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|Beckett Trust Supports the Avant Garde
- New award for experimental drama
THE OXFORD Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust has launched a new award to support the development of experimental drama. The largest award of its kind includes prize money of UKP30,000 and a professional production of the winner's work for three weeks in November at London's Riverside Studios.
The award will be judged by a panel of experts including playwright Mark 'Shopping and F*cking' Ravenhill. The Trust's bid to liberate risk-taking artists from the confines of fringe theatre looks set to improve the reputation of the Samuel Beckett estate, so far famed for dogmatically closing productions of the playwright's work which deviate from his rigid stage directions.
Beckett himself did not receive recognition until the age of 46 when his now revered play Waiting for Godot premiered to outraged critics. Project leader Romilly Walton Masters explains that the aim of the award is to support artists who would otherwise have to wait years before being taken up by commercial theatre. "We want to support bold, innovative and challenging work of quality and promise, and we fully expect the work submitted to be of the highest calibre," says Walton Masters.