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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Agent 160 and Joan Littlewood’s Fun Palaces….

Originally posted on kaiteoreilly:

October 2014 marks the centenary of the birth of legendary theatre director Joan Littlewood. In celebration of her vision, and in defiance of the austerity climate and cuts in the arts, Stella Duffy and Sarah Jane Rawlings are encouraging pop-up fun palaces across the UK.

Littlewood’s Fun Palace was an unrealised dream of a venue housing culture and science, inviting  participation and engagement.

“Choose what you want to do … dance, talk or be lifted up to where you can see how other people make things work. Sit out over space with a drink and tune in to what’s happening elsewhere in the city. Try starting a riot or beginning a painting – or just lie back and stare at the sky.”

2014’s pop-up Fun Palaces are happening all across the UK, using venues and buildings already in existence, but asking for a new attitude…

View original 302 more words

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Words and Women – paid commission for writers in the East of England

Words and Women flierWords and Women is launching ‘About,’ a new writing commission to create four texts for performance and the page. The Arts Council funded project will help develop work which explores the life of women and their relationship to place within the East of England.

The commission means four female writers, selected through an open competition, will not only be given paid time to write but will be mentored by Words and Women as well as theatre director Adina Levay and performance poet Hannah Walker.

The resulting new work will be published in Words and Women’s second anthology and performed on International Women’s Day next year. Deadline Midnight 26th September, 2014.

See www.wordsandwomennorwich.blogspot.co.uk for entry details.

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Photos from Not the Edinburgh Festival

At our first She Writes at Roundabout Nights we had a selection of plays from local female writers; Good cava is better than bad champagne by SM Jenkin; an extract from A life in Ruins by SJ Horan; March by Sarah Hehir; Runaway by Sam Rapp; Human Nature by Maggie Drury; and Favela to Favela by Sam Hall.

Thanks to our readers, Nigel, Sarah, Irina, Barry, Sam, and Sam.

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Not the Edinburgh Festival – She Writes on 4 August

She Writes logoWe are delighted to show you a small selection of plays under the banner of ‘Not the Edinburgh Festival’ this Monday at Roundabout Nights at The Alex in Chatham.

Doors open 6.30pm, and the show starts at 7pm. Do come along and be part of the next phase of She Writes.

(Writers – we are keeping back the traffic themed plays for later in the year. To submit a play to the next showcase on 1 September, please see submission info.)

Upstairs at The Alex
43 Railway St, Chatham, Kent ME4 6RJ

Travel info: 
If coming from London: You can currently get super off-peak trains from London to Chatham from London Bridge/Victoria for £13.50 return. The Alexandra Hotel is 2 minutes from Chatham train station. High Speed trains from St Pancras also stop at Chatham.

If coming from Kent and Medway: Nearest car parks are at Upper Mount, ME4 6BP and Old Road, ME4 6BP. Alternative car park Sir John Hawkins, ME4 4JL is near the bus station.

Chatham bus station is about a 5-minute walk from the Alexandra, check Arriva’s website for bus times. Some buses also stop at the train station.



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She Writes to relaunch in Medway

The exciting news is that we are going to relaunch She Writes in Chatham, Kent, and really focus on using it to help writers develop their writing.

The idea will be that writers will come along in the afternoon before their plays are due to be performed (or a day or two before depending on your availability,) to watch the plays being rehearsed, talk to the actors and director, and then receive feedback from the audience after the event (if you would like to, in the form of collated feedback forms).

Because we want to support writers’ development, we are currently only selecting plays from Kent-based writers, or those who can attend the performances, to get the most out of the reading of their play.

You can be kept up to date with when the next She Writes submission period is at our new monthly writing newsletter for Kent: http://eepurl.com/XGFrn

Please email 17Percent if you would like to be considered for our first showcase on 4 August for which we will be accepting 10-minute plays and 10-minute extracts from plays in progress, on the theme of Roundabouts or Traffic (as loosely inspired as you like). Deadline 25 July.

Please see our guidelines  on what to submit, and how.

After that the next dates will be:

1 September – The theme is holidays / vacations. Deadline 18 August.

29 September – To coincide with the Rochester LitFest, the theme is Byron. Deadline 15 Sept.

If you would like to come along and get a feel for the venue we will be using, then please do come along to the launch of our new Monday writing slot on 28 July, 7-10pm, Upstairs at The Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, Kent ME4 6RJ.

She Writes is a non-profit, unfunded initiative and so unfortunately there is no payment or reimbursement of expenses to writers, directors, performers or anyone else involved in the production of each piece.

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Camden Preview: The Thelmas present Ladylogue

Ladylogue imageAnd if you can’t make it to Scotland, there is an alternative taking place in London in August: the Camden Fringe. One of the shows there is by new group, The Thelmas.

