POWER PLAYS: Writing Contest Winner

POWER PLAYS: Writing Contest Winner

Event details

27 July at 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

£10.00

Content warning: Mental Health, Cancer, Suicide, LGBTIQA+ issues and some strong language

A night of celebration! Our competition winning play “Bluebells and Dirty Nappies” written by Blackpool-based artist Lindsay Bennett-Thompson will be showcased as the climax to our Power Plays festival. This event will also allow audiences to hear selected scenes from three long listed plays from the previous night’s showcase event and the culmination of our writer-in-residence Martha Pailing’s musings from her time spent at TheOE which centre around loneliness and laughter, at connection and community, along with a post-show Q+A with Lindsay Bennet-Thompson.

Play Synopsis: Set between North and South Pier on Blackpool Beach. Two volunteer litter pickers spark an unusual friendship. With one of them desperate to hold onto life (Norma) and the other running away from it (Chrissa), these two women are an unlikely pair as they navigate two very different paths across one stretch of golden sand.

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POWER PLAYS: Writing Contest Winner
£ 10.00
56 available

Lindsay Bennett-Thompson

Lindsay Bennett-Thompson is a Blackpool-based Actor and Writer. Her passion for writing came from being an only child with an old typewriter with a missing E. Alongside her work as an Actor, she is most recognised for her screenwriting with her most recent collaboration with acclaimed director Paul Holbrook on the short film ‘Boys Like You’ currently in International Film Festivals.  For Theatre, Lindsay had previously written two one-woman shows and is excited to return to her theatrical roots.

You can see more of her work here: www.lindsaybennett.net 


Quote from Melanie: “It was such a joy and a privilege to, alongside the other judges on the panel, read the plays that were submitted to the Power Plays writing competition. This is our first year of programming this festival and I was blown away by the quality and diversity of the writing; we had submissions from across the UK from London to Edinburgh but over half came from FY postcodes and the majority came from the North West. There were a huge range of themes considered in relation to the interpretation of the town; from turkey & tinsel to talking seagulls and from drag queens to mermaids – such a great insight to how people are wanting to frame Blackpool through a new lens which is exactly what we’d hoped for. I cant wait to get stuck in with casting and rehearsing now and to bring some of these works to life onstage!”

Additionally as a result of the Power Plays writing competition, writers Rachael Thomasen, Sarah Green, Adam Martin-Brooks and Beth Mullen have been connected for mentoring with  playwrights Simon Stephens and Nick Wood, Dramaturg Frank Peschier and Artist Development Manager at Factory International Punam Ramchurn.

What is Dramaturgy Anyway?

What is Dramaturgy Anyway?

Event details

25 July at 6:00 pm 6:50 pm

£3.00

Are you a writer who has ever found themselves stuck in the creative process? Have you ever felt like your work could use an extra set of eyes to help elevate it to the next level? If so, you might want to consider working with a dramaturg. The job of a dramaturg is notoriously difficult to define, yet any writer who has collaborated with one understands how essential they are in the theatrical process. With their vast knowledge of theatrical history and structure, they can guide a writer through the development of their play, from the very first draft to opening night.

Join us in a conversation with Stewart Pringle, writer and senior dramaturg at the National Theatre, to learn more about how a dramaturg can help take your work to the next level. Discover how they can provide invaluable support and insight throughout the creative process to bring your play to life. New play, The Bounds, is part of the season at Royal Court June-July, Stewart Pringle

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What is Dramaturgy Anyway?
£ 3.00
42 available

About Stewart Pringle

Stewart is a north-eastern writer and dramaturg, currently based in London. He is Senior Dramaturg at the National Theatre, where he has worked since 2018, on productions including Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Witches and Nye. Prior to that he worked as Associate Dramaturg at the Bush Theatre and Artistic Director of the Old Red Lion. As a writer his work includes the Papatango Prize winning Trestle, and most recently The Bounds which will open at the Live! Theatre and the Royal Court this summer. He has also worked extensively as an arts journalist for publications including The Stage, Time Out and New Scientist.

