What the writers said

Here’s some feedback from the two writers whose work was showcased at StageWrite on Saturday 5th March.

Thanks, Karen and Niall – we are so encouraged by this!

“Just wanted to say once again thanks so much to you and the rest of the team for Saturday night, it was such a great and useful experience for me and even though they only had 6 hours to rehearse it is my favourite iteration of anything I have written so far”.

Niall McCarthy, writer of ‘Make Love, Not Greenpeace’

“Just to say we hugely enjoyed coming along yesterday to your lovely venue and welcome. You did a cracking job with Spin City and I’m pleased we were able to stay for Niall’s brilliant piece too. I am shattered from quite a drive today, but worth it.”

Karen Bartholomew, writer of ‘Spin City’

And check out Karen’s blog post, talking about the experience of being a selected writer for StageWrite – it’s a cracker! https://www.motormouseproductions.co.uk/blog/adventure-in-bedford

‘Make Love, Not Greenpeace’ in rehearsal

Well, that was joyous.

Rehearsal shot: Michael David and Samantha Turner

What a blast we had at our first StageWrite since 2020. Being back in the rehearsal room and on stage has been a tonic. Huge thanks to our cast, directors, technician, audience, The Place Theatre and of course the writers. Both Karen and Niall were there to see their work on its feet and both said how amazed they were at how far we had got in such a short space of time – it really is extraordinary how the scripts pop into bloom as soon as they’re off the page and the immediate, visual experience of seeing something in performance suddenly makes you realise what they can become. There was lots of humour in these two pieces, and we’ve enjoyed playing with those moments and starting to draw in the detail of each of the characters.

If you came out to see what was on offer, thanks so much for supporting us. This type of event is fairly niche and doesn’t tend to draw in big crowds, but we keep doing it because it’s important for writers and for the future of theatre, and because we love making something fun and brilliant happen so quickly.

And what happens after each StageWrite? Well, we three producers (me, Cally and Phil) always debrief and have a think about how we can take take the whole venture forward. Once we have chatted we’ll update you!


Photo credit: Markus Winkler

I bet you’d like a bit of a heads up about about what you would be coming to see, if you’re thinking of buying your ticket to StageWrite on Saturday 5th March. Yeah?


Look no further…

Spin City’ by Karen Bartholomew

It’s Monday afternoon and there’s not much going on besides a robbery and chores at Spin City Laundrette. Margaret has health issues that could be better addressed. Jud hates his job and his Dad. Teddy just lost his job and maybe his wife and Lol thinks the world owes her an educational right. A comedy of morals, dilemmas and a slightly inappropriate Police Officer in waiting. 

Make Love, Not Greenpeace’ by Niall McCarthy 

Four young eco-terrorists are held and interrogated by the police after attempting to burn down a hydro-electric plant. Together they must decide between giving up their comrades or facing their fate in prison, all the while aware that any one of them could be a rat. 

Plays for 5th March 2022 announced

Photo credit: Ron Fung

YES!!! Decision made.

Phil, Cally and I – StageWrite’s producers – have had a rare old time trying to decide which two plays will feature at our next StageWrite on Saturday 5th March. Now, to put this into perspective, you need to know that we received 113 submissions this time, which is by far the most ever! At our last meeting, several cups of tea in, we finally selected and I am delighted to announce that ‘SPIN CITY’ by Karen Bartholomew and ‘MAKE LOVE NOT GREENPEACE’ by Niall McCarthy are the pair of theatrical treasures we’ll be presenting for you.

Well done to Karen and Niall, and thank you to all those who submitted. Special mention to our other shortlisted writers, who are (in no particular order): Andrew Sharpe, Callum Murray, James Rushbrooke, Henry Waddon, Drew Hewitt, Jack Gallagher, James Woolf, Jonathon Stearn, Jeff Gallagher, Richard Woulfe, Sam Potter & William Patterson.

StageWrite happens at The Place Bedford and a quick visit to the website will mean you can have a look at the What’s On page and get tickets for this ruddy lovely event https://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/shows/stagewrite/

It’s so good to be back! And in case you didn’t know, StageWrite doesn’t receive funding, so everyone involved – us as producers, our casts, directors and tech – are doing it for the sheer joy it affords us. It definitely wouldn’t happen without a brilliant team around us and we are really grateful for all their time and energy. A big shout out also to The Place Bedford for their continued support and for hosting StageWrite in such a brilliant theatre.

And we’re back!

We’re getting the strong sense that the last 18 months or so have afforded lots of writers the opportunity to get working on long-imagined scripts, because we’ve so far been inundated with submissions for our next StageWrite in March 2022. We’re delighted! Thanks so much to all those who have already responded to the callout.

We’ll be reading and shortlisting over the next few months, and bring you updates here as we have them.

It’s certainly good to be back.

Photo by Brooks Leibee on Unsplash

Uncertain times but hope remains!

