As part of the current three-play Royal Court at the Duke of York's Season with Posh by Laura Wade, Jumpy by April De Angelis and Constellations by Nick Payne, four of the UK's leading playwrights will direct one of their all-time favourite plays in a series of one-off afternoon readings from 29 June at the Duke of York's Theatre in a special event supported by The Ambassador Theatre Group.
Nick Payne, Polly Stenham, Roy Williams and David Eldridge will select their favourite plays and will have less than two days to bring their vision to life with a full cast to be announced for staged readings on Friday afternoons this summer.
The line-up for Playwright's Playwrights is as follows:
Nick Payne (Constellations, Wanderlust) directs Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger on Friday 29 June at 2pm
Polly Stenham (Tusk Tusk, That Face) directs John Osborne's Look Back in Anger on Friday 6 July at 2pm
Roy Williams (Sucker Punch, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, Clubland, Fallout) directs Barrie Keeffe's Abide with Me on Friday 13 July at 2pm
David Eldridge (In Basildon, Market Boy, Under the Blue Sky) directs Robert Holman's Across Oka on Friday 20 July at 2pm
The first Playwright's Playwrights was staged in 1999 by then Artistic Director Ian Rickson at the Duke of York's Theatre during the Royal Court's residency there when its Sloane Square base closed for a major refurbishment project. The aim was to give audiences an insight into the influence and taste of leading writers and allow audiences to hear readings of powerful, sometimes unknown, plays.
The first season included Speed the Plow by David Mamet, directed by Joe Penhall, which inspired a full West End production directed by Peter Gill and starring Patrick Marber. A second season followed later that year and again in 2004.
In 2008, in celebration of Caryl Churchill's 70th birthday and in recognition of her long and successful association with the Royal Court, ten playwrights, including Martin Crimp, April De Angelis, debbie tucker green, Zinnie Harris, Joe Penhall, Winsome Pinnock, Mark Ravenhill, Wallace Shawn, directed one-off readings of a favourite Caryl Churchill play.
Artistic Director of the Royal Court, Dominic Cooke, said: "Playwrights' Playwrights offers audiences a unique opportunity to experience landmark plays from a completely new perspective. Playwrights often make fine directors of other writers' work and here four Royal Court writers are given free rein to choose a play from any era. It's always fascinating to see which play they choose and to contemplate how that play may have been influential on their writing.
"This summer's programme sees an eclectic range of plays from Contemporary Theatre classics Osborne's Look Back in Anger and Holman's Across Oka to Barrie Keeffe's evocative Abide with Me, to the gem of a play The Starry Messenger by Kenneth Lonergan, as yet unperformed in the UK. To see these plays brought to life in the West End is remarkable and is testament to ATG's commitment to the Royal Court at the Duke of York's season."