Ladylogue! is an evening of one-woman shorts by emerging female playwrights, including Katie McCullough, Maud Dromgoole, Serena Haywood, Sarah Hehir, Tina Jay and Guleraana Mir, directed by Madelaine Moore and produced by Rhiannon Story and Madelaine Moore.

Hilarious, heart-warming, and often agonising, these tales reveal the inner lives of women dealing with whatever the world throws at them, by all means necessary. Whether wrestling with the veritable minefield that is teenage love, going to ludicrous lengths to lose weight or attending their first Islamic speed-dating event, these ladies will go above and beyond to improve their lot… Are their outcomes ever easily predicted? Are they mistresses of their own fates or merely making the best of a bad situation? Be they hopeful or hopeless, these ladies will open up a portion of their world, and will never give up without a fight!

Ladylogue! is the debut production from budding company The Thelmas, who are dedicated to promoting and supporting rising female talent. The gender imbalance in British theatre has never seemed more incongruous and so, much like the characters they help develop, The Thelmas are taking matters into their own hands. They are passionate about seeing more work commissioned which is written by women, for women and their work reflects this. Founded by director, Madelaine Moore, whose recent work has been seen at the Arcola Theatre, RichMix London, and Camden People’s Theatre.

In praise of CAKE, the first of the Ladylogues, showcased earlier this year:

“…highly relatable to many of our awkward and painful teenage memories… Beautifully and cleverly written by Maud Dromgoole, and expertly portrayed by Rhiannon Story.” (femalearts)

Tristan Bates Theatre
1a Tower Street Covent Garden London WC2H 9NP
Tue 12 August – Sat 16 August 2014 6:00pm £12.00 (£10.00 concs)
Book tickets via www.camdenfringe.com

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Edinburgh Preview: some to watch

There are going to be literally hundreds of things you could see if you are spending some time next month in Edinburgh. But here are a few female-written/created shows that we like the sound of.

Chef posterChef by Sabrina Mahfouz

Chef tells the gripping story of how one woman went from being a haute-cuisine head-chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen. Sabrina Mahfouz’s distinct award-winning lyrical style and Jade Anouka’s mesmerising performance make this an extraordinary, must-see, new show. Leading us through her world of mouth-watering dishes and heart-breaking memories, Chef questions our attitudes to food, prisoners, violence, love and hope. Inspired by an interview Mahfouz conducted with Ollie Dabbous, Chef studies food as the ultimate art form taking stimulus from Dabbous’ obsession with simplicity and making something the best it can be. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July at 6.10pm.

Half a Can of Worms by Deborah Frances-White

Comedian Deborah Frances-White was adopted when she was only ten days old. Until late 2012, she knew nothing about her birth family. Then she stumbled across some information that led her to embark on a round-the-clock treasure hunt, drawn into her past like a magnet. When Deborah finally made contact with her birth mother, she exposed a part of the past that had been hidden for decades. This is her true story. Turns out, you can’t open half a can of worms! Pleasance Dome from 1st August (except 12th) at 3.45pm.

Hiraeth by Buddug James Jones

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 accompanied by live music and Welsh cakes. Through one woman’s struggle to escape and let go, Hiraeth explores the decline of Welsh identity and tradition. Hiraeth is a winner of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award 2014. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July (except 13th) at 4.50pm.

Mock Tudor by Lily Bevan

Jess, Sophie, Nic and Sam re-enact Henry VIII’s weddings, feasts and river pageants. They take pride in authenticity. Well, they try. But, now ‘Visitor Operations’ have ideas about ‘the future of the past’ and want to replace the actors with a computerised experience. It has never been more vital to keep the Tudors alive. From the writer of Stephen & The Sexy Partridge comes a comedy drama about historical re-enactors. Pleasance Courtyard – Beneath from 30th July (except 11th) at 1.45pm.

Spine by Clara Brennan

From award-winning playwright, Clara Brennan (Soho’s Channel 4 Playwright in residence 2014), comes the world premiere of a hilarious, pan-generational and heart-breaking call to arms for our modern age. Spine is a funny and touching monologue, charting the explosive friendship between a ferocious, wise-cracking teenager and a mischievous activist pensioner hell-bent on leaving a political legacy. Originally a 15 minute short as part of Theatre Uncut 2012. Underbelly Cowgate – Big Belly from 31st July (except 12th) at 3.30pm.

The IdeasTap Underbelly Award

We’ve also spotted that the four winners of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award – which offers funding and support from IdeasTap, a prime location at Underbelly Cowgate during the Festival, and mentoring from leading theatre practitioners as well as Underbelly staff – have all been written by female writers. All winning plays share the theme of identity, both personal and national.

You can see Karla Crome’s Mush and Me, Rachael Clerke’s How to achieve redemption as a Scot through the medium of Braveheart, Buddug James Jones’s Hiraeth and Jacqui Honess-Martin’s We Have Fallen, at the Underbelly.



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