Programming info

Here’s all the info you need to plan your StageWrite 2019 experience…

Thursday 9th May Bedford/Saturday 18thMay London

A.D.A.M. by Lewis Wood  Victor is brilliant.  He’s successfully building artificial intelligence.  But his mental health affects both his ability to cope, and his key relationships with friends Elizabeth and Henry.  A.D.A.M. is a modern adaptation of the Frankenstein story, where Victor has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

We Are Stronger Together by Matthew Fisher  The British Government has failed to keep its citizens safe. The terrorist group, Unity, has invaded the country. Letum and Sancus, formally just ‘numbers’, are now two of the group’s elite, and Letum is starting to question the morals of Unity and its Commander.  Along their way they meet Sarah, Jeff and Peter.  Do they pose a threat, or are they just trying to survive?

Friday 10thMay Bedford/Friday 17thMay London

The Murder of the Servants by Martin Keady   Lomax and Hendry serve the King.  Their job is to keep him safe and watch over his bed chamber. Lomax is committed to diligence and reputation, while Hendry is, well, a little more laid back.  But both know that all hell will break loose if either of them is caught with blood on their hands…  ‘The Murder of the Servants’ is the story of Duncan’s servants in ‘Macbeth’, framed for the murder of the King.

Play Lady K by Anne Atkins  The Withers are a clergy family living in a vicarage.  It’s the weekend of Kate’s hen party and her girlfriends will be staying overnight, as well as one close male friend from university, James, who is required to wear drag for the weekend to pass as a hen. Meanwhile, Kate’s ultra-respectable fiancé, Robert, has been set up to arrive at the vicarage as the buff butler, from an entirely spurious company called Butlers in Balaclavas – so that he won’t be recognised, of course.  What could possibly go wrong..?!

 

Ticket prices: £8 (£6 concessions). Book online:

http://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/

https://www.stanleyhalls.org.uk/

Tickets not yet on sale on Stanley Halls web site at time of posting.  Please keep checking!

Writers announced!

Congratulations to our four successful writers for StageWrite 2019!  Here they are, in alphabetical order – followed by the title of their play:

Anne Atkins (‘Play Lady K’). The Withers are a clergy family living in a Victorian working vicarage.  It’s the weekend of Kate’s hen party and her girlfriends will all be staying overnight, as well as one very close male friend from university, James, who is required to wear drag for the weekend to pass as a hen. Meanwhile, Kate’s ultra-respectable fiancé, Robert, is having his stag party elsewhere… and has been set up by both his friends and Kate’s sister to turn up at the vicarage as the buff butler, from an entirely spurious company called Butlers in Balaclavas – so that he won’t be recognised, of course.  What could possibly go wrong..?!

Matthew Fisher (‘We Are Stronger Together’). The British Government has failed to keep its citizens safe. The terrorist group, Unity, has invaded the country. Letum and Sancus used to just be numbers, but now they’re two of the group’s elite, and Letum is starting to question the morals of Unity and its Commander.  Along their way they meet Sarah, Jeff and Peter.  Do they pose a threat, or are they just trying to survive?

Martin Keady (‘The Murder of the Servants’). Lomax and Hendry serve the King.  Their job is to keep him safe and watch over his bed chamber. Lomax is committed to diligence and reputation, while Hendry is, well, a little more laid back.  But both know that all hell will break loose if the King is harmed, and if either of them is caught with blood on their hands…  ‘The Murder of the Servants’ is the story of Duncan’s servants in ‘Macbeth’, whom Macbeth and Lady Macbeth try to frame for the murder of the King.

 

Lewis Wood (‘A.D.A.M.’). A.D.A.M is a modern adaptation of the Frankenstein story, where Victor has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The story focuses around his struggle with building artificial intelligence, and is woven together with looking at the way his mental health affects both his ability to cope, and his key relationships with friends Elizabeth and Henry.

 

All four plays will be performed once at both venues, The Place Theatre in Bedford (9th and 10th May) and Stanley Halls in South London (17th and 18th May).  Programming information to follow.

 

SW 2019: dates and venues

Well, this is joyous – being able to let you know the dates and venues for SW 2019!  And, hang on…did I say venues, PLURAL??  Well yes I did, because this year, for the first time, we have the opportunity to take our selected StageWrite pieces to a venue in London.  This happy venture has come about through a collaboration between us at StageWrite and our friends at Good Wolf http://goodwolfpeople.co.uk/

You may have noticed on a previous blog post that one of Good Wolf’s founders, John, has been involved in StageWrite in the past as a performer and director.  He directed Serafina Cusack’s brilliant piece Failing At Failing for SW 2017, and Serafina is now Associate Artist at Good Wolf.  The company has a base at Stanley Halls in South London, where there is a theatre space, and this is to be our second venue!

More soon – including details of Good Wolf’s two shows for Edinburgh, which will be previewed as script in hand performances as part of SW London – but here for now are the dates:

Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May at The Place, Bedford http://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/

Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May at Stanley Halls, London https://www.stanleyhalls.org.uk/

Information about the selected plays and their writers to follow..!

Planning for growth

The approach of spring is encouraging us to be thinking about growth!  Plenty of plans and conversations are on the go for StageWrite 2019, and this year we’re hoping that, for the first time, it will take place not only in Bedford but also – in collaboration with good friends of ours – at a performance space in London.

We’d always hoped that SW would grow and flourish, and although its home is The Place in Bedford, a beautiful studio venue that has given us tremendous support over the years, we are starting to see where it may be able to go further afield.

Watch this space for news of the pieces selected for this year (the process is underway) and for dates of performances in early May.

