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Dateline: 25th November, 2010

Old Vic New Voices logo

Ignite!

Old Vic New Voices and Time Warner launch Time Warner Ignite - a two-year programme to spark creativity among 18-25 year old emerging artists with the production of four new plays on Friday 3rd December at 3.00pm at the new Waterloo East Theatre.

The 2-year programme offers workshops, commissions and theatrical and film production opportunities to members of The Old Vic's 18-25 year old emerging artists programme - the New Voices Club.

Around each of The Old Vic's four annual main-house shows, four Club writers will be commissioned to write a short play response. These plays will be cast with Club actors, directed by Club directors and produced as one-off special industry showings by Club producers in the 160-seater partner venue for the project, Waterloo East Theatre.

At each of the eight presentations, audiences will vote for one of the four plays to be adapted into films. Club artists will work with emerging film-makers and industry mentors to create a professional short, which will be uploaded to the partner website.

For the final Hollywood twist, four of these films will be selected via an online poll on the website to win a place at a VIP industry screening at Time Warner's New York offices in 2012, hosted by The Old Vic's artistic director, Kevin Spacey.

The production on 3rd December will be of plays written in response to the Old Vic's production of Design for Living and will feature:

But Otherwise Went Well by Alison Carr: Sisters Bess and Lib are preparing for their 'coming out' at the debutante's ball. In this surprising and dark play, inspired by the theme of 'keeping up appearances', it soon becomes clear that their world is not as we see it.

Sex Toys by Gabriel Bisset Smith: Sometime in the future, but very close to home, the rules of the game of love take on many new forms: our every wish is granted. This "riotously naughty" play, on the theme of 'sexual norms' shows us anything but.

Defined by Design by Arinze Kene is a lyrical exploration of the theme of unrequited love. A play for four voices, we are taken on a journey through the eyes of the lover unloved, with the pain and pragmatic humour of a scorned heart amidst the break-up of a romance.

Custard by Ella Hickson: Christmas Day 1941. The family sit down for Christmas dinner. Baker's enjoying his bowl of custard but he doesn't know what's coming next. A blackly funny piece inspired by 'the vacuous nature of society', the play brings wartime tensions into the family home, where sex, death and longing fight on against secrets and shame.

Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, said, "Our support doesn't start and end with that one, heady night on The Old Vic stage. As part of our commitment to their professional development, we are excited to offer a totally new programme of opportunity, supported by one of the best know names in global entertainment. As an emerging artist, this programme is the sort of opportunity I would have jumped at."

Steve Winter, Head of Old Vic New Voices, added, "I am so excited to offer our Club members a regular opportunity to showcase their work and ignite their creativity. This project also offers our artists the chance to work with the medium of film which for so many of our Club members is hugely aspirational.'

Gerald Armin, Artistic Director and founder of Waterloo East Theatre, said, "I'm personally delighted that the Old Vic's Time Warner Ignite programme will be hosted in partnership with Waterloo East Theatre. As a new theatre in one of the most vibrant cultural postcodes in London, it is an honour to help support actors, writers, directors and producers who are seeking to build their professional careers, and I am excited to think that this hub of creativity will be happening under our roof."

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©Peter Lathan 2010