Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Now that England have crashed out of the World Cup we can at last turn our minds to things theatrical, and what better way than to see a new play by a P-P newcomer, Philippa Tatham. She only joined us in April, gave a fine performance in David Carr's Meadowlands a few weeks ago, but this is her first play for us, 'Robots: A Farce for Revolutionaries' which is, she says:

"very loosely based on the doings of the young Bolsheviks in the 19th/early 20th century, although it is not specifically about anyone or even meant to be particularly realistic. As the title suggests, it is a farce, but pushed to the limits of the genre, to the point where it is not necessarily funny".

Does that whet the appetite sufficiently? July 5th, at the Green Man.

Virgin Shorts

It's that time again. Vote early, vote often. You do have to register, though you can watch for free.

First, here's Philip Philmar, in The Audition, a very short film made by Daniel Wilson. No relation, I think, to a very scary Japanese film I once saw of the same name.

Second, here's a film by Lexy Howe and two others, entitled Switch, a very short film made by Daniel Wilson. No relation, I think, to a fairly ghastly sounding Blake Edwards Edwards movie I have yet to see.

Third, here's Leanne Davis in The Conformers, which has little in common with the Bertolucci seventies' classic.

Fourth, Napoleon Ryan, in an animated piece, Train of Thought, which has everything in common with this film.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Summer Showcase

Okay, here's the gen. There will be a further reminder nearer the time, though it's pretty near the time now already. The place is, once again, the King’s Head Theatre, at 115 Upper Street Islington N1 1QN.

It starts at 7.30, and is on Sunday 18th July 2010.

The programme consists of three short stage plays:

TWENTY NINE by Peter Vincent, directed by Mark Fitzgerald: “A sick woman lives alone with her handicapped son. A serial killer arrives at the house….”

TANGO IN THE DARK by David Carr, directed by Lexy Howe: “A man, a woman, a dog, a car and the night. What could possibly go wrong?”


BOOK LOVERS by Kevin Mandry, directed by Dimitri Devdariani: “A library…or a life? Which is better? And which would you pay most for?”

Tickets are £2 a head for members and their guests. If you are in the Industry you may get in free. Otherwise you pay at the door

If you are bringing guests please email Peter Thompson their names.

Peter Thompson, 020 8883 0371:

BAFTA and Stellar Network present Pitch Up! Call for Submissions

News just in from Leanne Davis:

Stellar Network and BAFTA are co-hosting which is open to all, not just those already established in the industry. It is a pitching event in which entrants go to BAFTA and pitch their TV idea to a panel which includes the controller of BBC Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson, Channel 4 factual entertainment commissioning editor Alistair Pegg and Greg Brennan, Head of Drama at Tiger Aspect. There are prizes for the top 3 pitches and there is also the possibility that the best ideas could be commissioned (several have been in the past).

Let them explain:

How It Works

First of all we want to hear your idea. Get yours in by registering it through the Pitch Up! listing: go to the 26th July on the calendar to register it online.

The idea should be no more than 100 words long and should be a brief summary. It can be a drama, documentary, entertainment or features idea - anything goes. Be as concise as possible but always keep in mind what makes your idea DIFFERENT and ORIGINAL.

It's free for Stellar Network and BAFTA members and £5 for non-members. Only one idea per person permitted. The deadline for entries is 4th July, 2010.

We're as concerned as you are with protecting them: they will not be visible to the public, and if you like we can send you an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) by email in return. Just request one from Hannah at

We will pick out the top 10 ideas, and then on the 26th of July we'll gather the lucky 10 at BAFTA to pitch to an exclusive panel which includes the controller of BBC Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson, Channel 4 factual entertainment commissioning editor Alistair Pegg and Greg Brennan, Head of Drama at Tiger Aspect.

The panel will select the top three pitches, who will win a fantastic set of prizes. And, of course, there's always the chance that your incredible idea will be taken on by a member of our panel and might just end up on screen.

Even if you don’t get selected this time, you can still attend and benefit from the feedback the other pitchers receive. The event takes place on the evening of July 26th – more details coming soon!

If you would like to learn more about Stellar Network and hear about other stellar opportunities such as this one, join the mailing list by visiting

Plays Wanted

Email just in:

Critically acclaimed MokitaGrit Productions are launching a search to uncover the best in new-writing. New script competition 'The Script 2011' will be building on the already considerable reputation of MokitaGrit as one of the most prolific independent production houses in the UK.
We are looking for scripts with complex, engaging text and the potential for multimedia or mixed-media production. Submitted plays need to engage with contemporary society, either politically or culturally, and give a voice to strong and diverse characters. We are happy to accept scripts that need development.
The company will read all scripts. The top scripts as chosen by the full company, will be developed with the writers. They will then have extracts performed over a week. These performances will take place in front of an industry-led panel and a public audience in Spring 2011. The winner of the festival will be taken to full production by MokitaGrit, for which funding is already in place.
Entry into the competition is by hard-copy only. Please send scripts to MokitaGrit Literary Department, 33A Station Road, London RM3 0BS. Please include an email address for correspondence. If you would like your script returned please include a stamped, addressed envelope.
Closing date for entries is 11th September 2010.

