Friday 27th May 2011
The Soho theatre has just announced the winner of this year’s Verity Bargate Award for best new play by a first-time writer: Thomas Eccleshare for Pastoral. Judging by the theatre’s description of the play (“Pastoral is set in a surreal future in which nature has gobbled up the high street and an old woman named Moll waits in her flat for the Ocado man. But when the ruthless trees and branches threaten to cut her off from the world, she is forced to leave home and make it in the wild forest that is the new England. The play is full of surprises – a story of danger and delight at the end of the world”) it seems a welcome departure from the typical “me and my mates” or bog-standard naturalism of most British new writing. Could this be a sign that things are beginning to change?