It's a truism that the internet has changed everything: how we work, how we communicate, how we consume, and even -- it has been argued -- how we think. In a decade, our average weekly internet usage has leapt from 90 minutes to 15 hours; the web has sparked revolutions, pooled knowledge, and afforded cats and tubby South Koreans alike worldwide fame.
So why has theatre rarely grappled with the subject? It's a question being examined at London's Royal Court, where the internet is the theme of this winter's Rough Cuts season of short plays, featuring new work from young British writers. Nick Payne has come up with a piece riffing on the web's apparently endless capacity to distract, Alia Bano has written about BlackBerry Messenger, and Penelope Skinner tackles anonymity and trolling. Meanwhile another writer, EV Crowe, whose Hero won plaudits at the Court last year, is bravely exploring search-engine technology.