Programme 2017

 

Our Monday meetings run throughout the year, except holidays, and are open to all.
No booking required! Entry is £2.50 for members and £4 for non-members.

Feel free to come and say hello!


9 January

Talk on Playwriting by Nick Wood

Nick Wood is a playwright, and he will talk about his craft.

He says: “I’ve always wanted to be a playwright. I wrote I don’t know how many plays but as much as I tried to kid myself I knew I hadn’t got a real voice… Then I got a job as a Head of Drama and I tried to get Arts Council money to employ a writer for a community play. We didn’t get the money so I had to write it myself. For the first time I was working as a writer, getting the job done, finding the most effective way to tell the story, solving problems, working out how to best use a cast of 120 ranging in age from seven years old to the mid-70s. The play worked… I wrote more for the community and the kids at the school and in doing so I found a voice. I knew then that I could make a living and I was going to make it happen… Working with the community and kids at a college in a North Nottinghamshire ex-pit village stripped me of my pretensions and taught me how to write plays that work.”


16 January

Like you was the bloody queen by Geoffrey Heptonstall


23 January

The Club by Jim Mannering

Four people meet in a basement, look through photos and discuss ‘the work’. There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby…is there? The Club is a taught and darkly comic thriller.

Jim Mannering is a graduate in political theory and a former social worker. He retrained as an actor and is currently writing as well as performing. The Club is one of three full length plays in development. Jim’s short Building is being produced alongside a collection of Brexit themed plays at the Southwark Playhouse.


30 January

Writing a Sitcom by Marc Blake

Marc Blake is a former stand up, now playwright, screenwriter and director.

As a comedy expert he appeared on Channel 4’s Offensive guide to Comedy and for the Dave Channel on their GSOH launch, also for the Granada TV series ‘The Test.’ He has worked with the Mu-Lan Chinese Theatre studios and for Riverside Studios where students produced three hours of recorded comedy.

He wrote for numerous TV and radio series including ‘Spitting Image’, Arnold Brown, Craig Charles, Frankie Howard and Russ Abbott. Former students include performers Catherine Tate, Rudy Lickwood, Marc Lucero, Angelos Epithimiou, Carl Donnelly and Joe Wilkinson, plus writers Simon Blackwell (The Thick of It, In the Loop), David Scott and Ali Crockatt (Genius) and your name here.

He has written four comic novels, Sunstroke, Bigtime, 24 Karat Schmooze and Monkey Puzzle, also a YA period ghost novel ‘Spirit of the Blitz’ and several writers’ guides including How to be a Comedy Writer and How to be a Sitcom Writer (both published by Andrews UK, 2007.


6 February

Table Manners by Ian Critchley

Lawyer Alison Gaines believes that eating meals together at the kitchen table will help improve communication with her husband, Dan. Over the course of one Saturday, as an old friend and Alison’s parents visit, and old family wounds are reopened, it becomes clear that Alison and Dan’s relationship is under terrible strain and heading for irrevocable breakdown.

Ian Critchley is a freelance journalist and editor living in Hertfordshire. His book reviews have appeared in the Sunday Times, Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review and Daily Telegraph. Table Manners is his second play, written 25 years after his first.


13 February

The man who shot Kennedy/ Split lips by Marc Blake

Marc Blake is a former stand up, now playwright, screenwriter and director.

He wrote for numerous TV and radio series including ‘Spitting Image’, Arnold Brown, Craig Charles, Frankie Howard and Russ Abbott. Former students include performers Catherine Tate, Rudy Lickwood, Marc Lucero, Angelos Epithimiou, Carl Donnelly and Joe Wilkinson, plus writers Simon Blackwell (The Thick of It, In the Loop), David Scott and Ali Crockatt (Genius) and your name here.

He has written four comic novels, Sunstroke, Bigtime, 24 Karat Schmooze and Monkey Puzzle, also a YA period ghost novel ‘Spirit of the Blitz’ and several writers’ guides including How to be a Comedy Writer and How to be a Sitcom Writer (both published by Andrews UK, 2007.)


20 February

The Horseman’s Seed by Scott Sauls


27 February

Competition Play off


6 March

Playwriting and theatre 503 by Steve Harper

Steve Harper is the literary manager for one of London’s foremost new writing venues, the Theatre 503 (formerly the Latchmere.) He will talk about 503, his role, literary departments, script reading/readers, opportunities for both writers and actors at Theatre 503, and similar matters.


20 March

Writing for Theatre by Laurence Marks and Morris Gran

Our joint presidents, Laurence Marks and Morris Gran, will talk about writing for theatre and cinema, and take questions.

Marks and Gran are now Britain’s best known team of comedy writers (credits include such shows as Birds of a Feather), but they met and started working together at Player Playwrights in 1973. They have been loyal to us ever since, never forgetting to come back and help us, however successful and busy they became – and they became very successful and busy.

Don’t miss this very special event – you don’t get offered a masterclass of this quality very often, and when you do it usually costs the earth.


3 April

Whatever Happened to Rick Marks by Francis Beckett


10 April

Competition