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Inventing the Modern Play

Prize discussion with Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Leo Butler.

A number of contemporary writers of fiction see themselves as interacting with, or even extending, modernism. But what about contemporary playwriting? The work of modernist writers such as Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter still exerts a strong influence over theatre, but does that make contemporary theatre modernist? And how is theatre’s relationship to modernism shaped by the fact that it is always performance, and never just a text? For example, does a modernist play text always make for a modernist performance? Acclaimed playwrights Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Leo Butler will discuss their work and its relationship to modernism.

This event will be of particular interest to those who are considering entering the 2016 Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Responses to Modernism, which is open to postgraduate students from throughout the UK. Please see ourcompetition page for more details.

rebeccaRebecca Lenkiewicz’s plays include Soho – A Tale of Table Dancers, The Night Season which opened at the National Theatre in 2004 and won the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award. Her Naked Skin was the first play to be written by a woman at the National’s Olivier Theatre. The Painterwas produced at the Arcola Theatre and Shoreditch Madonna at the Soho Theatre.



leoLeo Butler‘s plays include Made of Stone, Redundant, Lucky Dog and Faces in the Crowd, all produced at the Royal Court Theatre.  He also taught the Royal Court’s prestigious Young Writer’s Programme between 2006 and 2014.  He won the George Devine Award for Redundant in 2001.  I’ll Be The Devil was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Alison! A Rock Opera was produced at the King’s Head Theatre.  His new play Boy is being produced at the Almeida Theatre in April 2016.


February 16, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

February 16, 2016, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm