BUW founder member Roy Chatfield finalist in inaugural Terrence Rattigan Society award.

Roy Chatfield

Roy Chatfield

Andover Playwright Roy Chatfield is one of the seventeen writers shortlisted for the inaugural Terrence Rattigan Society award. His play Going Back is an updating of Ulysses return to modern-day Central Africa.
The judges – writer Julian Fellowes, actor David Suchet, director Thea Sharrock and academic Dan Rebellato – are now reading the shortlisted entries and will announce their decision at an awards ceremony at Harrow School on 26 September 2017.
The winner receives a cash prize and a guaranteed production of at least six nights at the Sara Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs, with a rehearsed reading on offer to the runner-up.
Roy said ‘I’m delighted to be shortlisted. As the closing date for entries was last August, I’d assumed I hadn’t made it. They obviously read all the scripts thoroughly.’
The competition received 197 entries, of which seven were ineligible – always read the rules! Competitions such as this are a good way of promoting your work as they aim to discover unknown writers.

Pop up play writing courses in your own home, village hall or care home

POP UP PLAYWRITING with Angela Street

Angela Street contacted Big Up Words with an idea to help writers in rural areas. This is a pilot scheme and could be a feature if there is enough uptake. Anglea runs many successful playwriting groups in Salisbury and her pupils are having plays produced in London and closer to home. Her new venture brings the writing closer to your home.

Angela Street

Angela Street

POP UP PLAYWRITING

Popping up anywhere in the South West. Providing affordable writing workshops. The workshop comes to you, saving you travel costs and time.

Days available from 5 May: Mondays, Tuesdays, some Saturdays, Sundays

Half days:  10:00 – 1:00   Whole days:  10:00 – 4:00    Evenings:  any 3 hours.

If you’d like to host a workshop in your house or on your premises, and you have space suitable for at least 7 writers, maximum 15 writers, please contact me to arrange a time and date.

As the host, you will get the workshop free and can choose the topic or general theme most suitable for your group if you wish. You must agree on this with the tutor 6 weeks before the date of the workshop so that the tutor can prepare relevant material and advertising copy.

Topics may include: creating characters, dialogue, structure, conflict, stage directions, subtext, unblocking, comedy, voice, the absurd. Writing monologues, writing for radio, writing comedy sketches, generating new ideas

Workshops can cover basic techniques for writers new to playwriting through to advanced editing skills, or take the form of a tutored writing retreat.

The tutor will advertise the workshop locally in consultation with the host and will provide flyers for the host to hand out or distribute locally.

The host is asked to provide teas/coffees and in the case of full days either an undramatic lunch or advise participants to bring their own packed lunch.

The host must inform the tutor if they have dogs, cats or other livestock on the premises and agree with appropriate health and safety measures with the tutor.

All workshops are smoke-free, including vapes, and mobile free zones. There will be scheduled breaks.

Access and Parking: the host will be asked to provide information, for example, whether there is wheelchair access or steps into the premises.

Workshops require a minimum of 7 writers to run.  If fewer than 7 people have signed up and paid, the workshop will be cancelled.

Costs: Half day/Evening £25 (15 concs)    Full day £40 (£25 concs)

Please let me know any reasons people have for not attending, such as cost, travel, childcare, access, time, topics covered.

This is a pilot scheme to find out if there is an appetite for affordable writing workshops in rural areas.  If successful, I will apply to the Arts Council for funding to assist writers needing financial help with fees or childcare, to provide rural workshops in wheelchair accessible venues, such as village halls, and also for smaller group sizes, with only 4 or 5 writers.  

 Contact: angelastreet@tiscali.co.uk  01722 322143

If you’d like to know more go over to her website https://angelastreetwriter.wordpress.com/

Unity Theatre show “Oh Noah you don’t” The Lights Friday January 22nd

Best one yet…

I love community theatre. Done well it’s a pleasure for audience and actors.  Tonight the audience got to see an ensemble community theatre show at its best. They loved it.

From the start of the show, the theatregoers heard toe tapping popular, sing-a-long songs, well sung. I was curious to see how the change of musical director effected the group, however the cast is confident in its delivery and we heard 4 part harmony clearly. There was one wobble at the opening song of the second act however the audience knew the song so well, we sang along in harmony with gusto so I doubt anyone actually noticed.

I am biased because I staged managed for two of Unity’s shows, to introduce my son to live theatre. Thinking about what could be improved I realised the whole show was excellent and any improvements are just little picky things that most audience members wouldn’t bother with because they had a great time.

The show was well written for family entertainment with the right balance of slapstick, tap dance, song and dance routines, jokes for the kids and jokes for the mums and dads. It was English pantomime at its best with a big hearted dame, a comedy side kick, a zoo load of things to do for all the actors and lots and lots and lots of puns.

Special mention to John Seculina, as Noah, who is a humble actor who can hold an audience enthralled. When John scolded God because Noah thought it was a cold call the audience were in stitches. We enjoyed Noah’s family mopping the arc and Yvonne West as the Raven.

What we loved most of all was the children. Unity’s strength is the cast’s ability to let anyone have a go. Two of my special needs actors from The Brilliant Drama group are regular members. Unity have a strong children’s section and this year the children enchanted the audience.

There is an element of “Oh they are so adorable,” and “Look that’s my son/daughter,”. It’s that wonderful pride you feel at the school play.  However this year the children scenes were competing with the adult’s scenes for professionalism and polish.  The doves modern dance scene took our breath away, the children’s singing was fab and the dialogue made us laugh.

I just wish The Lights surround sound and hand help mic’s had a better range. We strained to hear the softer spoken children at the back. It was a shame because they were fantastic actors and special mention to the chickens. My other picky point was mid point there was a long  dance number where the foxes chased the chickens. The stage was very full and there was so much to look at, a lot of people missed the foxes stage action with the chickens, which was a pity because it was very funny.

It helped the script was balanced and clipped along at a rate. The audience felt so at home, the children in the audience became funny hecklers. Sharon O’Leary worked hard in her slapstick scenes with Jez Jameson. I could hear the children giggling away, just waiting to see what mischief the actors would get up to next.

It was a pleasure to watch a cross section of Andover’s community enjoying their friends and family having fun on stage. This year Unity’s Oh Noah you don’t was the best pantomime show they’ve done. They will have to work very hard to top this one next year.

Poster for the show

Poster for the show