London theater to develop more new work

Hampstead Theater, a leading off West End venue for new writing, has announced a five-year funding agreement to create a succession of world premieres.

A £300,000 ($482,000) donation from the nonprofit Peter Wolff Trust will enable the venue to develop, program and produce work by emerging playwrights in its Hampstead Downstairs studio space.

Plays are to be presented away from commercial pressures without press performances and critical assessment, with successful productions potentially moving either to the larger main house or elsewhere.

The donation will support six plays per year. The 2011-12 program opens with “Di and Viv and Rose” (Sept. 14-Oct. 15,) the second play by thesp Amelia Bullmore (“The Norman Conquests”) and directed by Anna Mackmin, who helmed Bullmore’s successful debut “Mammals.”

Also on the docket is “Lay Down Your Cross,” (Feb. 23-March 24) by Nick Payne (“If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet,” “Wanderlust”) and helmed by Hampstead associate director Clare Lizzimore, and “Skane” (Oct. 27-Nov. 26, 2012), the latest by Pamela Carter (“What We Know,””An Argument About Sex”).Founded in January 1998 to encourage emerging British playwrights, The Peter Wolff Trust has supported writers including Alexi Kaye Campbell (“Apologia,”) Shelagh Stephenson and Steve Waters.

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