Plays from She Writes 27 October

We had a varied selection of plays at She and He Writes our experiment in male and female showcasing. We had aimed to present a 50/50 ratio of plays but in the end we had more female writers than male. We will repeat the experiment next year when we will open one evening up to male writers and mixed teams.

This was the last She Writes in short play showcase form this year, as the next She Writes (24 November) will showcase just one full-length play – ‘Politic Man’ by Alison Mead.

Plays presented:

Advice to my younger self  by Sam Hall
A 40-year old woman sees her 20-year old self going up the escalator at Angel tube station and is torn by whether she should intervene and change the direction her life went in.

Extremism by Barry Fentiman
Freedom fighter and folk hero Guido Fawkes speculates on how he will be remembered after successfully blowing up parliament.

We could see the sea (extract) by Naila V. Tantinya
A bittersweet monologue dealing with growing up, self-image and loss.

Stay by Dylan Oscar Rowe
A couple wake up in a strange flat, with no knowledge of how they got there. As the play unravels we learn that it’s not simply a story of a one-night stand with too much wine the night before.

I saw him on the 8.55 by Maggie Drury
A dark tale of obsession on the train.

Aphrodite can wait by Sam Rapp
An epic tale, spanning the life of one boy, from his birth to his death.

Safe distance by Allie Costa
A girl has missed the last tube. It’s Alec’s first night working there. He finds not all is as he thought with this pretty young woman.

Nobody by Helen Ryan
Two women meeting in a park. But they are not there just to feed the ducks…

We also had a short ‘flash fiction’ performed and written by Razz Saunders.

Thanks to our readers: Clementine Croft, Dylan, Sam, Barry, Sam, Razz and Malek Montag. Photography by Bill Gooch, Man in the Attic Photography.

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IdeasTap Underbelly Award 2014 winner Hiraeth tours Wales

Photo from Hiraeth

Sunday 26th October – Saturday 15th November

After a much-lauded, sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 (winner of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award 2014), ‘Hiraeth’ is going home to venues and rural village halls across Wales with live music, Welsh cakes and a Twmpath.

“Hiraeth, along with its creator/performer Buddug James Jones, is undoubtedly this year’s find” (The Evening Standard).

In the summer of 1989, a farmer’s wife gave birth to a baby girl. In this moment Buddug James Jones became heir to her family’s three hundred year old farming dynasty. Now as a modern young woman, Bud is desperate to change her destiny. Leaving five generations of tradition behind, she sets out alone into the big smoke encountering men, heartbreak, drama and hilarity along the way.

Hiraeth is a Welsh word with no direct English translation; it is a mix of longing, yearning,
nostalgia, wistfulness and desire – a pride you feel for your roots and a sadness for the loss of a  way of life. The show rejoices in this universal emotion with which everyone can empathise even as Bud wrestles with the knowledge that her departure marks a time of change and sounds the death knell for the family farm. Through one woman’s struggle to escape and let go, Hiraeth explores the decline of Welsh identity and tradition.

26th – 27th October – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
28th October – CARAD, Rhayader
30th October – Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth
31st October – Torch Theatre, Milford Haven
1st November – Garnswyllt Welfare Hall, Ammanford
3rd November – Wells Little Theatre, Wells
5th November – Catrin Finch Centre, Wrexham
6th November – Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil
7th November – Neuadd Bro Fana, Ffarmers
8th November – Gwynfe Community Hall, Gwynfe
12th November – Dragon Theatre, Barmouth
13th November – Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn
15th November – The Muse, Brecon


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Alison Mead’s new play at She Writes on 24 November

We are delighted to announce that three4all theatre will present a reading of Alison Mead’s new play ‘Politic Man’ as part of She Writes (at Roundabout Nights) on 24 November.

Set in run down Bermondsey during two world wars, ‘Politic Man’ is the true story of Alfred Salter and his wife Ada, who between them, stood for local, mayoral and parliamentary elections throughout their lives while living and working in one of the most impoverished areas of London: Bermondsey.

They both shared strong convictions of integrity and hope and held high the principle of hard work for the good of the people. But while proving they were all in it together with their electorate, they put their own daughter’s welfare at risk – eventually losing her to scarlet fever.

