By guest writer @polyg
It's being known for a while, but it was officially announced today that Mark Ravenhill will join the Royal Shakespeare Company as writer in resident from January 2012.
Without a doubt, this is exciting news. Years ago, when I was in Greece and started going to the theatre, I "discovered" a theatre space, something like the Royal Court Upstairs, that I thought it magical. (It was called Amore, it closed in 2008. Familiar story). It was small, it was the first theatre I knew where you could sit at the front row and your knees would almost touch the actors. Shopping and Fucking was playing there for a while, and the title alone was promising something truly explosive. But, for reasons I can't remember, I didn't see it. (I think it was sold out. I didn't know how to get tickets for sold out plays back then). In fact, I never saw it since. For me, It has become this mythical play, whose title impressed me such a long time ago and for which I know nothing else.
I have seen several Mark Ravenhill plays since, and I have a great affection for his Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat project. (I vividly remember a rehearsed reading at the Hampstead theatre and Joseph Millson in a performance at the Royal Court bar).
So I am expecting big things and several trips to Stratford. Now, when are they going to reopen The Other Place?
P.S. Mark Ravenhill tweeted a few days ago that his mother has been telling the neighbours he is going to be writer in residence at the RSPCA. Call me crazy, but I think there is a lot of potential in that.