Audible and National Theatre release new podcast, New Voices, to platform plays from emerging young writers

Today, National Theatre and Audible have released a new podcast, New Voices, featuring ten plays from shortlisted and winning New Views playwrights. The New Voices series aims to celebrate and platform the next generation of writing talent from across the UK.

The plays, originally written by young people for the National Theatre’s New Views programme, have been adapted especially for audio as part of the Audible Original podcast, New Voices. Audible and the NT have worked with these new writers to support them through the adaptation process and give them first-hand experience of the commissioning, audio development and audio recording process.

Audible is the Official Audio Partner for the New Views playwriting competition, supporting the next generation of writing talent across the UK and elevating young voices.

The ten New Voices plays offer a young person’s perspective on a range of important issues, with the writers encouraged to speak to their interests, passions and experiences. Some of the topics explored in this collection of plays include alcoholism, neurodivergence, identity, immigration, and grief.

The series features six brand new plays, as well as four plays previously released as part of NT and Audible’s previous podcast collaboration.

The new plays now available on the New Voices podcast are:

  • If Not Now, When by Isabel Hague from CAPA College, Wakefield, 2019 winning play
  • Teapot Troubles by Loresa Leka from Richmond upon Thames College, Twickenham, 2022 shortlisted play
  • Perspective by Mackenzie Wellfare from HSDC Alton, Hampshire, 2021 winning play
  • £39 by Rachel Lane from The Becket School, Nottingham, 2018 shortlisted play
  • Blue by Rae Webb from Forest School, Walthamstow, 2022 shortlisted play
  • Ashes to Ashes by Sol Oberman, from Camden School for Girls, Camden, 2018 shortlisted play

The four plays previously released and incorporated in the series are:

  • If We Were Older by Alice Sparrow from CAPA College, Wakefield, 2018 winning play
  • Childhood War and Love by Ellie Jayne Sharman from Ricard’s Lodge High School, Wimbledon, 2021 shortlisted play
  • Colour Inside the Lines by Jamila Salim from The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School, Elstree, 2021 shortlisted play
  • Bus Stops by Mia Galanti from Lady Margaret School, Parsons Green, 2021 shortlisted play

Sol Aberman, 2018 New Views shortlisted playwright (age 22) said “It has been joyous and surreal to take this play from stage to audio. I was a bit overwhelmed when I showed up to the studio and was greeted with the warmth, care, and generosity everyone had brought to the play. There are so many talented people who have put it all together, all working at the highest level, who have been so supportive at every step, and who make me feel giddy to call myself a playwright.”

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning and National Partnerships at the National Theatre said, “Seeing our talented New Views writers expand their skills further by developing their plays into audio dramas is wonderful. We are delighted to collaborate with Audible to support our News Views programme and create the New Voices podcast to allow these young people to share their voices with an even wider audience and have the opportunity to explore different career pathways.”

Tracey Markham, Head of UK and Canada at Audible said, “At Audible we are proud to champion New Voices and invest in the next generation of writing talent. Each New Voices playwright has a fascinating and unique perspective, and we are honoured to work with the National Theatre to produce the these plays to celebrate the New Views programme’s 10th anniversary. The podcast provides a brilliant insight into the lives of young people today and we hope the audio series encourages more emerging playwrights to share their work and look to audio as an exciting opportunity in the dramatic arts.”

Now in its tenth year, New Views is the National Theatre’s annual nationwide playwriting programme and competition for 14–19-year-olds. Each school is paired with a professional playwright who supports students to write their own 30-minute plays and the chance for their script to be entered into the competition to be presented at the National Theatre. It gives the young writers the opportunity to understand the power of storytelling and present different perspectives to a wider audience.

Applications for schools to take part in New Views 2023-24 are open now until Thursday 21 August. To find out more and to sign up visit the NT Website.

Written by Theatrefullstop