Playwriting Salisbury Writers have had some amazing and well deserved successes this year and it’s only August. It’s always rewarding for me to see writers having their work accepted and performed both locally and nationally. Here are some of the highlights, but do let me know if I’ve missed anyone out!
Of the writers I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring over the last year, Veronica Dewan, also a member of SHE WRITES and the Emerging Group, has been commissioned by Kali Theatre in London: watch out for her play due to be produced at the Tristan Bates Theatre in January 2016; James Hayward is in talks with Paines Plough, and, thanks to Arts Council Funding, John Yates staged a rehearsed reading of his play, Islam, in The Salberg Studio, as part of Theatre WestFest organised by Salisbury Playhouse. Now a member of the Emerging Writers’s Group, John started writing with the Scriptwriters’ Doo Dahs @ Salisbury Arts Centre on Wednesday evenings. Linda Morse also benefited from ACE funded mentoring and her full length play, Empty Mirrors, reached the top twenty in Bristol Old Vic’s 2014 Open Session. Pete Talman and Dan Page have had sketches performed on Radio 4’s Newsjack, and Brian Macreamoinn had a piece performed by Whoop & Wail in the Vaults at Waterloo. Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah members successes include: Frances Stimpson’s short play, Pass Your Message was shortlisted for Whoop & Wail callout on the theme of Mayday; Dan Page’s Full Frontal Nudity had a script in hand reading at the Ophelia, Dalston; David Marrs has had two pieces performed, the latest, The Gift, at Burdall‘s Yard, Bath.
Linda Morse, a member of Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah at Salisbury Arts Centre for the last three years, has been deservedly achieving great things with her writing: in May, her play Privet Flowers was performed at The Bierkeller in Bristol, and has now been selected for Little Pieces of Gold at The Cockpit Theatre. In April this year A Shared Breath, a piece exploring the effects of adoption, was performed as a staged reading at Salisbury Playhouse in The Salberg, as part of Theatre Fest West. She has had short pieces performed in Salisbury, Exeter Ignite Festival, London and Dorset, with a recent piece, The Slipper Salesman, performed as part of the Salisbury Fringe Festival Preview in May along with Lesley Bates (She Writes) Killjoy and Pete Talman’s This Mortal Coil.
A prolific writer from the Emerging Group, Roy Chatfield, is regularly commissioned by Hampshire Theatre in Education. Earlier this year And Now We Tell Our Tale a youth theatre project that uses the stories and memories of Andover people, written by Roy Chatfield, directed by John Baxter and filmed by Mark McGann, was performed at the Lights Theatre, Andover.
At Salisbury Arts Centre three writers had their work selected for the latest collaborative performances and exhibition, ‘Worth Fighting For’, organised by Fiona Cassidy: Pete Talman’s The Thick End of the Wedge was recorded by Mark Bishop of Big State Theatre; Tom Robert’s Angry was voiced by Mark live in collaboration with the adult contemporary dancers’ performance; The King’s Champion and The Happy Protest Song by Brian Evans were both on display in the exhibition space throughout July.
With massive thanks to generous funders, Arts Council England, and support in kind from Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury Playhouse and Five Rivers Child Care, Salisbury, and photography by Tim Kidner.