We’ve had some good news — see below. There are only five meetings this season (due to a later than expected re-opening of the theatre). All take place in the Macready Room at the Bristol Old Vic. Ask at the bar on the first floor for directions. Everyone attending pays £1.

Tuesday, 14 September at 7.30pm: CLARKe by Virginia Bergin
A reading of Virginia’s comedy screenplay about a phobic, allergy-suffering, forty-something no-hoper who is sole witness to a fatal car-crash — and is sucked into the centre of a swirling vortex of other people’s material greed when he is handed the solution to one of the most tantalising crime mysteries in Britain: the approximate location of a £4 million stash of stolen diamonds. Coerced into smashing his way through suburban homes in search of the jewels, he inadvertently discovers a hidden talent for interior design; unwanted fame and ageing gangsters threaten to find him — before he can find the diamonds.

Tuesday, 21 September at 7.30pm: Open Workshop
This is already fully booked with pieces by Pete Kesterton and John Boas.

Tuesday, 28 September at 7.30pm: Home by Barbara Compitus
Barbara’s TV drama in which deep seated sibling rivalries between Helen and Sarah come to a head when Sarah’s marriage hits breaking point. Can the sisters let go of the past and help Sarah to face her problems? Or will unresolved differences prove a permanent barrier to their reconciliation?

Tuesday, 5 October at 7.30pm: Open Workshop>

Tuesday, 12 October at 7.30pm: Chameleon by Margaret Crump
Margaret’s TV drama about provincial estate agent Ian Clay, who thinks he’ll benefit financially from his new friendship with London art gallery owner Martin Hinchcliffe. But he doesn’t notice that Martin has his own target: Ian’s nondescript wife Sophie. Martin has an old score to settle with Sophie and she deals with it in the only way she knows how.


The good news is…
We’ve just heard that the Arts Council has awarded us a Grant for the Arts to put on next year’s competition and Festival — hopefully at the Tobacco Factory. So make sure you’ve got a script ready for the competition deadline: the last Tuesday in January 2005. The grant is for one year only, so make the most of it! If you’re a winner, you’ll be expected to help as much as possible with the production of your script — and to do your best to help rustle up an audience.


Big Breakers showing for Southwest Scriptwriters
In addition to the five members (mentioned in Tim’s summer newsletter) who were shortlisted for the BBC Breakers initiative — Kate Stonham, Miv Evans, Eileen Elsey, Virginia Bergin and John Colborn — entries by Anne-Marie McCormack and a joint entry by Ann Gawthorpe and Lesley Bown were also shortlisted. That means nearly 18% of the scripts on the 40-long shortlist (out of a total of 250 entries) were submitted by group members. Not a bad effort!


Fun Factory at the Alma
Congratulations to Mark Breckon whose stage play The Fun Facfory was a winner in Theatre West’s recent Search for a Script and so will be given a two-week run at the Alma Tavern Theatre from 5 to 16 October. (Heather Lister and Nigel Long were shorlisted). Please see as many of the shows as possible (especially Mark’s!).

Theatre West — 2004


Doctors debut
Congratulations, too, to Melanie Lawman whose first episode for BBC1’s Doctors is scheduled to be broadcast on Wednesday, 27 October at 14.05. Melanie is the fourth member of Southwest Scriptwriters to be commissioned to write for the soap. Ray Brooking’s umpteenth episode of Doctors goes out on 10 September at 14.05.


Prime-time drama sought for ITV
Nick Elliott, ITV’s Controller of Drama is looking for 90-minute prime-time dramas — either specials or two-parters.