Exposure of young writers: Moses Raine
I saw Shrieks of Laughter by 21 year old Moses Raine at the Soho Theatre on Saturday.
I thought Maria Aberg did very well directing a difficult play. Difficult because there were many gaps which the actors and directors had to fill and which the playwright did not fill. Moses Raine’s voice, language and ideas certainly merit performance in my mind.
However, there was some criticism that Raine had been exposed too early. In fact, Mark Godfrey from the Soho had to write to the Guardian to defend the Soho’s choice.
Even given the mitigating circumstances of Raine growing up with a poet father (Craig Raine) and director/writer older sister (Nina Raine) and presumably a heightened awareness of artistic exposure, how on earth is a young playwright expected to learn if he or she does not go down the process of putting on a play?
Theatre unlike many other arts is only “finished” as a performance. You can’t properly read it or go to it in a museum.
I posit what Raine would have learnt from the whole process would more than outweigh any negatives from exposure. And besides as long as people are broadly constructive when engaging with Raine’s work, then I see no downside.
We must continue to bring new writers and directors and give them work and places to perform or how else can we learn?