from other playwrights.

• The Unheard Voices Programme, aimed at developing playwriting groups and workshops to support and engage new writers and increase the diversity and representation of stories on our stage, bringing new experiences to our audiences. In 2012, Unheard Voices will focus on writers from China and South East Asia.

During and after the programmes the participants are nurtured by the professionals within the Royal Court and encouraged to keep in contact. Playwrights who began their careers at the Studio include Bola Agbaje, Alia Bano, Rachel De-lahay, Lucy Prebble, DC Moore, Anya Reiss, Polly Stenham, Simon Stephens, Laura Wade and Michael Wynne.

Madeleine Lloyd Webber, Trustee for the Foundation, says: “The work the Royal Court undertakes with young writers, many of whom are from minority communities, is of great value. Without the Royal Court’s support in finding new writers, many of the most impacting and internationally recognised plays would not exist. I’m therefore incredibly pleased that we are providing funding to help sustain the Royal Court’s Studio which makes a significant contribution to new writers.”

Artistic Director, Dominic Cooke says: “The Studio is absolutely integral to the Royal Court and the work that has come out of it in recent years has been extraordinary. Writing can be a solitary profession, so the value of the Studio groups in which writers, their characters and their ideas, can grow is hugely important. I’m delighted that the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation shares our commitment and their generous investment in the programme will help a whole new generation of writers flourish.”