When Alfred is elected MP in 1922, he is seen by his colleagues as a man of principle and by the opposition as a nuisance. His principle being “truth at all costs”.

The Salters began a  revolution in this small and choking area of London, turning graveyards into playgrounds and encouraging the planting of trees and flowers on every street and in every yard. Their shared values created a better life for every inhabitant. A microcosm of an ideal world. The Salters suffered in their life while others prospered from their efforts. Can the ideal ever be achieved and is there a leader who can take us there?

See a preview of the new play on 24 November, 7.30pm.
She Writes at Roundabout Nights, The Alexandra, Chatham, ME4 6RJ

Poster for She Writes

24 November, She Writes

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Photos from The Spirit of my Dream

Here is a selection of photos from The Spirit of my Dream, 17Percent’s production for the Rochester Literature Festival.

The plays which made up the show were: Lover never returns more by Sam Hall – in a pastiche of Restoration comedy, Aphra Behn and Nell Gwyn are birdwatching in a wood… Blood Red by Sarah Hehir – in a fairytale, an obsession turns to something dark and bloody… The End of Things by Maggie Drury – in a futuristic time, after the event, what remains when hope has gone?

Thanks to Man in the Attic Photography for the photos.

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Dream rehearsals

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Some preview photos from the rehearsal tonight! Come along on 4 October and see the full show. For one night only.

The Spirit of my Dream
4 October 2014, 7pm
Chatham Grammar School for Boys
Chatham, ME4 6JB
Buy tickets

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She Wrote… 29 September

Yesterday at She Writes at Roundabout Nights we had a preview of our production for the Rochester LitFest The Spirit of my Dream; and plays by Sam Rapp (Contrast), SJ Horan (All that glitters), Allie Costa (She Walks), Eleanor Rodda (an extract of Old Rabbis in the Sky) and Effie Samara’s A brief history of the world told by a dangerous girl.


Clemie, Emma and Heather read ‘She Walks’ by Allie Costa

The Spirit of my Dream

Clemie and Heather in ‘The Spirit of my Dream’

Our next show is our quarterly ‘They write’ event – open to both male and female writers. The theme is ‘Journeys’.

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Cast for The Spirit of my Dream

You can see the cast for The Spirit of my Dream  here – it’s next Saturday!

Buy tickets here.

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Writers for 1 September…

Introducing our writers for 1 September’s 17Percent’s She Writes – some of them are old friends and some of them new! In a change from the usual, as the theme is ‘vacations and celebrations’ – we are also excited to present one guest play from an international writer, Allie Costa. (We will do this from time to time, please see script callouts to see if international writers are eligible.)

We are delighted to meet:

Allie Costa

Allie Costa photo

Allie Costa

Allie Costa is a writer, actress, and director whose works have been produced internationally. Her original plays and screenplays include Femme Noir, Faking Glory, Prodigal Daughter, Sunday Mail, and Can You Keep a Secret? Her play Little Swan, a Pas de Deux, inspired by the life of ballerina Anna Pavlova, was named Best of PlayGround-LA 2014 and subsequently published. Who She Could Have Been had its world premiere at Black Rabbit Theatre in Toronto earlier this year. Allie’s on-stage credits include Spring Awakening, Hamlet, Wake, Pope Joan, and iWish. Film/TV credits include 90210, Unusual Suspects, You Me & Her, and Unintentionally Awesome. She is a proud member of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative and PlayGround-LA. The Tenth Doctor is her favorite.

Laura Edwards

Laura Edwards photo

Laura Edwards

Laura says: ‘I’m a doctor and researcher with a lifelong love of reading and writing, although my writing output to date has primarily been limited to medical journals. 2014 has seen my initial foray into writing short plays, one of which will be produced by the Putney Theatre Company this autumn. I’m very excited to work with the She Writes team as I’m keen to continue learning and growing as a writer.’

And we welcome back She Writes regulars:

Maggie Drury, Sam Hall, Sarah Hehir;  as well as the plays you will see tonight, Maggie, Sam and Sarah are also collaborating on The Spirit of my Dream for Rochester Literature Festival 2014. They are all Medway based writers.

