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British Council wraps-up New Writing Development project

Friday, April 5
On April 2nd the Citadiness Hotel hosted an event dedicated to the New Writing Development project of the British Council in Georgia and the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Lasha Bugadze was the only Georgian playwright whose play was given a public reading as part of the project. Bugadze's The President Has Come To See You (translated by Donald Rayfield) was directed by Simon Godwin and performed on March 13th. This was the first ever public reading of a contemporary Georgian play at the Royal Court Theatre and indeed in the UK.

"Georgia is at war. Again. And the President canít cope. So he abandons his post and flees into the city to hide in the homes of his unsuspecting civilians. An absurd comedy about cowardice and power." the webpage of the Royal Court Theatre reads.

The Royal Court Theatre hosted rehearsed readings of four playwrights from Georgia and Ukraine in London as part of a two year programme for emerging playwrights in Ukraine and Georgia. The project began in 2011.

Bugadze said the whole working process was a good experience. The readings were for the playwright's benefit, so he/she could see how well their script reads out loud.

Associate directors Elyse Dodgson and Simon Godwin, international associate Caroline Steinbeis, director Ramin Gray and playwrights April De Angelis, Rory Mullarkey and Nick Payne travelled to Tbilisi, Lviv and Kyiv to work with 14 successful applicants in writing new plays about contemporary life in their countries.

Davit Gabunia and Data Tavadze were among the seven Georgian playwrights who participated in the project. Both of them said the recommendations they received during the project were important for them, especially in the process of selecting what to write about.

The Tumanishvili Theatre Foundation and the Marjanishvili State Theatre are Georgian partners in the project. Manana Antadze, founder of the Tumanishvili Theatre Foundation, said Bugadzeís plays are not new for English people but this particular event is the equivalent to an Oscar nomination.

Expressing her gratitude towards Zaza Purtseladze, Director of the British Council in Georgia and Maia Darchia, Arts Projects Manager, Antadze said they have put a lot of effort and energy into the project. "If it weren't for them, this project would not exist." she said. She added that Eka Mazmishvili, producer at the Marjanishvili Theatre, is someone who always supports interesting ideas.