Thursday, 28 May 2009


On Monday we return with Vinland. What's that, I hear? Well, according to this site:

"A thousand years ago, as Europe was emerging from what historians have called the “Dark Ages,” stories began circulating in Europe about a lush, abundant land far across the Atlantic called “Vinland” – the land of wine. For a long time scholars dismissed these stories as fanciful fables but then, in 1961, an indisputable Viking settlement was unearthed at L’Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. It was true! The Vikings had been to America 500 years before Columbus “discovered” it. But L’Anse Aux Meadows is not a “land of wine”. So where was this idyllic Vinland where Europe first encountered America?

The Vinland stories originated from an expedition of thirty men and possibly some women who set out from southwestern Greenland to explore lands to the west and south led by Leif, son of Erik the Red. Only fifteen years earlier, in 985 or 986, Erik had led a group of Icelandic families to new homes in southwestern Greenland. That same year an Icelandic trader en route from Iceland to visit his father in Greenland was storm-driven to unknown lands in what we now call North America. Leif Eriksson set out to settle them".

Whether this has got anything do with the entertainment on Monday I have no idea. But I do know it's a full length play, written by Kara May, whose high-scoring piece "Walking on Water" is in the July Showcase. So it ought to be good. Be there.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Shirley Valentine

Never seen the play? Never seen the movie? Happen to be in Wexford in late July and August?

Well, pop into the Jerome Hynes Theatre
Wexford Opera House
Southern Ireland
between July 28 - Aug 8 2009
and you get the chance to see our very own Nicola Hollinshead in this one woman show. She's done it before, and this is what they said two years ago:

'Willy Russell has the knack of creating strong women, and never more effectively than in SHIRLEY VALENTINE, in which the eponymous heroine has the only role. But it also plays host to many others, to Shirley's family, neighbours and acquaintances. She contains multitudes, coming vividly alive through the extensions of ther self to them...Nicola Hollinshead, directed by Ronan Wilmot, gives the performance of any actor's life, seducing the audience from the start with a highly individual blend of character, comic observation and self-analysis. She starts out as an angular denzien of a working class estate, whose main escape is literally talking to the wall. After her Grecian apothesis, she has morphed into a serene, beautiful woman of independent character. The process is called acting and it is a delight to experience here'.. Gerry Colgan, The Irish Times, Aug 6 2007

'You will rarely see a better solo performance than Nicola Hollinshead gives in this very funny, beautifully observed and occasionally moving one-woman play by Willy Russell'. Hollinshead loses nothing in comparison with the original screen Shirley Pauline Collins. She can illuminate a story with the simplest gesture as she physically becomes Shirley Valentine'.... *****Michael Moffatt, The Irish Mail on Sunday, July 29 2007

'the accomplished performance of Nicola Hollinshead as Shirley Bradshaw will have your memory of Collins fading as quickly as the memory of last year's sundrenched holiday'...On a barely set stage, Hollinshead takes on this epic struggle for freedom with gusto, offering us a less pointed, more uncertain Shirley than Collins, and it's not long before she has the (pre-dominantly female) audience emotionally entangled in a story that becomes the quest for selfhoood. Hollinshead's portrayal, coupled with the intimacy of The New Theatre, ensures we feel the full gamut of Shirley's emotional life: the painful ennui of urban existence; the raw humour derived from the urgency to 'get through'; the joy and simplicity of finding a happy life'...
****Stephen Mulkearn, Irish Metro, Aug 1 2007 '.

"...and Hollinshead is compelling, despite the familiarity of the material. She has a sure grip on Shirley's feisty, self-deprecating persona, and convincingly segues between coarse humour and touching pathos, giving voice to Russell's poetry of the venacular..." Declan Burke, Irish Sunday Times, July 29 2007

There are currently very cheap flights on Ryanair, says Niki, and she'll even buy you a Guinness!

Here are the details.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Nothing happening Monday because of the Whitsun Bank Holiday.

Here's Mr. Larkin, reading about the Weddings.

See you next week.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Meanwhile, back in the real world, Monday May 18th brings us another tv drama from Gary Davis, Hospitality. You may remember Five-A-Side, from the autumn, about a bunch of lads on a weekend away which ended with a football match. Well this one is about the real stuff. You know, the premier league. This time it's the dark, sordid underbelly of corruption, bribes, and dismal sex. Hey, don't we get enough of that every week?

Anyway, here's the best goal of all time. Well, one of them.


