Meeting at Watershed

We’re ringing the changes for 2011 with an exciting new venue on Tuesday evenings. Our first five meetings of the year are happening in Waterside 1 at Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX. Waterside 1 is the first room on your right directly through the Café/Bar — ask at the box office for directions to the meeting. Since 1994, everyone attending meetings pays £1.

You can find the date, time and location of our next meeting in the panel on the right beneath the slideshow on our website’s home page. Our Diary page now features a Google Calendar feed with details of our upcoming events — you can use this to set a reminder about meetings if you subscribe to Google Calendar. We’ll be launching an all-new website later this year.

There’s plenty of workshop space available at our upcoming meetings for you to get feedback on your work in progress. As you’ll see from the news section below, the New Year brings a good crop of scriptwriting opportunities — including our Museum Pieces project in association with Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
Tonight’s meeting features a ‘lap of honour’ for the winner and two runners-up in our Write Response competition — see below for the result.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 8 February 2011: *** No meeting ***

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 7.30pm: Open Workshop


Catherine picks a winner

Catherine Johnson, a former Honorary President of the group, has chosen the winner of our Write Response competition in which we challenged you to write a ten-minute script or script extract inspired by Sue Townsend’s short play You, Me and Wii.

In a close-fought contest, the high standard of entries made for a tough choice: ‘Everyone had such an interesting and imaginative response to Sue’s play,’ Catherine writes. ‹I felt there was a lot of heart in the pieces too — which absolutely drives You, Me and Wii — and that’s something that made reading these scripts a great pleasure. You can’t fake compassion.’

Catherine settled ultimately on The Voice of John Humphrys by Gareth Manson as the winner, with ‘honourable mentions’ to Big Beast by Andy Graham and The Invisible Woman by Andrew Thackeray, which were ‘very close indeed’.

The Voice of John Humphrys wins Gareth a £50 Amazon gift certificate, and you can hear it again with Andy and Andrew’s Write Responses at our meeting this Tuesday, 11 January.

Congratulations to Gareth and many thanks to everyone who entered.


Workshop your Museum Pieces

Following Anna Farthing’s stimulating inspirational session at the City Museum and Art Gallery at the start of December, we’ve four open workshop meetings available for you to get feedback on your Museum Pieces before the project’s script submission deadline on 5 February.

For Museum Pieces we’re working with Bristol’s Museums, Galleries and Archives to present a series of rehearsed readings in the City Museum in March. To take part, you need to write a five-minute (1000-word) monologue or simple duologue inspired by any exhibit on display in the Museum, and workshop it at one of our meetings before 5 February. Anna — who’s been working as Acting Head of Education for Bristol’s museum service — will read your scripts and choose several to be read alongside the objects that inspired them at the Museum Pieces event.

You can find online resources for Creative Writing in Museums on the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website here.


Touch at the Alma

Steve Lambert is the first group member to score a full production in 2011 with Max Theatre Company’s presentation of his abduction drama, Touch, at the Alma Tavern Theatre this month.

An earlier version of Touch received a rehearsed reading as part of Theatre West’s autumn season in 2006. It centres on a philanthropist, a mugger and a sociopath who collide in ‘a conflagration of terror and violence, the three becoming enmeshed in a desperate power game. And as manipulation piles upon manipulation, the predator suddenly realises that they have chosen the wrong prey.’

With its nudity and themes of sexual violence, Steve points out that Touch isn’t suitable for all the family!


Submissions for Script Space IV

The Tobacco Factory Theatre’s Script Space team is seeking new and unperformed plays for its series of rehearsed readings this year.

Despite stiff competition (Script Space received more than 250 submissions last year), members of Southwest Scriptwriters have had work performed in the last two events — Katherine Mitchell’s short play The Most Beautiful Man in the World made it last year, with Gill Kirk’s drama Water’s Not So Thick breaking through in 2009.

Script Space


Saturday Shorts returns

Following last year’s successful event, Bristol Folk House is running its Saturday Shorts event for a second year. The initiative, run by Southwest Scriptwriter Mark Breckon, is seeking 15-minute scripts — theatre, radio or screenplays — for a script-in-hand performance event at the Folk House in June.

Saturday Shorts — open this year only to writers based in the South West — aims to present scripts that make a big impact in a short time and are suitable for performance by four actors or fewer. It offers a great opportunity to try out new work with a professional director and cast.

A heads-up here too that Stepping Out with Chrysalis Theatre are producing Mark’s play Bedlam: The Movie! at The Brewery Theatre from 19 to 30 April.


The Verity Bargate Award 2011

Soho Theatre has announced the return of the Verity Bargate Award — a national competition for the best new play by an ‘emerging’ writer: ‘It might be your first script, it might be set in a kitchen or on the moon. The only limit is your imagination. Be BRAVE, BOLD, and ENTERTAINING.’

The winner will receive £5000 and the chance to have their play produced by Soho Theatre.

In the run-up to the submission deadline on 11 March, Soho Theatre is offering a series of workshops in London and throughout the UK — the open access session at Bristol Old Vic next Saturday, 15 January, is sold out, but you might be able to catch upcoming workshops in Cardiff or Plymouth.

Verity Bargate Award


Countdown to Bruntwood

Another major award returning this year is The Bruntwood Playwriting Competition for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, which launches in just under three weeks.

You can watch the countdown to the launch, get more information and sign-up for email updates on the Bruntwood on the competition’s website.


The Union Theatre in Southwark is seeking scripts that are no longer than 30 minutes to present together in March as part of a new short drama show that will run for four weeks.

Sasha Regan, The Union Theatre’s founder, will consider scripts that have not been reviewed previously.

The Union Theatre


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