by Jez Bond

Our trip to the USA involves two days in New York – specifically to meet theatre companies, writers, literary managers, agents and, of course, see some shows.

It was a hot day today – though a little cooler than the 94 degrees it had been yesterday and we drove into the city, parked the car and checked into our hotel on the next block. We had a meeting with Rafael, the literary manager of The Soho Rep – one of NY’s only dedicated new writing theatres. Rafael is a very interesting and knowledgeable guy who has lived and worked in London for seven years – at theatres ranging from the Bush to the RSC. After chatting at a coffee shop local to their offices, we proceeded to their 74 seat theatre for a quick tour. I must say that it was a good example to a fair few London theatres that a lack of money for the maintenance and a dark basement location needn’t mean dank and dirty working conditions. It was clean and tidy and had a sort of understated charm to it. I only wish they currently had a show playing so we could have seen it in action.

But all was well because – after meeting with an NY actor friend of ours - we proceeded to the Public Theater to see Tony Kushner’s new play ‘The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures.’ I had been warned that, enjoying stories that engage emotionally, I might find it too intellectual and academic. But it was certainly not without heart. In fact, I found it to be an extremely powerful family drama. Painful at times, hilarious at others – and deeply provocative. A fantastic night out at the theatre!

Lots more meetings tomorrow… watch this space…

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