Museum Pieces, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, 9 March 2011

March brings our exciting Museum Pieces script-in-hand performances at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, featuring 13 of the 28 short monologues and duologues inspired by exhibits in the Museum’s vast collection that you submitted following a packed workshop programme at Watershed in January and February — more details below.

We have four meetings in our March to early April season with a two-week break between them. Please check our website’s Diary page for upcoming events and remember that for quick reference you can also find the date, time and location of our next meeting in the panel on the right below the slideshow on the site’s home page.

All our regular meetings are happening in Waterside 1, Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX — ask at the box office if you need directions to the meeting. Everyone attending meetings pays £1.

Tuesday, 1 March at 7.30pm: PTSD by Carole Boyer
In a base camp in Afghanistan, recently decorated Corporal Craig James suffers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr Vanessa Donovan — a clinical psychologist visiting the camp to study PTSD takes on his case. Events of the war bring back childhood traumas — war seems the easier option.

Tuesday, 8 March at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Wednesday, 9 March at 6.00 for 6.30pm, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery: Museum Pieces
Join us at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1RL, for a promenade performance of 13 of your short dramas, comedies and personal reflections inspired by exhibits. You can find the complete line-up below.

Tuesday, 15 March: *** No meeting ***

Tuesday, 22 March: *** No meeting ***

Tuesday, 29 March at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tuesday, 5 April at 7.30pm: Open Workshop


Museum Pieces

Anna Farthing — longtime Southwest Scriptwriter and currently Interim Learning Manager with Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives — has sifted the 28 five-minute monologues and duologues 14 of you submitted for our innovative Museum Pieces project, and curated 13 of them to present in a promenade script-in-hand performance at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday, 9 March.

The show features the following blend of comedy, drama and personal reflection (alphabetically by author):

Ptolemy by Carole Boyer
Pillow by Margaret Crump
Ichthyosaurus by Elaine Eveleigh
The Right Swan by Bruce Fellows
Tennis by Bruce Fellows
The Princess Caraboo by Elizabeth Gold
Primate Scream by Tom Henry
Elky Looks by Liz Kalaugher
I See by Kate Stonham
Cabot Leaving the Port of Bristol by Brian Weaving
Defendant and Counsel by Brian Weaving
The Mackerel Shawl by Brian Weaving
Icarus and Daedalus by Stephanie Weston

The wealth of material on offer makes for a hectic night at the Museum, so please arrive by 6.30pm. The show opens with the audience together in the Assyrian Gallery for a reading of Ptolemy by Carole Boyer after which spectators split into two groups to tour the building and take in 11 more Museum Pieces alongside the exhibits that inspired them. Everyone comes together again in the Front Hall for the show’s finale, Cabot Leaving the Port of Bristol by Brian Weaving.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted a Museum Piece and congratulations to those who have work presented this time. The 9 March event is a pilot project and there may well be chances to do more in future. Please come along and support the show!


Saturday Shorts 2 deadline imminent

A reminder that you have until this Tuesday, 1 March, to email your 15-minute script submission for Bristol Folk House’s Saturday Shorts 2 script-in-hand performance event in June.

The show, organised by longstanding Southwest Scriptwriter Mark Breckon, aims to present stage, radio or screenplays that make a big impact in a short time. Your script should have a cast of four actors or fewer and this year Saturday Shorts is accepting submissions from South West-based writers only.

Last year’s lively event at the Folk House in Park Street included scripts by group members Gill Kirk, Steve Lambert and Stephanie Weston, with Adrian Harris directing one of the performances.


VBA deadline coming up fast

Friday, 11 March is the submission date for Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award, one of playwriting’s highest profile prizes with the winner receiving £5000 and the chance of a production at the theatre.

The Verity Bargate Award aims to discover a new play by an ‘emerging’ writer that will stand out from the crowd: ‘It might be your first script. It might be set in a kitchen or on the moon. The only limit is your imagination.’

The Award is open to writers in the UK and Ireland, and accepts original, unproduced, full-length plays (not shorter than 70 minutes) with no restriction on subject matter.

Verity Bargate Award


2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting now accepting scripts

Another big chance for playwrights this year — and with a less impending deadline — has now launched.

The Bruntwood Prize is offering £16000 for the winning play script with £8000 each in three Judges’ Awards. The four prizewinning playwrights will also have the chance to develop their scripts for possible production at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre where the Bruntwood is based. Nick Hern Books will publish the plays that are produced.

The competition is open to writers aged 16 and over who are resident in the UK and Ireland. You can enter only one script by Monday, 6 June 2011.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting


Tea and Filth at the Union

Steve Lambert’s ‘marital mirthfest’ Tea and Filth has been selected as one of nine short plays for Short and Sweet, an evening of brief comedies from New York and London, at the Union Theatre, Southwark running from 15 March until 9 April.

Spilt Milk Theatre produced Tea and Filth in a longer version as part of Fourplay at London’s Hen and Chickens Theatre last August. Steve secured his comedy’s latest outing by submitting it in response to a call for scripts from the Union Theatre in our January update.

The Union Theatre


Help save Venue!

Venue magazine is facing closure following a small decline in circulation and a bigger drop in advertising revenue. The 962nd issue, in shops on Wednesday, 16 March, is set to be the last.

Bristol and Bath’s magazine has given Southwest Scriptwriters vital coverage since the group’s early days in the 1990s — from listings of our regular meetings to features about our work with previews and reviews of our productions. Some of our core members have come to the group after reading about it in Venue.

The magazine also brings together news and information on the local arts scene, offering a coherent picture of this that isn’t available elsewhere.

To help save Venue, you can pledge an annual subscription to the magazine, costing £64, to demonstrate that there is a commitment to keeping it alive. You won’t need to part with your cash immediately, but your pledge will be used in support of a rescue plan.

Bristol and Bath’s magazine has given Southwest Scriptwriters vital coverage since the group’s early days in the 1990s — from listings of our regular meetings to features about our work with previews and reviews of our productions. Some of our core members have come to the group after reading about it in Venue.