One of the Rep's best projects of recent years has been its Transmissions programme, in which young writers aged between 12 and 26 are given professional coaching leading to an annual festival of rehearsed readings.
This year Transmissions celebrates ten years and can claim to have produced at least one fully-fledged professional playwright in David Watson, whose Flight Path was toured to the Rep by Out of Joint last year.
It wasn't difficult to spot Watson's talent as ateenager, but his 35-minute The Right Mistake, the main item in the first of this year's four Transmission programmes, must be easily the most accomplished piece of writing staged under the festival's banner.
Actually it's one of the best-written things I've seen anywhere for a long time.
Two former lovers meet over a take-away and their laid-back conversation gradually lays bare their mutual dissatisfaction with the course their lives have taken.
It's hard to say exactly why this apparently low-key piece had me on the edge of my seat, but it clearly has to do with Watson's exceptional ear for the way people actually converse, for the silences and disconnections between words where meaning so often lies. It seems to me that he now achieves this in a more naturalistic, less stylised, manner than in his early pieces.
This was terrific stuff which demanded proper performances and got them from Donnaleigh Bailey and Ross Armstrong, even though they still had the scripts in their hands.
Another Transmissions regular apparently bound for the theatre profession is Kimberley Andrews, now a student at RADA whose four-part The Angel links this year's programmes. Andrews is the voice of young Black Country women, whether out on the razz or at home moaning about men. Her work has a Beryl Cook-like enthusiasm for the rude vigour of life in Britain's neglected working-class corners.
The evening also included excerpts from pieces staged at Transmissions over the years. Ellen Cummins was just 12 when she wrote her anarchic comedy Round Up the Usual Suspects and Phillip Cobbold only a year older when he wrote Other Animals.
Priscilla McClay, now working for the Press Association, was 18 when she wrote her acute study of frozen family relationships, Talking To Brick Walls.
For the first time, Transmissions has added acompere in the ebullient former Transmissions actress Lorna Laidlaw, who even cajoled the audience to collaborate in writing three tiny plays which were performed at the end of the evening. There are further Transmissions programmes tomorrow night, next Wednesday and the following Saturday.