Scratch Plays

Scratch Plays

Event details

26 July at 7:00 pm 9:30 pm

£5.00

Four actors and a director will work with the writers of three long listed scripts submitted to the Power Plays competition to bring their play to life to a script-in-hand read through.

The Seagull Has Landed by Michael Davies

SYNOPSIS: Blackpool’s North Pier is a magnet. It draws locals, regular tourists and first-time visitors alike. And seagulls. So it’s no surprise to find three disparate people from very different backgrounds contemplating their lives on the pier one sunny afternoon. It is a bit weirder to find a seagull as their therapist. As they trade ideas, experiences and the occasional bit of Aristotelian narrative theory, their colliding views are brought into sharp focus by the seagull, who brings a literal bird’s eye perspective to their entrenched opinions. But can a surreal, absurdist intervention really change the power dynamics in a world that’s already difficult to navigate? 

The Dreamer by Jake Cillian Wolf

SYNOPSIS: Set on Central Pier, Blackpool and Miami Beach, Florida, the play explores the challenges of growing up as a non-binary person in Blackpool and searching for answers to life’s bigger questions: Friends navigate their relationship after a failed romance; siblings try to comfort one another during the difficult reality of their mother’s battle with cancer; and yearning for another reality provokes a strange and surreal adventure.

The Queen of the Sun by Leah Philbin

SYNOPSIS: Sarah, a former local returns to Blackpool burdened by a very big secret. Whilst being followed by an unseen assailant, she finds sanctuary in a place which she’d long turned her back on, forcing her to reflect on the mistakes she has made in the pursuit of a better life and compelling her to realise that true happiness could be found closer to home. The play celebrates the vibrant and inclusive LGBTQ+ community within Blackpool, exploring themes such as inequality, oppression, nostalgia, aspiration, gender identity and redemption. Particularly focusing on the barriers faced by someone trying to ignite personal and social change.

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Scratch Plays | 26/07
£ 5.00
66 available

About Michael Davies

Michael abandoned a successful career as a newspaper editor to write fiction. His debut play Rasputin’s Mother won the Bristol Old Vic playwriting competition and subsequent work for the stage includes MacHamLear (UK tour), Reality (Royal & Derngate) and the book and lyrics for Tess – The Musical (workshopped at the RSC). He has written narrative non-fiction for worldwide television, had short stories and poetry commissioned and published, and contributes regular essays for theatre programmes. As an author, Michael completed Desmond Bagley’s thriller Domino Island for posthumous publication and his written two sequels, Outback and Thin Ice, both published by HarperCollins.

www.mrgdavies.com 

About Jake Cillian Wolf

Jake is currently pursuing an MFA in acting at East 15 Acting Conservatory having moved to London in 2023. They received a BA in theatre at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa,, after spending ten years living in Oahu, Hawai’i, as an active member of the island’s theatre community. Jake is non-binary/transmasculine, and likes making theatre which tells LGBTQIA+ stories.

About Leah Philbin

Leah is a playwright from Nottingham and has been writing, in one form or another, for most of her life. Her work has previously been included in the 37 Plays Festival at the Theatre Royal Nottingham and she was recently shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship Theatre Prize. She is motivated to tell thought-provoking stories which provide social commentary, particularly relating to inequality and social injustice. She can usually be found writing in her garden, surrounded by her dog and many cats.

Creating Autobiographical Performance Work

Creating Autobiographical Performance Work

Event details

11 July at 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

£5.00 | 18+

Join performance artist Krishna Istha for a workshop that explores how artists and performers can craft autobiographical, genre-pushing works. Participants will delve into idea-generating exercises, examining the use of personal experiences to shape stories, experimenting with form and structure, and will be encouraged to create their own material. Presented by Queer Amusements as part of The Old Electric’s Power Plays festival and Showtown’s The Blackpool Laughter Festival. Queer Amusements is commissioned by Marlborough Productions, as part of their New Queers on the Block programme, Aunty Social and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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About Krishna Istha

Krishna Istha is a London-based performance artist, comedian, theatre maker and screenwriter. They create socially conscious, form-pushing works about taboo or underrepresented experiences of gender, race and sexual politics. 

