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NEW’24: RWCMD's NEW festival celebrates 10 years of new writing with move to London’s Young Vic Theatre

In its 75th birthday year, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s new writing festival celebrates 10 years of commitment to nurturing original work and bringing diverse narratives to the stage with a move to its 2024 venue, London’s Young Vic Theatre.

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Drama, RWCMD, What's On

Date published

Published on 15/05/2024

In its 75th birthday year, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s new writing festival celebrates 10 years of commitment to nurturing original work and bringing diverse narratives to the stage with a move to its 2024 venue, London’s Young Vic Theatre.

Each year NEW commissions four plays from established writers, working with directors and the College's Richard Burton Company, made up of final year drama students, to create challenging and inspiring work that reflects the diversity of contemporary storytelling. 'NEW VOICES' showcases future theatre-makers, with work by current students.

‘No other drama school commissions on this scale or is working with this breadth of writing talent.

This unique fully paid partnership gives the writers and directors the chance to take risks, with proper development time, space, collaboration with our design department, and in-house expertise and support.

And of course, they also get to work with the next generation of actors, and a larger cast, supported by dramaturg Chris Campbell.

We are also deeply grateful for the support for this project over the years from Paines Plough and Sherman Theatre.'
Jonathan MunbyRWCMD Director of Drama Performance.
Freedom March on Selma by Roy Williams from NEW 22

NEW’24: 'Empowering a pipeline of talent'

NEW’24 brings together some of the UK’s top creative talent to deliver ambitious and thought-provoking new plays: Simon Longman working with director Andrew Whyment, Isley Lynn with Debbie Hannan, Paula B. Stanic with director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, in collaboration with Paines Plough, and Rhiannon Boyle and director Eve Sampson, in collaboration with Sherman Theatre.

This year NEW, after premiering in Cardiff, will transfer to London’s Young Vic, one of the most progressive and prestigious venues in the UK.

‘NEW has been a truly significant engine and playground for writers and directors in our sector.

It’s such a brilliant simple idea. Over a decade NEW has offered a unique space where fantastic theatre-makers meet the emerging, graduating generation, linking up a pipeline of talent. What a body of new plays now exist as a result.

The Young Vic is delighted to partner on the 10th edition and to host all of these theatre artists, at all the stages of their careers, in our spaces.’
Lucy DaviesYoung Vic Theatre Executive Director

Over the past decade NEW has collaborated with Paines Plough, Sherman Theatre and the Royal Court, producing over 40 plays that have helped to shape the future of theatre, including global hit ‘Pomona’ by Alistair McDowell, Isley Lynn’s ‘Albatross, ‘VS9’ by Hayley Squires, ‘White Sky by Simon Longman, who returns to NEW again this year, ‘Ring Ring’ by Gary Owen and ‘All that I Am’ by Daf James.

‘We're so proud to have been part of the NEW festival's journey over the last ten years, and to play our part in bringing Paula B Stanic's incredible play Dissonance this year. We cherish these collaborations deeply, and in this difficult climate for new work, the opportunities that the NEW festival gives to writers, directors and performers are indispensable. So - happy birthday, NEW! May you be with us for many more years to come.’

Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner, Joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough.

Moon Licks by Charlie Josephine from NEW 22

NEW Voices: training actors as creatives

In addition to established playwrights, ‘NEW VOICES,’ launched last year gives current RWCMD students the opportunity to create, direct and perform their own productions – focusing on training actors as creatives. Mentored by one of the UK’s leading directors, Roxana Silbert, students Stella Elliott-Fortnum, Liam Whiting and Joe Flynn will bring their own creative voice to the festival, performing their short plays alongside the established playwrights.

‘NEW VOICES’, which has so far produced seven new works, include Gaby Foley, who gained a literary agent, and is taking her production ‘Flicker’ to Edinburgh this year, and Melodie Karczewksi who joined the BBC Writers Room Voices 23.

Bringing diverse stories to the stage...

NEW continues to champion diversity across its creative teams, projects, and subjects, amplifying queer and minority voices on stage. 

Previous writers include Philip Ridley, Charlie Josephine, Roy Williams and Chinonyerem Odimba (both previously RWCMD Writers in Residence), Yasmin Joseph, Penny Skinner and Daf James. 