Looking ahead

We’re pretty excited at StageWrite HQ, because we are now in a position to announce that the festival is going to continue in 2019!  We will be opening for submissions in September – which allows you plenty of time to get writing.  We are especially welcoming scripts by female writers, and casts that are female-heavy, but anyone can submit as long as their work fits the brief.

Another reason we’re feeling buoyant is that one of our 2018 pieces, Forty-Two Times Around The Sun by Chris Pike, has been selected for Dispatches at OSO Arts Centre in London.  Find out more here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/oso-arts-centre/oso-art-centre/dispatches-the-angel-rails

It’s a tremendous, intriguing, darkly funny play that was a huge hit with our SW audience, and we’re delighted that it’s gaining further profile.

 

Another year older, and we still love SW

Goodness me, it’s all over for 2018!  In a whirlwind week at The Place, with fantastic audiences on both nights and fabulous writers to work with, our four plays for this year were a definite hit and provoked some great discussion.  There are already potential developments underway with some of the work.

Huge thanks go to everyone involved – our brilliant company of actors, directors and technicians, the writers and all who came to support us.  StageWrite is an event after our own hearts, allowing new work to be seen and increasing the provision of theatre in the region.  We hope it will continue and have begun to discuss the potential of keeping it alive for next year!  We’ll bring you updates right here as things progress.

 

What’s It All About?

And that’s a fair question, when you’re thinking of seeing a play.  So here forthwith are the synopses of our four brand new plays for this year.  Congratulations to the writers on having their work selected (especially when you consider the fact that we had 63 plays submitted in all!)

Thursday 3rd May

Little Shining Eyes by Poppy Hollman: “We’re killers, Manny. And the thing I can’t get over is the arrogance. We think we can shape things as we want them. We wipe out whole families, colonies, species. The arrogance of humanity – it’s staggering.” Nathan has been a pest control officer for over 30 years. But now he’s had an epiphany, and he’s secretly harbouring a colony of rats in the loft.

Twistfinger by David Howgego: It’s psychic night at the Dog and Duck, “The Great Mary Smith”, a famous medium, is appearing. Things are not what they seem… a much darker side to these popular events is revealed as the audience is confronted by Twistfinger, an evil demon posing as her spirit guide.

 

Friday 4th May

Keeping by Simon Marshall: In sleepy Derbyshire divorced hairdresser, Suzanne, has decided to take it upon herself to cater for her ex-husband’s mum’s funeral. Her son, Jason, is back from university and isn’t sure what to make of it all…

Forty-Two Times Around the Sun by C. Pike: Samuel is in his late forties and has been imprisoned in the home of his Aunt Ena since birth. The outside world, according to Aunt Ena, is overpopulated to the point where there is no square inch of land that does not have a human standing on it.

 

 

StageWrite 2018 has landed

Oh yes indeed!!  This has to be our favourite week of the year…StageWrite week, where the theatre feels like home and we eat, sleep and breathe the new scripts that have been selected.  We have four cracking pieces that are being performed on Thursday and Friday evening, 3rd and 4th May.  Rehearsals kicked off this morning for ‘Forty Two Times Around The Sun’… I captured a few moments to give you a glimpse!

They think it’s all over…it is now!

Well…almost.

As I type, there are only 2 days in which to get StageWrite submissions to us for this year’s festival.  Just to let you in on how things are looking at StageWrite HQ – we’re very excited to have over 50 scripts at the moment, and wondering how on earth we will manage to select the four we need for the festival.

This year, we’ve taken things in a slightly different direction and are going to run two nights of double bills instead of four.  One of the pieces featured will be a fully realised production, with the other three still being script-in-hand.  Reducing the length of the festival allows us to spend a bit more time on development, looking to see how one or more of the pieces could be taken further afield for future performances.  We hope it will also give us the chance to build some ongoing relationships with writers who may be keen to work with us in the longer term.

It’s all happening at The Place Theatre on 3rd and 4th May.  We’ll keep you posted with details of the selected pieces.

Scripts, scripts, scripts

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

 

Autumn is here and that can only mean one thing…

That’s right… it’s submission time.  StageWrite is open for submissions for 2018 and they’re already well under way.  For us here at StageWrite HQ the submission of people’s work is the one thing that gets us through those long winter months and those cold dark evenings.  Well, that and gin…

After another unsuccessful bid last year for funding from the Arts Council we had the annual conversation over whether this was really something we could keep doing with no money, everyone working their butts off for free and, unsurprisingly, like every year we came to the decision that of course we would run it.  We are mixing it up a little this year though so, instead of the usual four nights we are only running for two and putting on four plays instead of eight.

Now the exciting news here is it looks like we have got a little funding from our friends at Sputnik who recently started a patronage scheme of which we will be one of the first beneficiaries.  Assuming that people sign up and donate – I’m trusting they will because we’re awesome and so are the other three projects being supported – this will allow us to realise one of the scripts more fully with a longer rehearsal period and the actors to be ‘off scripts’ for it because we’ll actually be able to pay them!!

Through StageWrite’s home, The Place Theatre, we are also looking to make links with other regional theatres to see if we can start to move work along after StageWrite.  We have become conscious over recent months that we have a great time with the plays and the writers over StageWrite week but we often don’t get to experience the life that the play has after StageWrite and how the process has helped the writers to develop their work.  By getting other venues on board we hope to be able to be an integral part of the play’s life after StageWrite.

Well that’s our news for the time being – writers, we want your scripts.  Make sure you get them to us by 31st January for consideration in 2018’s festival and give us something constructive to do over these winter months.  For the submission brief just click here.