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Mike Bartlett (playwright)

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Mike Bartlett (playwright)

BornMichael Bartlett ( 1980-10-07 ) 7 October 1980 (age 40) Oxford , England
OccupationPlaywright, theatre director
NationalityBritish
Period2002 - present
Notable awards2010 Laurence Olivier Award - Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards - Best New Play and Outstanding Achievement In Affiliate Theatre 2006 Tinniswood Award 2006 Richard Imison Award 2013 BAFTA award nomination - Breakthrough Talent (Television Craft category)
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W e've get to get away from the idea that it's good to go to the theatre, says young playwright Mike Bartlett over lunch at London's Royal Court Theatre, where his new play is about to open. It isn't church. There's nothing innately good about it. Most theatres are still really bad. Ignoring his plate of pasta, 29-year-old is on a roll. It has to appeal to people who do jobs and have lives. Theatre about Theatre is most awful, terminal nonsense. In 2007, Royal Court reconfigured Theatre to resemble a tube carriage to stage his acclaimed My Child, about a divorced father fighting for access to his son. His new play, Cock, also features a man in crisis: Ben Whishaw plays John, happily partnered gay man who falls in love with a woman. In Bartlett's writing, speech tumbles from characters struggling to make themselves understood. It's good to know what your audience have been watching other four nights of week, Bartlett say, explaining his rapid style: if you're still going at Theatre-in-1970s speed and your audience has been watching Wire, then your play's going to seem pretty slow. Of TV, he say: it has the potential to change culture in a much bigger, quicker way than theatre can. On homosexuality: that discussion's totally moved forward and has gone from Anna Friel in Brookside to Dr Who in prime time. On subject of his own sexuality, though, he's evasive. The play is all about those categorisations. So watch play and then make conclusion. But by the end, you'll hopefully go 'that's not the point'. Bartlett grew up in Abingdon, outside Oxford. His mother was headmistress and his father was a psychologist. After reading English and Theatre studies at Leeds University, where he act, directed and wrote plays, he moved to London and formed a group with five other friends called Apathists, meeting monthly to write and put on short plays at Battersea's Theatre503. It had a slightly anarchic feel, he say. There was one night when we found a full pint glass of vomit after the show, which we found amusing because it meant somebody had been sick really discreetly, perfectly and then just left it there. I suppose that was the worst review one of us would ever have. Since then, reviews have been nicer. It was reported this week that Cock is second play this year at Royal Court to sell out before it open. We've got four of the best actors in the country and they're all in the same room, doing my play. It feels pretty good, he say. If people are going to spend night out at the theatre, they don't just want good-we can watch box sets for that-they want it to be totally remarkable.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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