I’ve been quietly collecting and collating all the successes, big and small, of the writers who have attended my courses and workshops. Here are the first few who have taken up the challenge of developing their work to a professional level and have kept writing through the blood, sweat and tears, remembering to subvert all the cliches. Today, because they have work currently showing, I give you Jeff Page, Linda Morse, Roy Chatfield, and John Yates.
Jeff Page – Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah
Exciting news about Jeff’s play Checkpoint Chana which is in rehearsals at The Finborough, London and opens on 4 March. At the time of writing, tickets are still available for the two week run.
Jeff attended Scriptwriters Doo Dah at Salisbury Arts Centre and went on to take John Burgess’s course at the Nuffield in Southampton.
Linda Morse – Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah
A prolific writer who has been coming to the Wednesday night workshops for five years, Linda has a play, Scattered, accepted for Bread and Roses Theatre’s new writing night, Y-Robot, in March.
She has had four submissions successes since October this year: The Box a monologue for Director’s Cut, Southwark Playhouse. Connie, an audio monologue, was selected out of over 300 for performance on Soundworks-uk online from November 1st. Scattered was selected by Tea-Powered Theatre Bristol on 18 November. All Four of Them for Bunker Bites at Bunker Theatre, London on Dec 7th.
Linda has written several full length plays which she developed during the Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah course, and revised for rehearsed readings: Empty Mirrors reached the top twenty in Bristol Old Vic’s 2014 Open Session, and was on the shortlist for Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell, Playwriting Competition.
Privet Flowers, a monologue, was performed by Ripped Script theatre company at Plymouth Fringe Festival. Privet Flowers was Linda’s response to a night walk across Dorset fields. Three a.m. is a time of disquiet … of madness.
In April 2017 ‘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, London and Dorset, with a recent piece, The Slipper Salesman, performed as part of the Salisbury Fringe Festival Preview. The Slipper Salesman was inspired by Italo Calvino’s Mr Palomar which we explored at the Wednesday night writing session.
Roy Chatfield – Red Hot Writers’ Group
Julian Fellowes announced the Terrence Rattigan Society award winners at Harrow School in October. Roy Chatfield was the runner up with his play Going Back which received a rehearsed reading directed by Adrian Brown in January 2018.
Roy writes: ‘Michael Darlow gave a speech beforehand on Rattigan’s relevance today. One of the points he made was that nowadays there are more good plays being written than opportunities to perform them. To be successful a play has to have that extra edge. It was the work with you in Red Hot Writers that gave that to Going Back, so thank you, Angie.’
Roy’s second success was And Now We Tell Our Tale directed by John Baxter and filmed by Mark McGann. Five professional actors brought alive memories of Andover in the 1960’s – the decade that changed the town for ever. The piece combines a range of live theatre performance styles and filmed episodes. Performers are young people drawn from Andover primary and secondary schools. Based on interviews with people who witnessed the London overspill scheme that transform Andover from a small market town, And Now We Tell Our Tale will be touring local schools.
John Yates – Red Hot Writers’ Group
John started his writing career at Scriptwriters’ Doo Dah at Salisbury Arts Centre on Wednesday nights five years ago and has since built an impressive writing CV, having his first play performed at Theatre 503, the new writing theatre, in London. He graduated to the Emerging and Red Hot Writers group and gained ACE funding to develop his play Islam, which had a rehearsed reading at Salisbury Playhouse.
His latest play, Axe, which he’s been developing at Red Hot Writers over the past year, caught the eye of Sharon Lawless at Forest Forge Theatre based in Ringwood. An ambitious play, carefully researched, it features dancers, musicians, and proto-indo-european speech. John was successful if receiving an ACE grant for one week’s rehearsals, dramaturgy, and a rehearsed reading at Forest Forge Theatre in March 2018. I’ll be working with John on his script and reporting after the show.
Director, Sean Aita, writes: ‘I think it is the best piece of new writing I have read in a long time…It is incredibly powerful, moving, intelligent, innovative and linguistically rich.’
John was writer-in-residence for Bristol’s “Doors Open Day – Hidden City” via Part Exchange. Salisbury Fringe produced “Images” (from the last Emerging Writers meeting) at The Cloisters.
That’s all for tonight, more bloggery coming soon…