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Letter: Paying the piper

Sir: I think it's a bit late in the day for David Benedict and the Royal Court playwrights to get their knickers in a twist over sponsorship ("Shopping and Funding", 19 May) .

The Jerwood offer of pounds 80,000 per year for new plays differs only in scale from previous sponsorships also accompanied by stipulations that the Royal Court has accepted.

The Goethe Institute has given money for German plays, Marks and Spencer for plays by young writers and memorably the GLC once gave money for an Irish play they imagined had republican sympathies. (It didn't.)

As long as core funding remains, inadequate artistic directors will shop where they can for the funds to complete their programmes. In the end it is the artistic director's job to select those plays he's passionate about rather than simply those that funding makes feasible. It's time the writers gave Ian Rickson a vote of confidence and let him get on with the job.


Artistic Director

Out of Joint

London N7