Directors have included Ned Bennett, Adele Thomas, Milli Bhatia, Jesse Jones, and Titas Halder, bringing their unique perspectives to the productions, ensuring a rich tapestry of contemporary storytelling.

NEW’24 will premiere in Cardiff from May 24th to May 31st before transferring to London's Young Vic Theatre from June 5th to June 14th.

Editors notes

NEW ‘24

The Glue

By Isley Lynn

Directed by Debbie Hannon

24, 27 & 29 May 2pm & 25 & 28 May 7pm Bute Theatre

5–8 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

The Glue are a fun-loving gang of friends who haven’t all been together since graduation. So, when they finally reunite at a countryside Airbnb, they’re raring to live it up like they used to. But this close-knit clique is about to realise that the bonds between them are not unbreakable…


By Paula B Stanic

Directed by Anastasia Osei-Kufffour

In collaboration with Paines Plough

24, 27, 29 May 7pm & 25 & 28 May 2pm Bute Theatre

5–8 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

A rave, a protest to ‘kill the criminal justice bill’ and a night that will have consequences for decades to come. Moving between 1994 and 2023 is a play exploring the importance of protest, how each generation gets blamed by the next for not doing enough, and why we need to listen to each other.

Falling, Falling, Falling, Falling

Directed by Andrew Whyment

Written by Simon Longman

25, 29 & 31 May 2.15pm & 28 & 30 May 7.15pm Richard Burton Theatre

11–14 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

This is a play about communication. And loneliness. And the world. The utter, horrible chaos of the world. And your place within that. Your place in all of that. You and the world. This collapsing world. What's your place in that? You think about that as you have a drink with someone you've never met before. That'll anchor you to something, you think. Something. Anything. Just concentrate on another pair of eyes, if you can. Everything is falling apart around you. But just concentrate on the eyes. That's all you can do, right?

Couple Goals

By Rhiannon Boyle

Directed by Eve Sampson

In collaboration with Sherman Theatre

25, 29, 31 May 7.15pm & 28 & 30 May 2.15pm Richard Burton Theatre

11–14 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

A thought-provoking, sinister satire where three seemingly ordinary Gen Z couples are thrust into the surreal world of the reality TV show - Couple Goals. As every element of their lives is commodified, the contestants' reach breaking point. They’re humiliated and traumatised, but who is to blame - the naive contestants, the manipulative producers or us, the voyeuristic audience?

NEW Voices

Over Your Dead Body

By Joe Flynn

28 May 9pm & 30 May 4pm Caird Studio

5-7 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

Over Your Dead Body is a haunting examination into the psychosis of domestic abuse.

Trouble in Paradise

By Stella Elliott-Fortnum

29 May 4pm & 30 May 9pm Caird Studio

6-8 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

Knock Knock

By Liam Whiting

29 May 9pm & 31 May 4pm Caird Studio

11-12 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

2008 wasn’t a great time to be an estate agent was it?

Trouble in Paradise

By Stella Elliott-Fortnum

29 May 4pm & 30 May 9pm Caird Studio

6-8 June, Young Vic Theatre – The Maria

Jen’s 21. She’s a hairdresser from South East London with big dreams. After growing a social media following for her work, she applies for a popular reality TV dating show to expand her platform. Her mum is concerned she may be exploited; but Jen, adamant that reality TV isn’t what it used to be, signs her contract and flies to Mallorca for a summer of love…after all, she's got nothing to lose and everything to gain…right?

The Richard Burton Company

The Richard Burton Company is the Royal Welsh College’s in-house production company, made up of final year actors, designers, stage managers and technical specialists. Working with professional directors, the Company produces around 15 shows every year, from classic plays to cutting-edge contemporary drama.

About the Young Vic Theatre

Founded in 1970 as a space for world-premiere productions and unexpected takes on classic plays that speak urgently to our present, the Young Vic Theatre has been one of London’s leading theatres for more than fifty years.

Welcoming more than 100,000 visitors a year to its London Waterloo location, the Young Vic stands out in the city’s cultural landscape for balancing daring commercial drive, success and artistic flair with genuine grassroots social impact change in our neighbourhood.

The Young Vic’s founding spirit is iconoclastic and pushing at the forefront of possibility, bringing together artists and audiences on a global scale and using the power of stories to change our world.

Artistic Director: Kwame Kwei-Armah

Executive Director: Lucy Davies

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