They were a Barbican Centre Open Lab artist (2021-22) and an Arts Admin Bursary Artist (2020-21). They were one of two shortlisted writers for the SKY Arts & Royal Society of Literature Writers Awards under screenwriting (2022), and came Runner-Up on Screenshot (2021) — a competition for comedy writer-performers hosted by Sister Pictures and South of the River Pictures.

Most recently, they wrote on Netflix’s Sex Education (Season 4, Episode 3), is a Netflix Documentary Talent Fund recipient, and one of the comedians featured on the Netflix Special Hannah Gadsby’s Gender Agenda

New Writing & Dramaturgy: An Artist and Producer’s Perspective

New Writing & Dramaturgy: An Artist and Producer’s Perspective

Event details

8 June at 11:00 am 12:30 pm

£3.00 | 18+

In this informative and practical workshop, you will learn about the process of reading and programming plays from the perspective of an award-winning artist and as an internationally acclaimed producer. As a Headlong Associate, and co-Artistic Director of Ellandar Productions, Iskandar will explore the process of decision making and dramaturgy, as well as giving an overview of taking a production from inception to stage in the current producing climate. He will also discuss routes for self generating and producing your writing, including demystifying the process of public subsidy for independent artists.

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About Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin

Iskandar إسكندر R. Sharazuddin it is a British-Bruneian theatre artist. He is an Associate at Headlong Theatre and the Joint Artistic Director of Ellandar Productions, a British East and Southeast Asian (BESEA) theatre company producing new writing and work by and about a BESEA lived experience. An award-winning writer, he received the Tony Craze Playwriting Award from Soho Theatre and has been long-listed for the Bruntwood Playwriting Prize and shortlisted for the Off West End Adopt a Playwright.

https://www.headlong.co.uk/iskandar-r-sharazuddin

New Writing & Dramaturgy: A Literary Manager & New Works Perspective

New Writing & Dramaturgy: A Literary Manager & New Works Perspective

Event details

8 June at 2:00 pm 3:30 pm

£3.00 | 18+

In this introduction to practical dramaturgy and literary management, Frank will share her tips on approaching theatres, producers and navigating open submission and prizes. She will discuss how companies like Headlong seek out new work, and what they are looking for to help unlock new opportunities. We will clarify the nuts and bolts of commissioning, the wonderful world of contracts, adaptations, rights and royalties. Through writing exercises and discussion, we will also explore the art of dramaturgy and its pivotal role in shaping your work to be the best it can be.

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About Frank Peschier

Dr Frank Peschier is the literary manager of Headlong and a freelance dramaturg, critic and lecturer from South London, based in Liverpool. She currently oversees commissions and in house dramaturgy including forthcoming work from Cordelia Lynn, Winsome Pinnock, Joel Tan and James Graham. Previously she was New Works Associate at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatre where in 2021 she was highly commended for the Kenneth Tynan Dramaturgy Award, highlighting her ‘artistic leadership and passion in platforming and celebrating voices that are often left unheard’. She writes about theatre for publications including Exeunt and The Stage, and has taught performance theory and contextual studies for BA and MA programmes at LIPA, Liverpool Hope, AUB and UAL. She is passionate about new writing, creative access and shaping brilliant experiences that bring people together. She is equally passionate about books, aerial arts and a seriously good vodka martini.

www.frankpeschier.co.uk
@FrankPeschier

Voices of Generation Zed

Voices of Generation Zed

Event details

18 July at 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

£8.00 | 12+

‘a psychological chocolate box of delights’

Voices of Generation Zed is a selection box of 9 micro plays by award winning writers, performed by a new generation of the North west’s brightest young student actors.

Funny? Yes
Emotional? Yes
Sweet? Yes
So, all creams and no hard centres? No, we’ve got hard centres too. These are tough talking little plays dealing with the hard things in life with humour and resilience worthy of the best generation ever, the mighty Generation Zed!

