Happy New Year!

2016 starts for Southwest Scriptwriters with a quartet of meetings in Waterside 1 at Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX, beginning on Tuesday, 26 January.

Before that, there’s a chance for you to enjoy group members Bruce Fellows and Adrian Harris’ stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s first-published short story The Canterville Ghost, which is Brass Works Theatre’s New Year production — see below for further details.

Ask at Watershed’s box office on the ground floor if you need directions to one of the following meetings in Waterside 1. Everyone attending meetings pays £1.

Tuesday, 26 January at 7.30pm: Southwest Scriptwriters meeting
Tuesday, 2 February at 7.30pm: Southwest Scriptwriters meeting

Tonight’s meeting features work by Aaron Hancock.

Tuesday, 9 February at 7.30pm: Southwest Scriptwriters meeting
Tuesday, 16 February at 7.30pm: Southwest Scriptwriters meeting


The Canterville Ghost at Brass Works Theatre

Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost

Brass Works Theatre’s popular annual New Year production takes the stage in Warmley this Monday, 11 January.

Southwest Scriptwriter Bruce Fellows has, for a fourth year, taken on the dramatisation of a literary classic, co-writing this time with group committee member and BWT’s Artistic Director Adrian Harris.

2016’s vintage pick is Oscar Wilde’s creepy comedy The Canterville Ghost, a short story with which he made his publishing debut in 1887:

When the Otis family moves into Canterville Chase, its resident spirit, Sir Simon de Canterville, gets set to scare the living daylights out of the newcomers. He soon finds, though, that his American guests are unusually unmoved by his spooky box of tricks, and have just the thing for nocturnal noises and stubborn spectral bloodstains. Failing to put the frighteners on the Otises proves very trying for the poor soul — especially as he hasn’t had a wink of sleep in 300 years…

Catch the family-friendly phantasmagorical fun at Brass Works Theatre, Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT, from Monday, 11 until Saturday, 23 January.


Theatre503 Playwriting Award opens in February

Theatre503 Playwriting Award

London’s innovstive Theatre503 will accept submissions for its biennial Playwriting Award via its website from next month.

The Award is open to new and experienced playwrights alike, and aims to discover outstanding, original scripts for the stage. It offers a prize of £6000 with a guaranteed production at Theatre503 in Battersea, and publication of the winning script by Nick Hern Books.

New playwrights also have the chance of being picked as one of the 503Five, a quintet of developing writers identified from their submissions for the Award. The theatre will commission full-length plays from the 503Five, and support them with an 18-month training programme including workshops, masterclasses and mentoring.


Cold Feet to return to ITV after 13-year break

ITV confirmed recently that its hugely popular comedy-drama Cold Feet — created and written by former Southwest Scriptwriters Honorary President (April 2001 to September 2003) Mike Bullen — is to return for a sixth eight-part series.

The new series will feature the original cast — James Nesbit, John Thomson, Fay Ripley, Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris with the logical exception of Helen Baxendale whose character, Rachel Bradley, died in a car accudent towards the end of the fifth series broadcast in 2003 — and rejoins the five friends as they turn 50.

‘This feels like the right time to revisit these characters, as they tiptoe through the minefield of middle-age,’ Mike told ITV News. ‘They’re 50, but still feel 30, apart from the morning after the night before, when they really feel their age. They’ve still got lots of life to kook forward to, though they’re not necessarily the years one looks forward to.’

Series six is set to start filming in Manchester next month with ITV yet to confirm transmission dates.