- Date: 19 June 2014
- Area: Midlands
Last year, Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation Pentabus ran a series of free playwriting workshops in schools and college. From these workshops eight promising playwrights, all aged between 16 and 24, were selected to establish the company’s first Young Writers’ Group.
Since then these young writers have been meeting regularly to take part in workshops with professional playwrights, actors, directors and theatre makers, including, Phil Porter, Simon Longman and Francesca Millican-Slater.
These up-and-coming writers have now all written plays, which Pentabus will produce and present at the first ever Young Writers Festival.
From Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 July, the Young Writers’ Festival will take up residence in a pop-up theatre at the Charlton Arms in Ludlow, as part of the Ludlow Fringe Festival.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “The Young Writers Festival is an excellent opportunity for these young playwrights to have their work seen and enjoyed. It’s also a great chance for audiences at the Ludlow Fringe Festival to see work by some of Shropshire’s emerging literary talent.”
Two plays will be performed each night, showcasing the work of Rory Boar, Jade Edwards, Jack Purkis, David Scotswood, Cara Squires, Nat Vaughan, Tom Wentworth and Michael Wild.
Elizabeth Freestone, Artistic Director, Pentabus said: ‘I couldn’t be prouder to be presenting these 8 new plays by 8 new writers in our Young Writers Festival, a fitting way for us to celebrate the company’s 40th year at the forefront of producing excellent new theatre. These playwrights have written about unemployment and ghosts, isolation and sexuality, love and ambition. Their plays demonstrate a force of rural energy hungry to explore the things that are really going on in the countryside. The plays are funny, daring and bold; must-see new theatre.’
These young playwrights have also taken inspiration from locations around Ludlow to produce eight short audio plays for a series of audio tours, aptly named, Stories from the Street.
Visitors to the Ludlow Fringe Festival will be able to wander around the historic town, listening to these new stories, which range from the fantastical to the personal, the humourous to the reflective. These audio adventures can be enjoyed until Sunday 6 July from 9am to 5pm at Castle Bookshop, Market Square, Ludlow.
Simon Longman, Curator of Young Writers Festival and professional playwright, said: ‘To have the opportunity to curate and act as a tutor to this group of writers has been exciting. The eight writers have some of the most amazing imaginations I’ve encountered and to have worked with them in developing their plays has been truly inspiring. These plays represent a culmination of a project full of bravery from writers who have written about what the world means to them. It’s been a pleasure to spend time in their creative company.’
The Young Writers’ Festival brings to a close the first year of Pentabus’ Young Writers’ Programme, which is open to all young people living in a rural area who have an ambition to write for theatre. Over the summer months a new group of emerging playwrights will be recruited and will start work on a new play in the autumn.
Visit Pentabus’ website to find out more about the Young Writers’ Festival.
If you’re an aspiring young playwright interested in joining Pentabus’ Young Writers’ Programme, click here.
To find out more about how Art Council England invests in and supports writers, playwrights and literature organisation, click here.