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Old Red Lion revamps literary department

The Old Red Lion Theatre The Old Red Lion Theatre in north London
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London fringe venue the Old Red Lion is relaunching its literary department, as it looks to produce more in-house shows.

It coincides with the arrival of Clive Judd as the venue’s new literary manager, who will work with a team of eight contributing script readers, all of whom hold roles in the theatre industry as directors, designers, writers and performers.

Artistic director Stewart Pringle said the theatre’s literary department had been through a hiatus in recent times, but reviving it offered the venue more opportunities to work with playwrights on both developing and staging new writing.

“We will hopefully be able to give the scripts that we are sent the best possible chance of going forward. Sometimes that will be matchmaking a script with a producer or director, who might be able to work with them at the Old Red, or who might work with them somewhere else, but the most important thing is thinking about how we can maximise the potential of the incredible work that is being sent in,” Pringle said.

He added that the new literary department also enabled the north London theatre to stage more co-productions.

It comes as the venue announces its new season, which includes a co-production between the ORL and producers Samuel Julyan and Will Bourdillon on John O’Donovan’s If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You.

The season also includes a series of newly commissioned short plays, produced by Judd, called The Rooftop Sessions.

He told The Stage that the revamped department offered a “harness” for new writers as well as providing opportunities for their work to be staged.

“I think there’s a healthy strand of new writing that is supported by somebody like Stewart anyway, so this felt like an interesting opportunity to go in there and support writers at the very early stages of their careers, not just by allowing them to put their plays on but having a relationship with me and Stewart as well,” he said.

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