Posts Tagged ‘theatre writing’


Theatre Writers – Arundel Award

Tuesday, 7 December, 2010

Free to enter – deadline 31 December 2010

Got a great idea for a play? Get it performed at Arundel

The Arundel Festival Theatre Trail, conceived and presented by Drip Action Theatre Company, is now in its eleventh year. It performs at the end of August, on each of the Festival’s eight days, eight short plays at eight different venues all over Arundel – last year, for example, in a living room, a kitchen, an art gallery and a pub.

Writers are invited to submit plays for next year’s Trail.

Plays should be about 30 minutes long, suitable for day-time performance, with practicable casting and props. All entries should be submitted to:

Drip Action Theatre Trail
1 Norfolk House
28 High Street
West Sussex
BN18 9AB

Deadline: 31st December 2010.

One play only per entrant, in hard copy (not e-mail). Please enclose SAE if you’d like your play returned.  There is no reading fee.

A reading committee will select the plays that will be performed, with the best submitted script receiving the Joy Goun award of £200 at the Theatre Trail launch in May 2011.

Each successful playwright will receive a £150 writer’s fee.


Graft launches at the Pleasance

Tuesday, 23 November, 2010

New Initiative for Theatre Writing

The Graft launch event was an enthusiastic, varied and well presented evening, successfully celebrating the importance of new writing in the fringe arena. As a new writing collective seeking to construct a community of artists and audience, their inaugural affair certainly proved they have the determination and support needed to get words off the page and onto the stage.

The Pleasance Theatre provided an apt venue for this new fringe outfit, and could barely contain the masses that turned out to root for these artists’ latest enterprise. It was obvious that the majority of attendees were connected in some way to the various writers, directors or performers involved and, in a world where new writing is often poorly graced with much attention, demonstrated that an creating a large network from the inside out works. I sincerely hope this continues to be the case for the Graft collective, and that their outfit grows and matures as they endeavour to continue to create a forum for new writing.

The night was constructed as a showcase of the many writers they already have on board, and therefore the performances were concise and diverse, including theatre, performance poetry, music, and opera. The encapsulated moments taken from full length plays were well chosen to give an accurate idea of the overall essence of each complete work. The issues addressed in each piece were as assorted as the style, and touched upon parental love (or lack of it), dynamics in the workplace, faith and sexuality, to name but a few.

All the pieces were written by women, which gave the evening a feminist edge. This may seem a little one-sided as a collective but, in an area that is still partially dominated by the male mind, sought to readdress the balance somewhat. Unfortunately, the scripts themselves fell slightly short of the mark, and although showed obvious promise through structure, comedic and musical ability, were rooted in clichés that failed to raise any new innovative angles on the female or human condition.

Nonetheless, the Graft launch was a thoroughly enjoyable evening that was well organised, directed and performed. Their ensemble is strong in number and support, and I am confident that, with time, occurrence and the shelter of this proactive troupe, the writers will flourish.


Amy Draper; Jackie Kane; Carolina; Anna Portch; Jasmin Howard; Debbie Kent; Beatriz Echeverri; Lauren Monaghan-Pisano; Natalie Wilcox; Columbus Giant; Reen Polonsky; Vivienne Rowdon; Laura Hocking; Susan Crothers.


Clare McKenna; Jackie Kane; Simon de Deney; Amy Draper; Tarek Iskander; Bobby Brook; Scott Le Crass; Robert Wolstenholme; Clare Betney.


Felicity Davidson; Emma Brown; Richard Woolnough; Martin Aukland; Ann Gillespie; Karlyn Stephen; Rebecca Hewett; Rosalie Jorda; Anna Brook; Chandrika Chevli; Sam Mannox; Charlotte Whitaker; Denise Mack; Stephanie Farrell; Angie Fullman; Matthew Barker; Katie Lightfoot; Laura Jackson; Andrea Miller; Damian Quinn; Law Ballard; Vivienne Rowdon; India Fisher; Helen Matthews; Emily Randall; Dionysios Kyropoulos; Eleanor Briggs; Susan Crothers.

