'An excellent idea' says Oscar winning actor, playwright and director Mark Rylance of ITCH, the Virtual Writing Workshop, gifting the project with his patronage. In support of ITCH's mission - to create pathways of accessibility towards scriptwriting and to demystify the writing process - Rylance joins writer Charlie Covell, writer of BAFTA winning Ch4/Netflix hit The End of the F*cking World.
It's hugely encouraging to have the support of a person like Mark, one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, who we admire not only for his artistry but his commitment to activism (particularly the Stop the War coalition and Peace Direct). Lending his name to our cause will be of significant benefit at a time when the arts definitely needs a boost of optimism and solidarity.
The facilitation of experimentation and freedom for our theatre scene will be the key to its re-emergence. The grassroots of playwriting are where this begins, and with this comes a need for the craft of storytelling to be available to everyone regardless of educational or socio-economic background. We are proud of London not for its high rises and chain restaurants but its historical importance as a focal point of culture, particularly Southwark (ITCH's IRL home), where Shakespeare's Globe, a true national treasure Mark revived, thrived four hundred years ago not as an elitist citadel but as a living, breathing, theatrical experience for a cross-section of humanity.
ITCH exists as an online script writing hub, with courses and a club which provide pathways into the process, as well as an outreach program, offering these resources and experiences to institutions which lack them due to neglect of the arts within our society.
If you represent a place that might benefit from ITCH, do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you - firstname.lastname@example.org
And thank you Mark and Charlie for your support, it means the world!