Our meetings this month and next are your last chances to get feedback on your work in progress before we break for the summer, so get in touch if you want to give your draft script a shakeout ready for rewriting in our July and August downtime.

We open this time with an opportunity to see the debut production of a play featured in our last season:

Tuesday, 7 May at 7.30pm Bierkeller Theatre: Connect Four by Amy Bethan Evans

Following input from us at meetings in March featuring the Connect Four cast, Amy’s play takes the stage at Bierkeller Theatre, All Saints’ Street, Bristol, BS1 2NA, for a five-night run from this evening, 5 May until Thursday, 9 May.

‘In 2007, Ciaran returns to his Northern Irish working class parents’ house with his middle class English wife Rose. Elsewhere, but still present, Nate wills for his family to learn the reality of his death, accompanied by a girl who strives for the truth about hers.

‘Through memories, apparitions or whatever means the dead use to stay alive with us, there is a chance that the bonds of family and love without principle can connect these four very different people.’

Amy is currently taking the Advances in Scriptwriting short course at RADA on the recommendation of the Royal Court Theatre where she is also receiving training.


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

Tuesday, 14 May at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
Tuesday, 21 May at 7.30pm: Blood and Memory by Bruce Fellows

Tonight we’re featuring Bruce’s hour-long stage play in which lots of family secrets emerge.

Tuesday, 28 May at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

With several deadlines imminent (see below), we’re winding up our 2012-2013 sessions with three chances to get help with polishing your scripts.

Tuesday, 4 June at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
Tuesday, 11 June at 7.30pm: Open Workshop



Douglas Adams said that he loved deadlines. He liked the whooshing sound they made as they flew by. There are several opportunities for playwrights to enjoy this sound (or not!) coming up this month and next…

31 May: The Papatango New Writing Prize 2013

London’s Finborough Theatre works with the Papatango Theatre Company to present an annual opportunity for a UK-based writer to have a 90-minute play produced at the Finborough in November and published by Nick Hern Books.

To enter, you need to email your play to Papatango by midnight on Friday, 31 May. Take care to read the entry guidelines on Finborough Theatre’s website to ensure that you meet all the requirements.

3 June: The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting

Your biennial opportunity to compete for a share in a total prize fund of £32000 — a £16000 top prize plus two judges’ awards of £8000 each – plus the chance to have your play produced at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre and published by Nick Hern Books closes at 5pm on Monday, 3 June.

Open to writers age 16 and over resident in the UK and Ireland, the Bruntwood Prize is accepting scripts with a playing time of an hour or longer via its website.

1 to 30 June: The Open Session at Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic’s Literary Department’s new annual initiative, The Open Session, invites writers living and working in the South West to submit play scripts throughout June. BOV will offer five writers bespoke development packages that could lead to commissioning opportunities.

You’ll need to pick your moment to make sure your play makes it through the Open Session window – BOV won’t admit scripts for the scheme before 1 June, and, because it isn’t accepting plays via email, you’ll need to post your work (with recorded delivery recommended) to arrive in King Street by 30 June.

Find out more about the Open Session here.

1 to 30 June: Verity Bargate Award 2013

Soho Theatre Company’s perennial biennial award (now in its 30th year) is open to writers from the UK and Ireland, and has a prize of £5000 with an option for Soho to produce the winning play. This time Birmingham Rep, Live Theatre Newcastle and Theatre Royal Plymouth will contribute to the judging process, offer additional opportunities to writers across the country, and hold readings of the shortlisted plays directed by each venue’s artistic director.

The Verity Bargate Award also has a June-only submission window, and you can email your full-length play (a minimum of 70 minutes) with a writing CV to Soho from 1 June until 6pm on 30 June. The award aims to discover ‘distinct new voices’, and writers who have had three or more plays produced professionally are not eligible to enter.

Verity Bargate Award


Brian scores in Mid Somerset

Congratulations to Brian Weaving who won the Evelyn Sandford Senior Literary Trophy with his duologue, A Consultation, at the Mid Somerset Festival in March.


Bard debuts at Brass Works in June

Following sell-out success with improvised funsters Instant Wit (led by Southwest Scriptwriters committee member Stephanie Weston) on 27 April, and a strong seasonal showing from Bruce Fellows’ adaptation of The Mystery of the Hound of the Baskervilles last Christmas and New Year, South Gloucestershire’s first and only profession theatre is presenting its first Bard at the Brass Works production in the last two weeks of June.

Brass Works Theatre will present Macbeth as a curtain-raiser for Bristol Shakespeare Festival from Monday, 17 until Saturday, 29 June.

Adrian Harris, BWT’s artistic director (and group committee member), has appointed Caroline Hunt, who has worked at the RSC Swan Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory, Theatre 503, Battersea Arts Centre and Theatre Royal Bath amongst others, to direct the venue’s first Shakespeare show.

Macbeth will draw on the wealth of women actors working locally in an all-female production. The casting is a reversal of that for the play’s original (circa 1606) outing when all roles were played by men and boys.


Summer updates

This is our last full bulletin until September, but I’ll post breaking news, updates and reminders throughout the summer on our social media feeds.

Find us on Facebook, circle us on Google+, connect with us on LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter to stay posted.