Wordsmith New Writing Festival

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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival Oldham, England, UK
Festival Contact Information

Oldham Coliseum
Fairbottom Street
Oldham OL1 3SW, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 0161 624 2829
Email: boxoffice@coliseum.org.uk

Festival Description

A week long programme packed full of script surgeries, performances and special events. New plays are the cornerstone of our industry and these plays are dependent on the creativity and vision of playwrights. The Oldham Coliseum Theatre is dedicated to nurturing writers to develop their art and will offer support and advice to writers of all abilities to help create new plays and establish a confident regional voice and creative identity for the North West. Through collaboration with some of the region’s best Directors, North West Playwrights and the Coliseum’s own writing group, WritingLAB, Wordsmith will showcase the finest of the North West’s emerging new work.

Festival Dates October 18 - 23, 2010
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Script development sessions 2010 — Free entrance:
  • Monday 18 October, 10:00am – 1:00pm
    • Woman Meets Man, By Richard Woulfe in association with North West Playwrights
      Directed by Chris Wright
      A website offers ‘no-strings’ sex but does such a thing exist? Sam is game, Gary’s not so sure. Is she liberated or lonely? Is he needy or simply more honest? And who’s telling the truth anyway?
  • Monday 18 October, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Flag, By Brian Marchbank
      Directed by Chris Wright
      “Comedy is a serious business”. A young successful comedy writer approaches a middle aged, washed-up club comedian, to create a character for the Comedy Store circuit. The young svengali, creates a controversial monster, which brings wealth and a great deal of grief.
  • Tuesday 19 October, 10:00am – 1:00pm
    • Home Truth, By Michael Rumney
      Directed by Joyce Branagh
      Louise wants to put her father in a home. Janet wants him to live with her. Who will want him when the sisters find out he’s leaving his money to John, Louise’s son?
  • Tuesday 19 October, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Dark Seas, By Simon Pickup
      Directed by Joyce Branagh
      When two recently divorced women from Manchester decide to leave behind their lives, children, jobs and all to seek adventure on an unconventional journey on a container ship to South America they appear to have got more than they bargained for.
Performances 2010:
  • Wednesday 20 October, 7:30pm
    • The Great Bitter Lake, By Brian Morton
      Directed by Kevin Shaw
      On June 5, 1967, the Six Day War between the Egyptians and the Israelis broke out trapping fifteen merchant ships in the Great Bitter Lake, the southern entrance to the Suez Canal. The great Bitter Lake follows the lives of 6 seamen imprisoned on board their ship for another hundred uncertain and risky days in terrible heat where boredom is their daily foe.
      Tickets: £4.00
  • Thursday 21 October, 7:30pm
    • Fun Run, By Joe Graham
      Directed by Adam Sunderland
      Libby has a new pet charity, set up in honour of husband Ed. She believes that, through her planned charity fun run, she could be finally launched into ‘Lenny Henry’ territory. Keen to show the world her supreme talent for charitable caring, she entrusts Ken Bunten’s Design Agency ‘WTBI?’ to create a campaign concept. Senior designer, Sean struggles for ideas whilst the creative potential of junior designer Touchy is ignored, though not by new receptionist Amanda, who attempts to shapeshift her way into his affections.
      Tickets: £4.00
  • Friday 22 October, 7:30pm
    • Pawn, By Brian Marchbank
      Directed by Dennis Keighron-Foster
      Oldham Coliseum proudly presents a new play written by the very talented Brian Marchbank. Brian’s script was written during his time as a member of the theatre’s WritingLAB group and was one of the best plays at this year’s 24:7 Festival. You get up, dressed, pick up your mask and gun, then go to work. Next thing, bells are sounding and shutters come crashing down. The day’s turned to shit, and you think it can’t get worse. But when your hostages are old schoolmates, it can get a lot worse.
      Tickets: £4.00
  • Saturday 23 October, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
    • Discussion with Jim Cartwright (invited audience only)
      Ever wondered what it would be like to be a professional playwright? How to get your work on stage in the North West, who to go to and who to talk to? Northwest Playwrights and Oldham Coliseum are offering an exclusive audience the opportunity to hear first-hand from one of the country’s most prolific playwrights, Jim Cartwright, just what it takes to be a successful playwright.
  • Saturday 23 October, 7:30pm
    • North West Playwrights present A Class of Their Own
      Script-in-hand performances
      A showcase of extraordinary drama highlighting the startling writing talent emerging in the North West. Four pieces developed during recent programmes of classes run by North West Playwrights. Four plays which reach into the depths of the imagination, and stretch to the far reaches of the mind.
      Tickets: £4.00


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