Students Prove They Have the Write Stuff; the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Is Set to Launch Its First Season of New Writing, Embellishing Further Its Already Glowing Reputation. RWCMD's David Bond Tells Dave Owens Why This New Venture Is the Ideal Platform to Launch the Acting Stars of the Future

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), March 28, 2014 | Go to article overview

Students Prove They Have the Write Stuff; the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Is Set to Launch Its First Season of New Writing, Embellishing Further Its Already Glowing Reputation. RWCMD's David Bond Tells Dave Owens Why This New Venture Is the Ideal Platform to Launch the Acting Stars of the Future


RUTH JONES, Rob Brydon, Eve Myles, Aneurin Barnard, Kimberley Nixon, Tom Cullen and Alex Vlahos - when it comes to a production line the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is quite the star factory.

One of the UK's leading drama colleges, it prides itself on the quality of training for those who are entering the glamorous world of theatre.

Now it's taking a giant stride forward in showcasing the abilities of its students by presenting a season of new writing in London and Cardiff.

This festival of specially commissioned writing by up-and-coming contemporary playwrights, performed by The Richard Burton Company, will premiere in Cardiff next week before transferring to London's Gate Theatre.

Spring Awakening, a work previously commissioned by RWCMD from acclaimed Welsh playwright Gary Owen, will be joined by three new plays, each a world premiere. Working with some of the UK's most promising new writing talent and developed with the Royal Court Theatre and Paines Plough, with whom RWCMD has a long history, these plays will feature the entire RWCMD graduating cohort of 32 actors.

For David Bond, head of acting at the college, it's an incredibly exciting new departure for a seat of learning with an already glowing reputation.

"We wanted to have a London presence above what we always have which is a London showcase so our next thought was what else can we do," he says, explaining the reasons behind the college's new season of writing.

"A drama school doing the usual stuff wouldn't attract much attention but if you produced new work then you probably would. So I approached the Royal Court and Paines Plough to see if they would collaborate with us on it and they both said yes.

"So the upshot of that is that we've commissioned a series of new plays which is highly unusual for a drama school and even more unusual is the idea of doing them in Cardiff for a week, then transferring them to the Gate Theatre in London for a week.

"Taking these new plays to London to showcase a complete season of new work is a new and exciting step for us as a college, and will further enhance our presence there, showcasing our students' talents to writers, directors and agents."

David says that the college could not easily cope with attempting to source new writers and plays itself so it made sense to offer that task to the Royal Court and Paines Plough.

"If we said we were going to stage a new play and publicised the fact we would have ended up with 50 or 100 plays to read through which, because of all the things we're doing anyway, we're not equipped to do. We haven't got the staff or the resources to look after writers in that way. So I decided to go to institutions who did that - and the Royal Court obviously does that and Paines Plough is a new writing theatre company which often works in collaboration with Welsh theatres, so I thought they were the obvious people to approach to look for promising playwrights and scripts.

But we obviously had a say in whether we wanted to go with a particular writer or not. …

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Students Prove They Have the Write Stuff; the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Is Set to Launch Its First Season of New Writing, Embellishing Further Its Already Glowing Reputation. RWCMD's David Bond Tells Dave Owens Why This New Venture Is the Ideal Platform to Launch the Acting Stars of the Future
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