The Macready Room is only available for five Tuesdays this season, so please put all these dates in your diary and don’t miss any of them! Ask at the bar on the first floor of the Bristol Old Vic for directions to the Macready Room. The entrance fee is still just £1.

Tuesday, 9 March at 7.30pm: Pieces by Brian Weaving and Bev Williams
Going Nowhere is Brian’s 45-minute radio version of a very entertaining shorter piece read in the group last year. After a wild weekend, Monday morning is a bad time for Scott. Getting trapped in the lift at work, even with his mates, is the last straw. Or so he thinks.

Ic (pronounced ‘ick’) is Bev’s children’s TV/film drama set in the 1920s which tells the story of the Bird Boy: When a girl goes missing from a village in the Forest of Dean, the local people suspect an eccentric old woman and her grandson…

Tuesday, 16 March at 7.30pm: Meet Pete Atkin
Pete Atkin is the former reader of sitcoms submitted to Hat Trick, so he’ll answer all your question about trying to get a sitcom (and other material) on the air. He’s also co-songwriter with (yes, the) Clive James.

Tuesday, 23 March at 7.30pm: Write Off a TV drama by Margaret Crump
Six disparate people form a scriptwriting team in order to enter a local competition. They learn about dramatic construction and complete their exercises diligently, getting into scrapes along the way. But is ‘the play the thing’? Follow their progress as the development of their fictional characters is supplanted by transformations of their own.

Tuesday, 30 March at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
Includes a reading of John Colborn’s 30-minute entry in the Wrexham Science Festival’s Radio Drama Competition.

Tuesday, 6 April at 7.30pm: Thriller: The Musical by Matt Cooper
A comic-horror musical that incorporates over 20 Michael Jackson hits into an original story. Wayne realises his life will never be the same when he discovers he owns a medieval villa. But little does he know he is unleashing the living dead… the evil of the Thrillers.


writernet takes on competition judging
Our competition this year is being judged for the first time by a network of 20 readers organised by writernet in London. So anonymity is greater than it’s ever been and even Tim, who’s administering the event, doesn’t know who any of the readers are. They’re aiming to complete their first reading of the scripts by 19 March and the second reading by 23 April. So Tim hopes to be able to release the results soon after that. By that time, we also hope to have some news as to whether or not we’ll be able to put on script-in-hand performances of the winning entries at the Tobacco Factory — or possibly somewhere smaller.


Over Exposure at the Alma
Ann Gawthorpe and Lesley Bown’s farce Over Exposure will be at the Alma Tavern Theatre from 29 March to 3 April. Some of you may remember Over Exposure from our New Writing 2000 competition when it came joint fourth. The director for this production is Malcolm Titley, who you will know from his work with Tim Massey (Have-a-Go Hero), Shiona Morton (Falling Through) and Ann and Lesley (Freehold and Free). The two-act comedy, which is set above a family photographer’s studio in the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (1977), is a classic farce full of confusion, deceit and lost trousers.


Art and Soul at the Hope Centre
Steve Hennessy, who recently enjoyed a critically-acclaimed run of his double-bill Lullabies of Broadmoor at the Finborough Theatre in London, is putting out a call for material for another Art and Soul cabaret on Friday, 14 May at the Hope Centre, Hotwells. Produced by Steve’s Stepping Out Theatre Company, the evening will include short pieces of drama, music, poetry, dance and novelty acts. Previous events have featured work by Kate Stonham and Keith Melton. Steve is particularly interested in material on a mental health theme (eg abuse, counselling or therapy in any shape or form), and there is a small payment for any material used.


Theatre West launches Southwest-exclusive Search for a Script
Included with this newsletter is Theatre West’s ‘Search for a Script’ — limited for the first time this year to writers from the Southwest. Any genre or style is acceptable, provided it’s felt that your piece will have dramatic impact on the small Alma Tavern stage. This is a great opportunity to see your work given a first-class production, so please write something special for it!