Artistic Director
Mokita Grit Productions

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Green Crow

Back in the mists of time Jan Harris won our coveted Playwright of the Year Award with Denial of Justice. Since then, she has also given us the Fan, which was showcased at the King's Head couple of years ago, as well as winning the coveted John Grange Cup for comedy of the year, Then There's My Daughter. Now she is back with an hour long stage play about another playwright, Sean O'Casey, who, whatever else you think of him, never garnered such accolades.
Called The Green Crow, it concerns a day towards the end of the life of the ageing Irish scrivener, when a young intruder ruffles his feathers. It's set in Torquay (?!) in 1964, and is a three-hander. But don't be expecting Fawlty Towers.

Monday June 28th, 7.45. Green Crow at the Green Man.

Be there.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Bad Magazine

Monday June 21st sees our return to the Green Man with Bad Magazine, a sitcom by James Gill.
By day, James ( Or rather Gill, because that's what he calls himself - a bit like Sting, Madonna, and Stalin ) works for Metal Hammer Magazine. It's the usual sordid stuff - trading licks with Slash and sniffing cocaine off groupie's breasts - but at night Gill gets to work on his sensitive side and pens tv sitcoms.

Bad Magazine is his first shot. Also, being a believer in "Write About What You Know", Gill has settled for the perennial theme of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

Let me quote the man himself:

"What do you do for fun when your hobby becomes your job? What happens to a teenage dream when you cram a cynical thirty-something into it? Bad Magazine is a brutally honest skit-com that pulls back the velvet fa├žade to reveal the hilarious nature of life in the media.

What’s working at rock ‘n’ roll magazine magazine Bad like? It depends who you ask: it’s a school, a prison and a play pen. While the magazine’s motley staff tries desperately to create stories out of nothing the biggest controversies are going on in the office itself: plagiarism, celebrity-stalking, extortion, bullying, fraud, sexism and violence.
Once they had dreams of peer recognition, accolades and meeting their heroes: now they’d settle for a cup of tea, a steady paycheck and the occasional wriggle with a real, live woman. It’s a dream they could achieve… if they weren’t always on deadline.
We’ve all been there: out of our depth while doing something that’s beneath us, passing ourselves off as cool, keen and knowledgeable and when actually we’re bored, tired and underpaid. It’s not the insider joke that counts; it’s the outsider joke.There have been sitcoms about offices, about newspapers and about music: but there’s never been one about all three – and none as honest as this. Almost all of Bad Magazine is based on real people and real life events. Especially the stuff that paints the media as a bunch of clueless, cynical mercenaries. And the stuff that makes no sense".

I'm afraid I had to edit out some swearing. Still, it will all be there on Monday, two episodes unexpurgated and in full. Be there.

Return to the Green Man

After our fortnight's experiment at the Phoenix, we return to our regular base at the Green Man in Great Portland Street for the final month of the summer schedule.

Remember: 7.45 p.m. at the Green Man.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


You are hereby ordered to watch this video. It's part of a competition, and the winner is the most watched, irrespective of quality.

Nonetheless it's not bad. And it's less than a minute, so even if it was...

Where Are You, Lillie?

Monday 14th is again at the Phoenix Art Club in Charing Cross Road, and is again at 7.45.

It's Where Are You, Lillie? It's a five hander, is written by Mary Conway, whose "For The Love of Michael" proved such a success in April 2009, and is equally as powerful. I know. I read it. I don't want to give too much away, but it's a family drama with a contemporary theme of Islamophobia lurking underneath, set among the type of people who eat salads out of wooden bowls.

We've all met them.

So, 7.45 at the Phoenix.

A Request

Tony Killaspy, who had a reading in October with his one act play, End Days, has sent this, slightly edited, email:

"I've just taken early retirement and am thinking of becoming an agent representing actors and comedy writers. I would like to place a piece on the P-P website asking any members who might have information regarding starting up as an agent if they could contact me. As a number of our members are actors and no doubt have agents they may be able to help. I'm particularly interested in things like contracts and taxation.

Best wishes,

Tony Killaspy"

Consider it done, Tony. Anyone willing to help, here's his email:

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Competition UPDATE

Last night, at our, thus far, pretty popular Phoenix Arts Club experiment, more than one person asked me about the competition. Don't ask me, I know nothing. But I have since asked Lynne, who tells that there have been six entries, and there are four left. So, if you are interested, get writing. The night in question is July 12, and the deadline is June 28. Like I say, they may well all have gone by then.

And the theme, in case you'd forgotten, is BEHIND THE MASK.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Monday 7th June - at our shiny, temporary new home of the Phoenix, brings us Meadowlands. Anyone with an early copy of the programme will note that this slot was given over to the perhaps more eye-catchingly titled piece I Was A Teenage Lesbian.

That however, was the early days, and now that the play has actually been written, it transpires that our heroine after all wasn't a lesbian when young. Or if she was, it hasn't been deemed of sufficient interest that that remains the title.

So, Meadowlands it is. What's it about? Search me. It only flew into my inbox less than a week ago. Maybe it's got something to do with this. Or maybe it's a heartfelt drama about the creation of an American sporting arena.

But its writer is David Carr, whose debut with us, Tango in the Dark, is still talked of in glowing terms by those with memories deeper than a goldfish's. Indeed, it's going to be in next month's showcase.

So come along to the Phoenix on Monday. 7.45 - though the start may be a little delayed. It's a new home, so who knows how these things work out!