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St James Theatre launches Re:act short plays initiative

St James Theatre in London. Photo: Agnese Sanvito

Emerging theatremakers will create short pieces of work in just 48 hours as part of a new initiative at London’s St James Theatre. The works will be inspired by productions running in the venue’s main house.

Starting with the opening night of McQueen on May 12, selected writers will have two days to write a piece around 20 minutes long, in response to the production.

The theatre will then pair the writers with upcoming directors and actors to create the finished response, which will be performed two days later in the theatre’s studio as part of the Re:act showcase on May 16.

James Albrecht, the theatre’s creative director, said the initiative would take place in response to most shows in the main auditorium, as long as they have a run long enough to make it viable.

He told The Stage: “We’re just really excited to be engaging in a creative process that will bring new and interesting theatre practitioners into this building to respond directly to what we’re doing – and hopefully create something that we will have had a part of developing in the first instance. And who knows where that might lead?”

Albrecht added that while the emphasis would likely be on writing, the responsive pieces could comprise “musical theatre, or music, or indeed any other form that would be a valid response to the play”.

The first showcase will be curated by Matthew Keeler, Lauren McGee and Alastair Knights.

Writers, actors and directors can apply to be part of the scheme here [1].