Happy New Year!

We’re starting 2014 with a split season of four meetings in Waterside 1 at Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX. Please note the following dates in your diary as the meetings aren’t entirely consecutive — you can also 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, and a full list of upcoming meetings on the diary page.

Ask at Watershed’s box office if you need directions to a meeting. Everyone attending pays £1.

Tuesday, 21 January at 7.30pm: Flat Packed by Adrian Harris

Tonight we’re featuring Adrian’s play set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial meltdown. As John struggles to put together a self-assembly crib for the imminent arrival of his firstborn son, his lifelong friend George tries to break some significant news. Their ‘karaoke night’ mate Paula has discovered something John was doing his best to conceal, and she plans to confront him with it. The all-round lack of candour threatens to destroy a friendship that seemed as permanent as the financial and business institutions that are collapsing all around.

Tuesday, 28 January: *** No meeting ***

Watershed is busy this week, and so we’re taking a break.

Tuesday, 4 February at *** 8.00pm ***: Open Workshop

The iFeatures Roadshow comes to Watershed from 4pm to 8pm today (see below for further details), and we’re delaying the start of our meeting to give you time to find a filmmaking project on which to collaborate beforehand.

Tuesday, 11 February at 7.30pm: Rainbow’s End by John Upward

John’s tragicomedy about love and death in the circus around 1910 tells of a woman’s ascendance over a man as they are forced to choose between excitement and contentment. The plot thickens as a whodunnit that asks, ‘Was it murder or suicide?’

Tuesday, 18 February at 7.30pm: Open Workshop


Brass Works Theatre forges ahead

Many thanks to everyone who supported Brass Works Theatre‘s production of Bruce Fellows’ adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Kidnapped over the holiday season.

The show was a success, attracting an audience of more than 400 over 14 performances.

During the run, the theatre was shortlisted for The Stage newspaper’s Fringe Theatre of the Year award alongside London’s Southwark Playhouse and New Diorama theatres. Adrian Harris, Brass Works Theatre’s founder and artistic director (and Southwest Scriptwriters committee member), is attending The Stage Awards at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 31 January to see if the eighteen-month-old venue in Warmley scoops this prestigious prize. (Find the full shortlist for The Stage Awards 2014 here.)

As well as building the theatre’s reputation, Adrian has continued to develop its infrastructure. Having won grants to install lighting and sound equipment last year, he recently secured funding to build dressing room facilities in an unused area of the theatre space.

Adrian is keen to produce work by writers willing to play a proactive part in staging their scripts, and is interested in hearing from those able to establish the beginnings of a production — by working with a director, for example. Brass Works Theatre will offer support for writer-led shows according to the nature and needs of a project — it’s impossible to say what form this support might take without sight of a script or details of what is in place. As a first step, it’s vital to find out about what might work at Brass Works Theatre by seeing it in action and thinking carefully about the kind of production that might appeal to its audience.

Your next chance to catch a show at Brass Works Theatre is on 26 April when Instant Wit (led by Southwest Scriptwriters committee member Stephanie Weston) brings its brand of improvised comedy back to Warmley following a sellout show last spring.


iFeatures Roadshow at Watershed

iFeatures is a low budget filmmaking initiative for emerging talent run by Creative England and funded by the BBC, the BFI and Creative Skillset. The 2014 project opens for applications from filmmaking teams (writers, directors and producers) next Monday, 27 January. Its launch is accompanied by a roadshow at which potential applicants have the chance to meet the Executive Producer, Christopher Granier-Deferre, and members of the Creative England Film team. The roadshows are also opportunities to find projects on which to collaborate, and the event comes to Watershed on Tuesday, 4 February.

Previously, the project has advanced as follows:

  • iFeatures selects 16 proposals for its Summer Development Programme, during which each filmmaking team receives development funding and support from iFeatures and its partners to progress their ideas or outlines to full treatments.
  • The initiative then invites eight of the initial 16 production teams to take part in a 12-week Autumn Development Programme, during which they each receive further investments to bring their projects to full scripts as well as carrying out more detailed production planning.
  • In December, iFeatures green-lights three of the eight finalists for full production.



Turning ‘ages update

In our latest writing-in-response project (following 2011’s Museum Pieces and Living Local initiatives), we’re working with Bristol artist Elaine Robinson to generate short monologues or duologues inspired by her artwork Turning ‘ages — a sculptural piece comprising books and objects and artefacts found in them.

Since our last e-bulletin, Elaine has secured an exhibition of Turning ‘ages at Bristol Central Library, where it will be on display for two weeks in March and then throughout June. The initial showing will be your chance to view the artwork to spark ideas for short scripts to be performed alongside it in the summer.

More news of this opportunity in our next e-bulletin…


Tobacco Factory Theatre has launched its seventh annual search for writing talent.

Script Space is an open competition that invites submissions of new, unperformed plays by UK-based writers for tailor-made development opportunities.

‘We’re interested in plays about anything, by anybody, for any audience. We’re looking for writers who’ve got something that speaks to us about our lives today, about the world in which we live — be it the absurdity, tragedy or the beauty of it — with clarity, invention and heart.’

As before, Script Space is not a production opportunity, but a chance to work with Tobacco Factory Theatre to develop your writing according to its current progress. The scheme will provide three writers with bespoke support — working with a dramaturge or exploring a script through a rehearsed reading for example — intended to help them build their writing skills.

Script Space has recruited a team of readers with assorted theatrical experience to assess submissions anonymously with each entry read by two team members. To enter, you need to email your script with a paragraph on the kind of development you feel it needs by 31 March 2014.


Still at Lincoln Drill Hall

Out of the Box Theatre Company is producing Steve Lambert’s dark, atmospheric love story Still at Lincoln Drill Hall on 28 and 29 March. Steve’s play premiered at Bristol’s Alma Tavern in 2007 and received a second production at the Bike Shed, Exeter, in 2010.


Life moves pretty fast…

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