StageWrite, Bedford’s only annual new writing festival, happens in March each year. We had an absolute blast this time (9th-12th March 2016). Missed it? Don’t worry – we’re already open for submissions for 2017. Read on…
What is StageWrite?
StageWrite is Bedford’s annual New Writing Festival. Running since 2013, StageWrite brings you eight brand new plays over the course of one week. All the plays are in development, and are followed by a Q&A with the writer, director and actors.
Who is StageWrite?
StageWrite is a collaboration between two Bedford based theatre companies LifeBox Theatre Company and No Loss Productions who got together over a beer one day and decided that it would be a marvellous idea for Bedford to have a new writing festival. LifeBox Theatre Company has been in existence since 2012, making theatre and working with organisations and businesses using theatre to develop communication skills; you can find out more by clicking here. No Loss Productions has been around since 2011 and its aim is to bring high quality theatre to Bedford and the local area through collaboration with local professionals; find out more by clicking here.
Who is StageWrite for?
StageWrite is designed as a platform for emerging and published writers to see their work up on its feet, in front of an audience and performed script-in-hand by professional actors. This allows the writer to gain multiple perspectives about their work so that they can develop it further based on the feedback of the actors, director and audience members. It’s also for audiences, giving them the experience of brand new material and the chance to say what they think about it.
What have people said about StageWrite?
Off West End award nominee, Andy Maddock, has submitted work with us since the beginning of StageWrite and has recently performed his own work, The Me Plays (review here), at The Old Red Lion in London. He said, “Lifebox & No Loss got in touch with me in 2011 at a point where I was quite down on myself as a writer; the opportunities didn’t seem to be out there in a very saturated market in London and I submitted a script for StageWrite without much thought. When I discovered my play had been selected, it was a great motivator and really invigorated my passion for writing.
Even though I am from London, I felt included the entire process and was invited up to watch the play being rehearsed, which I always find an enormous learning tool. I felt the acting & directing was of a high standard and the audience that came to watch my play ‘Our Brave New Future’ was varied and totally what I wasn’t expecting. In London, especially for a scratch night or rehearsed reading, your audience are going to be young and people who are usually friends of the actors. This was an audience of local people coming out to see/hear some theatre and it was fantastic; the opportunity to Q&A afterwards was especially useful as I received honest comments and questions from my target audience: theatre goers of all ages.
Since my experience of my first StageWrite my career has gone from strength to strength. I found the courage to begin to send ‘Our Brave New Future’ to other theatres and I have been in development with it with The Old Red Lion Theatre, who have taken a liking to my work and allowed me to take my one man show ‘The Me Plays’ to the venue, where I got 2 Off West End Award nominations and a spate of 4 star reviews. One stand out moment was seeing Phil and Harri from Lifebox in the audience one night, who came all the way down to London to support my work; it made me realise how much they care about theatre and supporting new artists and writers.