When PlayerPlaywrights was founded in 1948 its aim was laid down as follows:
“To encourage the writing of plays by its members, by providing an opportunity for such plays to be presented and criticized by the Society; to widen the knowledge of all aspects of playwriting, by inviting to its meetings Speakers and Lecturers; to explore all avenues whereby members’ work may be presented to the public.”
Nearly seventy years later PP continues to bring together professional actors and writers with weekly play readings, actor and writer workshops, plus guest speaker events for its members. Previous events have included such guests as Alan Bennett, Michael Palin, writer/director Jessica Swale, producer Peter Huntley and directors David Grindley, Hannah Streeter from Paines Plough and Indhu Rubasingham.
We meet every Monday (excluding holidays) at the North London Tavern in Kilburn. You do not have to be a member to attend our Play Readings as we welcome anyone who would like to hear new writing. Audience entry is £2.50 for members and £4 for non-members.
Run by a committee of writers and actors, we keep our focus on new writing for the professional stage. However we also read radio drama, TV sitcoms and film scripts. In fact our very own presidents Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran tested their first scripts for Birds of a Feather on a PP audience. Despite having since been crowned “Living Legends”, they have not forgotten us and continue to test their work at PlayerPlaywrights. We have even read the occasional musical!
Our weekly readings are performed by professional actors for an audience of actors and writers from varying backgrounds as well as friends and guests who come along to hear and react to new writing.
Parts are cast in advance and actors rehearse with the writer and a guest director prior to the reading. All scripts are evaluated members and mentored if necessary. While we are not a producing organisation, many plays first read at Player-Playwrights have gone on to full production at a variety of venues in London and elsewhere, including the Edinburgh Fringe.
“The reception of the play was warm, the critiques offered were germane, helpful and without edge. It was a good start and I don’t hesitate in recommending Player Playwrights to any writer looking to try out and develop work”
Mark Jagasia, author of ‘Clarion’ (Arcola 2015)
Our evenings normally commence with the reading of the piece in the programme for that week. There is then a short break for drinks followed by a discussion. We encourage members to attend regularly and contribute to the constructive criticism of the work presented.
At the end of the evening there is the opportunity for networking. Many of our professional actors are earning their living in the industry, and many of the scripts read are subsequently produced. This informal element of the evening offers members the chance to find out more about what is going on in the “wider world of theatre” and make useful contacts.
How to Join
Player-Playwrights is a mutually supportive group of actors and writers. Members are encouraged to attend as regularly as possible and contribute to the constructive criticism of the work presented.
Prospective new members are encouraged to come along one evening as “guest” members (guest attendance is £4) to see what we have to offer and what they think.
If you want to join, there are three ways of doing so:
i) In person at a Monday night meeting. You will need to fill in a joining form available from the treasurer, and pay your first year’s subscription (£12) in cash or by cheque (made payable to Player-Playwrights). There is a cash machine outside Sainsburys opposite our venue the North London Tavern.
ii) By post. You will need to fill in a joining form available from the treasurer, and send this together with a cheque for £12 (made payable to Player-Playwrights) to Tony Diggle (please message us for the address)
iii) By e-mail and electronic transfer. You will need to contact the treasurer who will advise you as to how to pay by electronic transfer. You will also need to e-mail your details to him. Please contact the treasurer if you wish to join by this method.