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.
I’ve posted about stage directions that are best cut. What should be left?
Whatever is necessary. This will vary from play to play. Some are more visual than others – indeed, that’s true of moments within a play. The important thing is they earn their keep. Basic directions clearly, but anything more needs to serve a purpose.
London theatre isn’t all £50+ tickets. One of the cheaper venues is the Young Vic, which this November is reviving Caryl Churchill’s Far Away with tickets at £10 and £15.
Churchill is a prolific writer and to me this results in some of her work coming across as staged ideas. At her best, though, she is one of our finest playwrights and Far Away shows her in top form.
So why should a writer make time to see it? Entries to our Play-in-a-day competition showed many writers attracted to the surreal. The problem was tying their world to the one we know. The characters in Far Away behave naturalistically in non-naturalistic circumstances.
The structure is well worth studying. Three scenes, with a common character, Joan. First she’s a questioning child, second a milliner, third a soldier. We aren’t told what happened in between. Nor do we need to, as Churchill’s theme carries it through.
Finally the writing. Again three contrasts. An adult explaining away something a child shouldn’t have seen; Two workers banter as they design the most ridiculous hat; A family taking a break from a war. Each scene entices you in by hinting at what is happening. (How to solve the problem of writing exposition – don’t write it). What we finally learn in Joan’s final speech describing her journey to safety that the world has gone mad.
Or is it just us? The final lesson is how to how to end in ambiguity.
Browsing in Andover’s Free Bookshop – for those who don’t know it, yes, the books are free – I came across a copy of the US magazine Poetry. Among other attractions was an update of Ezra Pound’s Don’ts For Poets.
Here are three from William Logan that apply to all writers:-
- Don’t do what all the other little Buggers are doing
- Don’t think you don’t have to read. You read in order to steal. Read more, steal better. (I’m tempted to repeat that one, it’s so important)
- Don’t think what you have to say is important. The way you say it is what is important. What you have to say is rubbish.
Alison Baverstock is returning to Hampshire Record Office on 5 November at 2pm to talk about the options for self-publishing.
The cost is £8 and advanced booking essential. Telephone 01962 846154 or www.hants.gov.uk/archives. Look under ‘Our Services and find ‘what’s on’ – ‘talks’ is something else entirely.
The weekend 3rd to 5th October is the 2014 Salisbury Fringe Festival – an evening and two days of free performances, workshops and readings. For the full programme go to http://www.salisburyfringe.org.uk
Stumbled upon the Website, enthralling
Thought provoking poetry, thank you for a great evening in a wonderful building, well read by all
Very powerful, excellent selection of poems, superbly read.Discovered many new poems and poets. Well done many thanks
I didn’t realise this place was here, its very nice isn’t it
I came to this place 30 years ago and I never realised it was done up so well.
This is a lovely space.
While waiting the audience found some actual World War 1 books written in 1915
Roy Chatfield, Cat Randle, Bryn Strudwick, Marion Chatfield, John Sicluna
Two submission opportunities close on 1 September.
Lion Tamers Theatre
The Liontamers Theatre Company is looking for submissions for our 2015 North West tour.
Cast Size: Strictly between 2 and 4 cast members. We can allow for doubling
however we must be strict on having no more than four actors. We will
particularly welcome scripts with strong female characters.
Technical Requirements: Again no specific limitations except the need to be suitable for a touring
environment where short get in times limit us.
Length: Full length. To appeal to venues we must have the option of including an
interval. (Bar sales, crikey!)
Please e-mail your play to email@example.com.
Bush Theatre Submissions Window
What Are We Looking for?
We are passionate about encountering new playwrights through our unsolicited script submissions. We receive unsolicited play submissions twice a year in dedicated windows, these open in the summer and autumn respectively.
How to Submit
Our Summer/Autumn submission window is open from 9am on 2 June 2014 and closes at 5pm on 1 September 2014. During this period, please email your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org and include, as a separate attachment, a fully completed cover sheet which you can download here
We are unable to receive or read unsolicited scripts that are:
• sent to us by post
• without a cover sheet
• not full-length plays (1 hour +)
• previously produced
• from writers from outside of the UK and Ireland
• sent outside our submissions windows.
• that have been previously submitted to us
Three witches predicted Duncan would be king. The prophecy came true, but now rebellion is threatens to topple him. Worse, the witches have a new favourite. But who?
Come along to Chapel Arts, Andover, at 7.30 on 12 September 2014 to see the premier of Duncan Dreams, a prequel to Macbeth, written by Roy Chatfield, performed by John Baxter and directed by Ian Flintoff of Shakespeare United.
To reserve a place go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/duncans-dreams-a-one-act-play-by-roy-chatfield-tickets-12395618629
This is one of a series of free events presented by Big Up Words at Chapel Arts. Others are:-
9 September – Poetry open mic for poets to read poems inspired by WWI
To book to read click – http://doodle.com/wip3azs9sbnc7bt3
To reserve a place to listen click – http://bit.ly/1owhvCl
11 September – When The Lights Went Out. Twenty-five poems by twenty-five writers who experienced the war at home or in battle.
To reserve a place go to