The Darkroom by Steve Lambert (Picture: Farrow's Creative)

We’re starting our 2011/2012 sessions with a split season, so please note when and where we’re meeting. You can find the dates and details of our programme until mid-October below, and check the calendar here for upcoming events. Don’t forget that you can also find the date of our next meeting in the panel on the right beneath the slideshow on our website’s home page.

All the following meetings, except the Living Local warm-up event on 13 September and the shows in the Alma Tavern Theatre, 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, 6 September at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

Tonight we’re featuring Living Local pieces by Brian Weaving and Stephanie Weston.

Tuesday, 13 September at 7.30pm, *** Kingswood Heritage Museum ***: Living Local warm-up

If you haven’t visited Kingswood Heritage Museum in Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT, to seek inspiration for your five-minute monologue or two-hander for our Living Local show at the Museum on Thursday, 20 October yet, this is your chance to have an exclusive tour of the exhibition with other group members. Our visit includes a look inside the windmill tower, which is the oldest, tallest and most complete of its kind in the country, and could be a unique setting for your Living Local script. You’ll also have the opportunity to view some exhibits not usually on display at the Museum and enjoy a coffee and a chat about what you’ve seen afterwards. See below for a reminder about what to do to take part in Living Local.

Tuesday, 20 September: *** No meeting ***

Watershed has another event booked this week, and has no space available for our meeting.

Tuesday, 27 September: Living Local Workshop

Tonight is your last chance to get feedback on your Living Local script before the submission deadline on Friday, 30 September, and features work by Bruce Fellows.

Thursday, 29 September at 8.30pm *** Alma Tavern Theatre ***: The Climbers by William House

This week Theatre West is presenting its regular preseason script-in-hand performances of the plays that came close to achieving full productions in the season itself. Tonight it’s the turn of William’s script inspired by an old photograph showing a cluttered interior:

The Climbers uses the absurdist form to reveal the senselessness of our human predicament. As the two protagonists struggle to cope with one another, temptations beguile them at every turn. Confused and bewildered yet determined to win through they attempt to rise above the mêlée by perfecting the rhythm of life, only to find themselves in deeper trouble.’

Tuesday, 4 October at 7.30pm: Open Workshop


The Darkroom by Steve Lambert, 8.30pm, Alma Tavern Theatre

Tonight is also the debut performance of the first of two plays by group members that made it into Theatre West’s Picture This season running at the Alma Tavern Theatre until December. The Darkroom by Steve Lambert — that Steve’s developed using feedback from the play’s reading at out meeting on 12 July — is at the Alma on Tuesday to Saturday evenings until 15 October:

‘“We’ll convince him we’re the most normal couple in England. Tea on the lawn. What could be more normal than that?
‘1949. Austerity. Make do and mend. A nation fed up of going without…
‘Faye doesn’t know what James did during the war — but she’s had to pick up the pieces of a broken man haunted by memories and a terror of the dark.
‘But one day she finds a “collection” compiled by her husband’s wartime comrade, who ran away one night and never came back.
‘What secrets will come to light in the Darkroom?’

Tuesday, 11 October at 7.30pm: Open Workshop

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Living Local

Much of our activity this month centres on developing scripts for Living Local, a project exclusive to Southwest Scriptwriters produced by group committee member Adrian Harris through his production company Papercut Productions working with Kingswood Heritage Museum.

Living Local works in the same way as our hugely successful Museum Pieces show (in collaboration with Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives) in March. To take part, visit Kingswood Heritage Museum in Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT, and find an exhibit that sparks your imagination to write a five-minute (1000-word) monologue or duologue. You can join us at the Museum on Tuesday, 13 September, for a free tour of the exhibition taking in the windmill tower and some exhibits not usually on display as well as the regular collection including home settings from the Victorian era to the 1950s and featuring local industry from coalmining to the manufacture of the famous Douglas motorcycles — see the programme above for details of our visit.

Adrian and a representative from the Museum will put together a selection of your monologues and duologues for presentation as script-in-hand performances alongside the exhibits that inspired them in a public show at Kingswood Heritage Museum at 7.30pm on Thursday, 20 October.

Kingswood Heritage Museum


Picture This success

Many congratulations to Steve Lambert and Heather Lister whose plays The Darkroom and I Remember Green — both inspired by vintage photographs from Berlin — have made it into Theatre West’s Picture This autumn season at the Alma Tavern Theatre. Heather is making her Theatre West debut in November, while Steve’s show in early October is the second of his plays presented by the company following its coproduction with Southwest Scriptwriters of Showing the Monster in October 2009.