Our March StageWrite evening was one of the last performances to happen at The Place before lockdown.  Gosh… how different things look now, and thank goodness we were able to go ahead – looking back, we realise what a close shave it was, and how easily it could have been cancelled.  But what a cracker of a night it was, featuring two contrasting scripts brought to life by our good-humoured, committed cast, tremendous directors and genius technician, Simon https://www.simon-jackson.co.uk

It’s pretty heartbreaking to see how hard hit theatres and artists have been over the past months – along with so many other industries across the nation.  In the uncertainty, we continue to hope for a time when we can come back to rehearsal rooms and busy auditoriums and once again get stuck into live performance – until then, we’re encouraged to see the ways that artists and companies are still producing fascinating work that has adapted to new circumstances.

A few days ago, I watched performances of a collection of short Zoom plays.  These are exactly what you’d imagine – new scripts written specifically to be performed on a virtual platform.  I was honestly inspired and amazed by how successful this was, and how much potential there is for work that is compelling and funny and moving, and makes the most of the technical tools available in this setting.

We don’t know what the future of StageWrite will look like, but are determined that it won’t disappear!  We still love receiving new scripts and whether you’re writing for a live or a virtual performance space, do get in touch if you have work to submit.  For developments regarding future StageWrite events once things get moving, watch this space!

Rehearsal shot: Joanne Mulley, Simão Vaz and Natalie Čàstka in Man, Rat, Mink by Peter Eyre

March StageWrite – plays announced

Now then!

We, producers of StageWrite – that’s me (Harri), Cally and Phil – are delighted to be able to announce the two selected plays for Saturday 14th March.  They are:

Man Rat Mink by Peter Eyre

“This is hopeless.  We should have had a plan.”  Ryan, Amy and Becca are on a rescue mission, trying to do the right thing.  The only thing is, they’re doing it really, really badly… This comedy focuses on what happens when three people’s best intentions go awry, and throws an annoyed security guard into the mix for good measure.

Whipped by Scott Younger

“I just mean…maybe she’ll give him some direction.  He’s always been a bit…aimless.”

Nick’s pretty smitten with new girlfriend Isy, and it looks like Isy feels the same.  Josh and Abbey, Nick’s friends since childhood, try to navigate the new dynamic in their close friendship circle.  Something tells them there’s trouble in paradise.

Thank you to everyone who submitted scripts, and congratulations to Peter and Scott.  They’ll be in attendance on the night, ready to answer your questions or take comments about their work.

Tickets available here https://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/


Revving up for March 2020 StageWrite!

The tiniest hints of spring are beginning to show at last – I even saw daffodils in the park yesterday!  A bit more light and warmth is a joyous prospect, and we are hard at work reading the scripts that have been submitted for our March StageWrite evening.  By the time it’s here (Saturday 14th March), the days will be longer and you’ll be able to make your way to The Place in daylight for some more smashingly brand new theatre.

Once the two plays to be performed have been chosen, we will make sure you know what to expect by publishing the synopses on here.  In the meantime, here’s the link to book tickets:


If you or someone you know would like to submit work, do read the brief and get in touch.  We still need scripts for our summer and autumn 2020 StageWrite dates.

Just as an aside…please make sure your script fits the brief that’s on the Submissions page (all the info you need is on there)… we still get quite a few submissions that don’t fit the brief and unfortunately that means we can’t consider them!!  If you have any questions, drop us a line 🙂

SW September and looking ahead

What a brilliant evening we had for StageWrite this month.  Two plays we loved, that worked really well even in the small window of time we had to rehearse.  Two engaging writers who clearly enjoyed seeing their work on its feet, and told us about their creative process in the Q & A after the shows.



With only two shows and a total of six roles, our September StageWrite family was small but perfectly formed – Phil, Cally and I (Harri) worked with actors Carl and John – who’ve both been part of previous SW ensembles – and our wonderful technician for the weekend, Simon.  Stephanie Connell’s The Curious Case of Lady Fowler was a murder mystery spoof that was so much fun to rehearse, and full of great opportunities for visual humour.  Step To The Left by L.A. Green followed, and provided an excellent contrast – an intriguing, intense piece charting an unlikely friendship between a soldier and a protester…with a clever twist.

Thank you to our fantastic actors, technician, writers and audience.  Join us for the next StageWrite evening back at The Place on Saturday 14th March 2020, to be the first to sample two more box-fresh pieces of theatre.


Shows for 28th September 2019

We had such a high number of submissions for our next evening of StageWrite – 28th September – that we were both delighted and slightly daunted at the task of whittling them down to just two!  However, whittle we must, so here’s a bit about what you can expect:

The Curious Case of Lady Fowler by Stephanie Connell

A fabulous murder mystery that unravels a little like a game of Cleudo might, if it were on stage… DI Curious visits Bodley Hall to investigate the death of Lady Fowler.  Did she die of natural causes or is something more sinister afoot?  And will Ruby Rouge, Mrs Cream and Dr Damson assist or thwart him in his attempts to close the case?

Step To The Left by LA Green

A soldier protecting an army base strikes up a friendship with a protester.  But who is innocent, and who is vulnerable, and is the friendship all it appears to be?

Both shows at The Place, Bradgate Road, Bedford on Saturday 28th September at 7.30pm.

Book here: https://theplacebedford.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173595905