Brockley Jack offers local playwrights big break

Brockley Jack

Pic: Flickr Ewan M

The Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley has launched a competition giving local writers the chance to have their play put on by professionals.

The ‘Write Now’ competition, now in its third year, is aimed solely at writers living in south-east London. The judging panel includes Lin Coghlan, who has written for Eastenders and the National Theatre, and Simon James Collier, award-winning producer of the Okai Collier Company.

Plays can be on any subject and based in any location. Last year’s winners ranged from a play about bullying on a Leeds council estate to one set in a Liverpool launderette.

Of the three winning plays that will be selected, one must be written by a young person aged between 16 and 24, and another must represent the area’s cultural diversity.

Artistic Director of the theatre, Kate Bannister, said: “People can be frightened about seeing new work and taking a risk on it. That’s what the competition is here for.

“The plays might not have the perfect structure; there may be issues that we can help them work out, but really it is about having that great idea. Every play that won the competition in the past has been absolutely stunning. It is about excellence.

“There is an awful lot of creativity in south-east London. I would really encourage people to just have a go.”

Each play will be given a full professional cast and technical team, along with a week of performances next year.

Past winners of the competition now work at the BBC and the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.

The competition had around 90 entrants last year and organisers anticipate a similar level of interest this time around. It is partly funded by Lewisham council as part of the ‘Cultural Olympiad’ series of events.

The Jack also runs writers’ workshops and ‘Scratch Nights’, where up and coming writers can showcase their storytelling abilities, sketches, short plays, comedy and poetry.

Entries are being accepted from now until November 25. To enter, download an application form at the Brockley Jack Theatre website.

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