There will be a post-show Q&A with Rachel Ashton (Artistic Director at Theatre Factory) and Phill Greg (Senior Artist at Theatre Factory) from 8.15-8.50pm

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Theatre Factory logo

About Theatre Factory

Theatre Factory is a company of professional theatre makers. It was formed in 1997 to provide a place in Barrow-in-Furness for people, especially young people, to come and make original, new drama based on their own ideas, through improvising, playing, writing and generally messing around.

We have particular interests in young artists, neuro and gender diversity, mental health and well-being and social justice. Theatre Factory are based in the Cooke’s Arts and Media Centre where we have a fully equipped theatre studio and room to act, improvise, make things, move around, puppet, bang drums, animate, perform and film.

Theatre Factory runs all kinds of projects: theatre (indoors, outdoors and online), animation, writing, digital and sound. We make stories in collaboration with children, young people and the occasional adult. Their ideas, your ideas, are at the heart of everything we do. We share those stories locally and regionally from our home in Barrow-in-Furness.

https://www.theatrefactory.org/

Q&A with Simon Stephens

Q&A with Simon Stephens

Event details

4 May at 10:00 am 11:30 am

£3.00 | 16+

Simon Stephens is an internationally produced playwright whose plays have been translated into over 40 languages and produced all over the world. He will be answering any question you want to ask him from whether the playwright remains an integral creative figure in new theatre to whether the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime perpetuated stereotypes of neuro diversity to what Andrew Scott is like.

He will literally answer any question about anything.

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About Simon Stephens

For more than twenty years Simon Stephens work has been widely translated and produced throughout the world. He has won many Awards including Olivier and Tony Awards for new plays.

He has written new English language versions of masterpieces by Chekhov, Ibsen and Brecht and adaptations of novels by Mark Haddon and Jose Saramago. He has collaborated with the world’s leading theatre practitioners (Andrew Scott, Patrice Chereau, Ivo Van Hove, Marianne Elliott, Katie Mitchell) and produced original work throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. He is a Professor at the Writing School of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Getting Started as a Writer Q&A

Getting Started as a Writer Q&A

Event details

28 April at 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

£3.00 | 16+

What do working class stories look like? Blackpool born and bred writer and actress Lauren Nicole Mayes discusses her journey as an artist, perceived barriers to writing and how being part of a working class community has informed her writing.

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About Lauren Nicole Mayes

Blackpool born and bred, Lauren is a working-class writer and actress and one of the five selected writers for the inaugural Sky Studios & Box Of Tricks ScreenPlay Award. In 2022 her one woman play Dear Little Loz was developed and commissioned by Izzy Parriss Productions which was selected to perform a full run at Surgeons Hall – Edinburgh Fringe receiving rave reviews. In 2023 she was selected for BBC Writers room: Northern Voices.

For screen, her TV Drama BABYNUN XO is now in development with It’s All Made Up Productions ( Philip Barantini) with a broadcaster attached.

Lauren’s short film LADS,LADS,LADS was picked up by La De La Studios & Hotel Football UK in partnership with men’s mental health. The short film went viral and charities involved received an outcry of support.

For Theatre, Lauren’s play Shit.God.Shit was shortlisted via The Royal Exchange for The English Touring Theatres Nationwide Voices Scheme. She was also the recipient and
winner of The Arvon Poetry Scholarship and an Associate Artist for Oldham Coliseum 2022/23.

What are you laughing at?

What are you laughing at?

Event details

13 July at 1:00 pm 1:45 pm

£3.00 | 14+

Q&A with comedians

Want to start a career in comedy? Do you need some help writing a comedy set? Or are you a comic wanting to know how to go to the next level? Or maybe would you just like to know how the magic happens? These questions and less will be answered by a panel of professional comedians. Featuring international award winning comic Allyson June Smith and Edinburgh Festival Award winner Sian Davies. Hosted by non award winning duo Black Liver…though we did get nominated a few times…

Come hear comedians talk about their creative practice, how to write award winning shows and carve a career out in their crazy comedy world. 

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