Whoop’n’Wail; Whoop’n’Wail are Ali Kemp and Deborah Klayman. They collaborated on 17Percent’s show for the Rochester LitFest last year, What’s through the door? along with Sam and Sarah. They first started working with She Writes when the event was held in Whitstable.

She Writes at Roundabout Nights ‘Vacations and celebrations’
1 September 2014, 7pm-9.30pm(ish)
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway Street, Chatham, ME4 6RJ.

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She Writes will be open to He Writers once a quarter…

At 17Percent we have long believed that (as playwright Emma Adams said at a panel in our launch festival in 2010,) ‘it’s a conversation not a competition’, and that women and men working in the theatre both have a responsibility to address the imbalance in male/female written work, by working and campaigning together.

With this in mind, we have decided to put our money where our mouth is (not literally – as a completely unfunded initiative, we don’t have any money…) and open up the conversation once every four She Writes.

We want plays from men and women, (mixed writing teams are also eligible,) so we can hear both sides of the story, the only guideline is that there should be at least one lead role for a woman in the play. Apart from that, we just want to see good plays, we don’t care what style the play is, and feel free to interpret the them very loosely. We don’t get enough sci-fi, Westerns or genre plays…  See guidelines on submitting to She Writes here.

Next theme: Journeys. (Emotional, imagined or real.)

Deadline: 14 October. Please drop us a line if there are any queries, or see more info on She Writes.

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Butterfly Psyche and Live Wire present the Bronte Season this Autumn

Promotional image for the Bronte Season

(c) Butterfly Psyche Theatre

West Country-based Live Wire Theatre and  Butterfly Psyche Theatre Companies will present an exciting new project touring the West Country this Autumn. The Brontë Season features three new theatrical adaptations of works by the Brontë sisters, including Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The theatre performances consist of the three adaptations created to work as a whole. The idea is to feature each of the Brontë sister’s work to show their differences in tone, style, and storytelling as well as support their literary value as individual female writers as well as that of a collective (“The Brontës”).

Performed in rep, with only one and two actors, there’s a chance to mix-and-match an old favourite along with a new acquaintance as well as the chance to see all three (with breaks, obviously!) at Omnibus Performances on the Saturdays.

Adapted by critically acclaimed writers Dougie Blaxland (Biggles, A Christmas Carol, That Moment) and Alison Farina (Fertility Objects, The Persistence of Memory, The Blue Bird) these new productions show how progressive and brave the Brontë sisters really were. Their passionate, iconic and timeless stories (written nearly 200 years ago) touch upon issues that are still very much relevant today.

Reviews of Live Wire’s Jane Eyre:

“…as fine a stage adaptation of a novel as you are likely to see  – a five star show in every sense.” Bath Chronicle 5-Stars (*****)

“…first-class performance in what is undoubtedly a first-class production.” British Theatre Guide 5-Stars (*****)

Dates and venues: 

RONDO THEATRE, BATH: (More info and booking)
Weds 17th Sept: Wuthering Heights
Thurs 18th Sept: Jane Eyre
Fri 19th Sept The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 20th Sept: Wuthering Heights / Jane Eyre / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Weds 24th Sept Wuthering Heights
Thurs 25th Sept: Jane Eyre
Fri 26th Sept: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 27th Sept: Wuthering Heights / Jane Eyre / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

VICTORIA HALL, RADSTOCK: (More info and booking)
Sat 4th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Wuthering Heights
Sun 5th Oct: Jane Eyre

ARNOS VALE CEMETRY, BRISTOL (More info and booking)
Weds 8th Oct: Jane Eyre
Thurs 9th Oct: Wuthering Heights
Fri 10th Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 11th Oct:  Jane Eyre / Wuthering Heights / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

REDMAIDS, BRISTOL (More info and booking)
Weds 22nd Oct: Jane Eyre
Thurs 23rd Oct: Wuthering Heights
Fri 24th Oct: TheTenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 25th Oct: Jane Eyre / Wuthering Heights

BARNFIELD, EXETER (More info and booking)
Thurs 30th Oct: Jane Eyre
Friday 31st Oct: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sat 1st Nov: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Wuthering Heights




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