Everyman and Playhouse director speaks out in support of new writing

Gemma Bodinetz. Photo: Stephanie de Leng
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Despite the recession and cuts to the arts, it is “never a better time to write a play,” according to Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz.

Bodinetz, who spoke yesterday at the inaugural Everyword lecture run by the Liverpool-based venues, explained that the recession has created political conditions in which playwrights are needed to ask questions even more so than before.

She said: “The arts is threatened by cuts and changes; but actually where the world outside the arts is also threatened by these cuts, and it’s an awful thing to say, there is never a better time to write a play than when times are tough.”

Speaking on the importance of encouraging new writing, Bodinetz said that regional voices should be represented through local artists.

She said this could be done by both producing original playscripts and also re-working familiar pieces with an emphasis on a region’s concerns.

It is a theatre’s duty to both discover playwrights and ask them how they would like to work and with which artists, to “constantly test this art form,” she added.

She concluded that venues should take risks in putting on new works that audiences do not recognise because theatres need to “respond to our times” and be “an urgent, living, breathing thing that is moving along and talking about what it is to be a human being”.

Read the full transcript of Gemma Bodinetz's Everyword Lecture