We have an announcement! This is how it will be:

Monday July 20th:

Colin Dicker by Dylan Davies (edit)
Walking on Water by Kara May (complete)


Love Me Backwards by Peter Briffa (complete)

Sunday November 1st:

Role Play by Katy Darby (complete)
Two Hands Higher Than A Duck by Hannah Kelly (edit)


Greaves and Gribson by Tim Gambrell (edit)
Come As U R by Eddie Coleman (complete)

For those of you who haven't been involved before, the Showcases are staged at The Kings Head, Upper Street, Islington N1. The shows will go up about 19:30 and need to finish by 21:30. Tim Gambrell is the producer.

More news will follow, as and when it comes. Congratulations to the panel, too. I was on it three years' running, and it was a hell of a lot harder to do than it looks from the outside - particularly when your own script is up for consideration. So, congratulations too, to Tim Gambrell, Peter Vincent, and the chairman himself, Roger Mayhew.

You Pays Your Money

So what do you think of paying people in order to get good at this writing lark? Well, here's three ways of doing it. One, get Steve Gooch on your case. Remember Steve? He came to give a talk last term. Read about his script consulting service here.

Then there's the Lunch Club, which is looking for a ten minute drama script.

Finally there's Janice Day's networking day on May 31st. Check them out.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Don Juan in Soho

Panny Skrivanos is appearing in this revival of Patrick Marber's version of the Moilere classic. It's playing at the Brentwood Theatre in darkest Essex for three nights only, this weekend from the 14th-16th May. Box office is 01277 200305.

"I can guarantee exposed flesh, violence, sex, drugs, decadence and hopefully some laughs (you may wish to edit that as necessary!)" says Panny.

Here's a trailer.

Short Film Scripts Wanted

Did Lexie and Lindsay inspire you? Have you got a short film script loitering in the bottom of your filing cabinet? Ben Hume-Paton wants to hear from you.

"I am a commercials director currently looking for short film scripts to film. It seems to me the most successful short films are ones based around humour but I am willing to look at anything, do you have any scripts that might be suitable? The length should be about 10-15mins long".

A Bright Room Called Day

By day Pete Picton works at the cutting edge of the internet for the world's finest daily newspaper. Peter Andre and Jordan? Douglas Hogg and his moat? The Sun on-line is the place to go.

By night, however, Pete puts down his keyboard, and splashes on the greasepaint. He's playing the devil next week at the White Bear in this Tony Kushner play. It's only on for four days. So go early, and go often.

The Cream Cake

is a "short comedy film written, produced and performed by Lexy Howe and Lindsay McGill through their production company, Red Lexy Yellow Lindsay. The film was directed by Leon Chambers, with original music by Ed Farmer.

The film harks back to the decadence and elegance of the late 1920s, where two ladies enter a tea room and are quickly engaged in a contest to reach the top of the cream tea stand first.

To be short-listed would be a wonderful credit to the hard work that went into making this film by cast and crew and will hopefully gives us a helping hand to continue doing what we love.

We hope you enjoy!"

And I did. If you register you can vote for it in the Virgin Media Shorts Contest. You can even comment. But first, you have to watch it.

Getting it off My Chest

A bit like sausage rolls and the panto, Janice Day and her ukelele is a huge part of the whole P-P Christmas experience. She's been missing from us of late, but that's mostly down to breast cancer. She's written a book about this grisly condition, concentrating on the more positive aspects of her experience. It's called Getting it Off My Chest, and will be published in July.

Good luck, Janice, and keep getting better!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Green Room

After the week off for the bank holiday, P-P resumes on Monday with "The Green Room", by Peter Phillips and Ian Purser. Back in February 2006 they presented "Poetic Justice", which was set at "a creative writing weekend workshop" where "one of the tutors, a rising poet, faces the professional and personal consequences of his past actions". It was later retitled "Stressed Ending".

"Green Room" is the sequel, where "Long-standing animosities come to a dramatic head at a literary festival in honour of a recently deceased novelist".

It runs for forty minutes. So, to supplement the evening's entertainment, we've got the final two holdovers for last term's "A Kind of Loving" competition. By whom, I hear you ask. I ain't telling. But you can find on Monday, when all will be revealed.

7.45, at the Horse and Groom.

Goodbye - The ( After ) Life of Cook and Moore

Johnny Hansler is so prolific it's hard to keep up. Anyway, for his fourth stage appearance this year - I've seen the first three, and intend to go to this one soonest - he returns to the part of Peter Cook in the play he co-wrote with Clive Greenwood. It was first premiered at P-P over two years ago, then taken to Edinburgh, and is now in the West End, at the is Leicester Square Theatre , in the basement, every Tuesday night at eight. It started last night, and will be back next week and for a couple more beyond. Naturally it once again stars our illustrious duo. If you haven't seen them on stage lately you might remember them from Wrong Move , which got a P-P reading last November.

Maybe I shall see you there.