David Byrne
Fresh Ink: Hull Playwriting Festival 2024

Keynote Speech: David Byrne

With the Royal Court Theatre’s artistic director, David Byrne

In the first of what we hope will become a Fresh Ink tradition, we hear from the Royal Court artistic director and University of Hull alumnus David Byrne in a keynote speech on the current state of new writing in the UK.  

David was the artistic director of New Diorama Theatre 2010 – 2023. He is currently the artistic director of the Royal Court.  

Known for his innovative and ground-breaking approach to working with artists, he has supported thousands of playwrights, theatre-makers and artists over the past decade. His work at New Diorama led the campaign for better pay and financial deals for artists working in London’s studio theatres, with David being one of the founding members of Society of Independent Theatres and winning The Stage Innovation award for their work in scrapping hire fees and replacing them with sizable commissions – paying artists for their work.

Launched in the wake of the covid pandemic, one of David’s landmark recent projects, NDT Broadgate, has provided a revolutionary free rehearsal space for over 8,800 creatives across one year – the 26-room development complex supported the creation of over 250 new shows, creating over 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs. 

David’s own plays have been performed across the UK winning multiple Off-West End awards. His recent productions include a radical adaptation of George Orwell’s Down And Out In Paris And London, The Incident Room co-written with Olivia Hirst, and Secret Life Of Humans, both played to sold out audiences at the Edinburgh Festival as well as in London, before off-Broadway and international transfers. His most recent show The Vanishing Room, also written with Hirst, premiered in Germany last summer. 

This speech is a chance for Hull writers, audiences and theatremakers to come together and consider the future of new writing in our city and beyond. 

Sat 20 July

Stage@TheDock, Hull

Free, ticketed




You will be taken to the website of Hull Truck Theatre, who are managing sales, to book your tickets.

Saturday 20 July


For help booking tickets, please contact Hull Truck Theatre box office on 01482 323638 or boxoffice@hulltruck.co.uk.

Seating and Access

Unreserved Seating

Seating in the marquee at Stage@TheDock is unreserved, arranged in rows facing a raised stage, and we kindly ask people to fill from the front upon arriving. If you need to sit in a particular place, such as near the front for lip-reading, please add a note to the access requirements box when prompted at checkout.

Access Requirements

To reserve a wheelchair space, please book a standard ticket and add a note to the access requirements box at checkout.

For any other access requirements, please add a note to the access requirements box at checkout.

Fresh Ink Co-Founder and Producer: Middle Child. Fresh Ink Co-Founder and Sponsor: Wykeland Group. Fresh Ink Supporters: J F Brignall Charitable Trust. Hull and East Riding Charitable Trust. I Am Fund. Two Ridings Community Foundation. The Warren Youth Project. Hull Truck Theatre. Garrick Charitable Trust.