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‘UK is best place for playwrights’ – Dennis Kelly

Playwright Dennis Kelly
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Playwright Dennis Kelly has praised the UK as the best place in the world for new writers, arguing that “no other country looks at writing the way we do”.

“I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen 
a country that is more interested in playwriting than we are. At this particular time in our history, there are many outlets for plays,” he said.

He added: “The fact that there are varied outlets means that you don’t have to do a play through [writers’ programmes at] the Royal Court, or the National Theatre, or through Hampstead. 
You can write a play that doesn’t fit any of those 
theatres and you can still 
find a home for it.”

Kelly, who wrote Matilda the Musical, was speaking at the announcement of the inaugural Theatre 503 playwriting award, for which he was on the judging panel.

The award saw two writers, Bea Roberts and Paul Murphy, each win £6,000 and a guaranteed production of their plays, And Then Come the Nightjars and Valhalla respectively, at Theatre 503.

Kelly, who also began his career at the south London theatre when one of his 
earliest works, Debris, 
premiered there in 2003, praised the awards for 
offering productions as 
part of the prize.

He said: “Money is great, but it only goes so far. What’s really amazing is that they’ve attached a production to it because it’s so so important 
to get that work on.”

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