We’re focussing on plays for Theatre West’s autumn season at the Alma Tavern at our upcoming meetings. If you’re planning to submit an hour-long script for the Southwest Scriptwriters Alma Tavern slot, you need to book to have it read at one of the following meetings for it to be included in the selection process.

All of the following meetings take place in the function room upstairs at the Famous Royal Naval Volunteer pub, 17-18 King Street, BS1 4EE. Ask at the bar when buying a drink if you need directions to the meeting. Everyone attending pays £1.

Please remember that you can find an up-to-date list of the dates, times and locations of our forthcoming events on the Diary page of our website.

Tuesday, 9 June at 7.30pm: Trapped by Brian Weaving
When you’re old and ill, people will say they are doing what they think is best for you. In some cases it will be true. But how do you know who to believe? Either way, you’re trapped.

Tuesday, 16 June at 7.30pm: The Bag by William House
A play about an old man, the woman who cares for him and the value of life.

Tuesday, 23 June at 7.30pm: State by Virginia Bergin
A darkly comic sci-fi eco-tragedy.

Tuesday, 30 June at 7.30pm: Showing the Monster by Steve Lambert
It’s 1968 and theatre censorship is over. So anything goes — right? It’s easy to shock but still hard to be honest — on stage and off.

Tuesday, 7 July at 7.30pm: Genesis by Heather Lister
Genesis’ son, Jermaine, is on Death Row for murder. She wants to help him, afraid she’s somehow to blame. Her husband’s long gone, her daughter Minda doesn’t want to know, and the Law wants her son dead. A sacrifice is necessary to save his life. What do you do when someone you love does something unforgivable?

Tuesday, 14 July at 7.30pm: Out Damn Spot or Vanish’d by Michelle Preston
A comedy-drama set in the 1980s. After the death of the laundrette’s owner Keith, its manager Babette struggles to get rid of stains from the past, including her ‘friend’ Lin, and Netta, Keith’s daughter and heir. When Robbie, a new customer, enters, he wonders if any of these crones is whiter than white.


Ray Collins Dies on Stage by Mark Breckon

Don’t miss Fallen Angel Theatre’s excellent production of Mark’s play, which continues its run at the Alma Tavern Theatre until next Saturday, 13 June.

The show centres on the eponymous playwright (a fictitious member of Southwest Scriptwriters) who is angry and dead. He’s been telling everyone his death was coming for years, but typically, after finally getting the doctors to take his illness seriously, he’s been finished off by a hospital superbug. Trapped in his personal purgatory — a badly-directed version of his final, autobiographical play — Ray boards a rollercoaster ride through his four decades of ill health and theatrical disappointment.


Stories from Silence at the Wellcome Library

Southwest Scriptwriters Kate Stonham and Catherine Swingler have teamed up to contribute to Stories from Silence, a storytelling event at the Wellcome Library in London’s Euston Road on Sunday, 19 July.

Stories from Silence will feature four tales inspired by items from the Wellcome Collection, and Catherine will perform Kate’s piece, The Letter in the Mud, which is woven around a letter from John Moore, a London merchant, to a relative in the countryside during the Great Plague in 1665. The Letter in the Mud is produced by Walk Tall Media.


10by3 Actors’ Scratch Night

Adrian Harris is appearing in the 10by3 Actors’ Scratch Night show in the Bristol Old Vic Studio at 7.30pm this Friday, 12 June.

10by3 features ten three-minute, character-based monologues or dialogues performed by 13 actors. The work has been chosen by the actors from their audition pieces with a few of them presenting material they have written or devised themselves. There will be a chance for the audience to offer the actors constructive feedback on their performances in the bar at the theatre after the show.

The event is a pilot project that, if it proves helpful to the actors and audience, might in future present work by writers in the region as a way of trying out work in progress.


Bacon Sandwich in Malvern

Stage 1 Productions is presenting Tim Massey’s prenuptial comedy, Bacon Sandwich, at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern, Worcestershire, from 22 to 25 July.

First produced at the Alma Tavern Theatre in May 2001, Bacon Sandwich went on to win Tim the Training And Performance Showcase (TAPS) Tenth Anniversary Drama Writer of the Year Award in 2004. The play’s last outing was with InterACT Productions at Brentwood Theatre in Essex during July 2007.

The Malvern show is being mounted by two of Bacon Sandwich‘s original cast members. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Nick Wilkes is producing the play, while Murray Andrews directs.


The BIG Read at the Exeter Northcott

The timing of this newsletter allows only extremely short notice for the two nights of rehearsed readings of extracts from scripts chosen in Exeter Northcott Theatre’s BIG Read project — reported in our last full e-bulletin in April.

The BIG Read rehearsed readings are at the Northcott this evening, Monday, 8 June, continuing tomorrow, Tuesday, 9 June, with both shows starting at 7.30pm.

The performances will feature extracts of scripts by nine writers including former Southwest Scriptwriter, Shiona Morton.


Under the Skin

David Lane is leading the above six-week workshop on character writing at Bristol Old Vic from 7pm until 9pm on Wednesday evenings from 16 September until 21 October.

Under the Skin looks at what character is; how to create characters with dramatic potential; and how to push the boundaries of character in your writing. The course explores diverse approaches to the creation and development of characters in performance texts. Beginning with familiar approaches to constructing characters for realist drama, the programme will also tackle the use of character in absurd, political, verbatim, farce, children’s and post-modern theatre, using examples from contemporary British and European writers.