The scripts are two of five new one-act plays picked by Theatre West for its ten-week season, which opens with The Darkroom on Tuesday, 4 October. Theatre West chose the quintet of scripts from a shortlist of nine, whittled down from a field of 39 extracts and treatments submitted by South West-based writers in May.

Southwest Scriptwriters committee member William House also made the shortlist with his absurdist play, The Climbers, which Theatre West is presenting in its regular preseason series of script-in-hand performances of shortlisted scripts from Wednesday, 28 September.

The full line-up at the Alma this autumn is as follows:


Wednesday, 28 September: Donkey Talent by Mark Shand
Thursday, 29 September: The Climbers by William House
Friday, 30 September: You’re Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone by James Killick
Saturday, 1 October: Three Women by Katriel Costello


Tuesday, 4 to Saturday, 15 October: The Darkroom by Steve Lambert
Tuesday, 18 to Saturday, 29 October: Dorian’s Second Life by Penny Gunter
Tuesday, 1 to Saturday, 12 November: Raising Kamila (working title) by Edson Burton
Tuesday, 15 to Saturday, 26 November: I Remember Green by Heather Lister
Tuesday, 29 November to Saturday, 10 December: Sitting with Thistle by Marietta Kirkbride


Gefilte Fish on Salaam Shalom Media

Catch group member Elizabeth Gold’s first podcast for Salaam Shalom Media’s Radio City programme, which examines Jewish and Muslim culture, arts and life.

Developed with Southwest Scriptwriters, Elizabeth’s feature explores the world of the iconic Jewish dish through interviews, song and a story written especially for the show; The Gefilte Fish Line.


Bruce Trades Local with Show of Strength in Knowle

Show of Strength Theatre Company is adding to the work by group members on offer this autumn with the inclusion of Bruce Fellows’ monologue Dot in its Trading Local event at the Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Knowle on Saturday, 8 October.

Trading Local: Knowle will present a series of monologues by Bristol writers at shops in and around the Shopping Centre on the Wells Road. It starts at 10am with performances scheduled and repeated throughout the day. Admission is free and you can download a programme later this month with details of performance times and locations from Show of Strength’s website.

The Company is also running free writing workshops to generate five-minute monologues for its festive version of Trading Local, Recycled Stockings, which it’s presenting at The Southville Centre in Beauley Road, Southville, BS3 1QG, on 20, 21 and 22 December. Sheila Hannon, Show of Strength’s Creative Producer, is leading the writing workshops — open to beginning and experienced writers alike — starting at the Southville Centre from 11am to 1pm this Thursday, 8 September, with further sessions later in the month at the Hen and Chicken and Bristol City Football Club.

Show of Strength Theatre Company

Recycled Stockings will see erstwhile Southwest Scriptwriter Ed Viney in directorial action. Ed’s production of Danger: Memory!, a double-bill of plays by Arthur Miller, at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre in July scored a four-star review in The Independent.


IMTAL Conference takes in M Shed and Tyntesfield

The International Museum Theatre Alliance — Europe (IMTAL) is holding its AGM Mini Conference at M Shed in Bristol and at Tyntesfield in Wraxall, Somerset, over the weekend of 15 and 16 October.

A lively programme of events on the theme of REVITALISE! includes a creative writing workshop led by Anna Farthing drawing on the experience of presenting Museum Pieces with Southwest Scriptwriters at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery in March. The Saturday morning workshop, What Are You Saying?, will encourage participants to draw inspiration from exhibits in M Shed and industrial exhibits on the surrounding harbourside.

IMTAL Europe


Instant Wit at St George’s

Instant Wit, Bristol’s quick-fire improvisational comedy troupe run by Southwest Scriptwriter Stephanie Weston, is mounting its next big show at St George’s, Brandon Hill, on Friday, 23 September at 8.00pm.

The show promises Instant Wit’s distinctive blend of sketches, gags, songs, bizarre physical positions, surreal situations, flying packets of custard, general silly blancmange-inspired merriment and prizes. There’s also a chance for you to flex your comedy muscles beforehand in a workshop exploring the techniques for improvised humour — no experience is necessary, just a willingness to participate. The workshop runs from 5.30pm.

Instant Wit


Southwest Scriptwriters management committee

In accordance with the group’s constitution, its management committee is now available for reelection.

All five current members wish to continue in their roles in the coming year. They are: John Colborn (Founder/Treasurer), Andy Graham (Chair), Adrian Harris, William House and Tim Massey (Artistic Director).