In 2013, Trinity’s Howard Coases’ plays broke out like a rash all over Oxford, with four of his complex, compelling new pieces being performed everywhere from the Burton-Taylor to an Ashmolean LiveFridays bash. After a rocky acting stint in Caucasian Chalk Circle, panned with two stars by the OxStu, Coase’s return to form came with a return to his writing roots. His “excellent” play for the New Writing Festival, Polly, was one of the four that came out on top. No surprises, then, that he was on the OUDS Standing Committee for Trinity, alongside fellow Chalk-Circler Claire Bowman. Having clocked up three stage appearances this year already, she was one of the select few who managed to escape the critical bloodbath of Chalk Circle, with a “brilliant performance…in a play that was otherwise struggling to keep up with itself”. Coase never did get to see Polly in performance, though, telling me that he would be “rehearsing for Caucasian Chalk Circle” instead. Now though, he’s happy coming offstage and sticking to what he does best – producing exciting new writing. In his own words, he’d rather let the cast and creatives “get on with bringing the thing to life”. A lesson learned, perhaps?