Costume and Set Design – David Woodhead

Set Design – Anna von Eicken

Photography – Cat Garcia

Lighting and Stage Management – Adam Burns
Design Assistant – Leigh-Anne Gilbert

Venue – Pleasance Theatre
Date – Monday 8th November 2010

(c) Tracy Keeling 2010


London Theatre Writing Award Showcase

Thursday, 26 August, 2010

Finalists’ Showcase

London Festival Fringe – New Diorama Theatre – 23 August – 19:30 (2:30)

The London Playwrights’ Collective, in association with Scene Pool, offered a truly spectacular evening at the showcase for the finalists in the London Theatre Writing Award.  Rather than productions, the evening featured directed readings of the top three finalists, which was delightfully minimalist, focusing all attention on the text as read.  Unfortunately, the Fringe Report was unable to make the first reading of the evening, Aurora by Louise Monaghan, but did attend the final two, Drawing the Curtains by Benedict Fogarty and Snap.Catch.Slam by Emma Jowett.

In Drawing the Curtains, Benedict Fogarty investigated the impact of the events leading to Fiona Pilkington’s murder of her disabled daughter and subsequent suicide, on the son she left behind.  Told through the eyes of Tony (Paul Thomas), the story unfolded in a stream of conscious manner, jumping between memories.  Tony oscillated between tortured saint and petulant teen in his reactions and care for his disabled sister, Vickie (read with superb warmth and intelligence by Poppy Meadows), resenting the disability’s complete control over their lives.  Paul Thomas’ reading incorporated these warring emotions admirably well, and the eternal frustration and regret at the end of the play was palpable.  Unfortunately, the play faltered in its portrayal of the mother, who’s lines were almost entirely expository and read in monotone by Hazel Bawden.  The mother became a one-dimensional plot device for Tony’s development, rather than a victim and the perpetrator of the horrendous act.  On the whole, the script presented a decently crafted melodrama but took little risk with language or format and it was difficult to see how this play would benefit from staging, possibly better suited for radio.

Emma Jowett’s Snap.Catch.Slam, a series of three short plays, also based its subjects in true events, but to a much more innovative end.  Snap delved into the moment a teacher snaps into violence, when faced with an uncontrollable student.  Catch, on the other hand, examined the disruption caused by the decision to save a life, catching a baby from a burning window.  Finally, Slam revolved around the impact on a woman’s life from a moment of domestic violence.  The readers in each play were outstanding, and deserve to be lauded in much more detail than possible here, as does Antonio Ferraro’s direction.  Emma Jowett’s command of language, however, was the true star of the evening.  The plays commenced with a short and staccato dictionary definition of the title, neatly encapsulating the theme and subject in a moment.  Each play also sprang to life through clever employment of all five senses; Miss Taylor’s high heels clicking against the classroom floor and the slow spread of red blood in Snap, the scorching mug of coffee and acrid smell of the fire in Catch, and the familiar sounds of a child countered with the appearance of an abusive ex-husband in Slam.  Each play felt complete, and each character displayed a distinct personality and rhythm of speech, yet similar language and imagery coursed through all.

Cast Credits: (Drawing the Curtains) Jean Apps – The Grandmother/Dot Cosgrove/Mrs Gaygan, Hazel Bawden – The Mother/Patricia Terry, Poppy Meadows – Vickie Simpson, Paul Thomas – Tony Simpson, Peter Wilkinson – Tony’s Friend/Stevie Gaygan/A Police Officer, Clive Woodward – Mr. Gaygan/SEN Teacher/Mr Guest/The Father/Mr. Simpson.   (Snap) Olivia Chappell – Miss Taylor.   (Catch) Rob Carter – Stu, Verity Hewlett – Mother, Paul Thomas – Aron.  (Slam) Carol Been – Karen, Verity Hewlett – Natalie & Lucy.

Company Credits: (Drawing the Curtains) Writer – Benedict Fogarty, Director – Lavinia Hollands, (Snap. Catch. Slam) Writer – Emma Jowett, Director – Antonio Ferrara.  For the Theatre Writing Showcase:  Compère – Ola Animashawun, Judges –  Ola Animashawun, Skye Crawford, Ria Perry. For the London Playwrights’ Collective:  Managing Director – Maude Laflamme, Readers – Brian Astbury, Darren Batten, Henry Bell, Trudi Boatwright, David Bottomley, Daniel Brennan, Ben Ellis, Steve Harper, Kerry Irvine, Sharon Kanolik, Tanith Lindon, Jennifer Lunn, Alix Thorpe, Jeremy Woodhouse.

(c) Molly Doyle 2010

Reviewed Monday, 23 August 2010