COMPANY NEWS

Open Submissions Window

November 12, 2019

We're super excited to announce that submissions are now open for the fourth edition of Voices From Home, our platform for emerging writers from the South East of England! Following 3 previous sold out editions at Theatre503/Old Red Lion Theatre, Volume 4 will be staged in the first half of 2020!

 

Full submission information: 

 

- Open to writers from the South East of England only

- Writers must currently live, or originally come from, one of the following counties: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey or Sussex

- Script Length: 12 pages maximum

- 4 characters maximum

- Minimal props/set

- Scripts can’t have been previously staged/produced/published

- Only one script can be submitted per writer 

- Although there's no specific brief for Voices From Home, submissions that include or address regional themes are encouraged 

 

Deadline: Monday 2nd December, 8pm 

Please submit entries to brokensilencetheatre@gmail.com, also stating your county of origin/residence.

Sophie Drake (Interview)

September 16, 2019

Get to know Sophie Drake, our brand new Resident Director! Sophie joined the company in the summer after directing ‘My Boys’ as part of Broken Silence’s ’Voices From Home’ at Theatre503. Other recent directing credits include ‘Post’ at the Old Red Lion Theatre and assistant direction on ‘The Weatherman’ at the Park Theatre. 

 

BST: How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

SOPHIE: Existing on caffeine. 

BST: What should a visitor see and do in your home county/town? 

SOPHIE: Leave.

 

BST: How did you first get into directing? 

SOPHIE: I started off acting and then became increasingly interested in direction because I craved more creative control over the storytelling. The first show I directed was at University through the societies available to me. 

 

BST: What’s been your favourite directing project to date and why? 

SOPHIE: It goes without saying that it was a privilege to share the rehearsal room with Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch when I worked as Trainee Director on Red at the Wyndhams last year. One of my favourite texts to work on has been Nick Payne's Constellations as the absence of stage directions allow immense creative authority and give you license to explore the multiverse theory through the form as well as in content. 

 

BST: What’s the best piece of advice (directing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

SOPHIE: A director once told me that an audience member should be able to understand the action of a play regardless of whether they speak or understand the language. I think this is a useful benchmark for how clear the storytelling is; what images are being captured between the bodies and how are we communicating through tone, tension, body language, lighting, sound etc. 

 

BST: What kind of theatre excites you? 

SOPHIE: I find it truly exciting to watch an immense debate happen onstage that has the ability to affect and unite or divide a group of individuals. I see theatre as a space of endless possibilities. It can take us on exciting and unexpected journeys that can reveal things about our society and ourselves. The excitement of theatre comes just as much from the outside as it does from the in; directing a play and working closely with a team of people to create something is just as thrilling as sitting in the audience. 

Resident Director (Announcement)

July 23, 2019

We're delighted to announce that Sophie Drake has joined the company as our new Resident Director! Sophie recently directed My Boys as part of Voices From Home (Volume Three) at Theatre503 and will be working with us to establish exciting new projects. 

 

Sophie's training includes: Red Directed by Michael Grandage (Wyndham's Theatre), BA English & Theatre, University of Leeds. She is currently Assistant Director to Alice Hamilton on The Weatherman (Park Theatre). Previous Direction includes: Post (Old Red Lion), My Boys as part of Voice from Home (Theatre 503), Constellations (Hen & Chickens Theatre and Banham Theatre), Colin McKenzie (Greenside), NSFW (Schonell Theatre). Assistant Direction includes: The Weatherman (Park Theatre), Notice as part of The Miniaturists (Arcola) Maggie May (Finborough Theatre), In Lipstick (Pleasance Theatre), A Sticky Season (Tristan Bates Theatre), Homos, Or Everyone in America (Finborough Theatre).

Stay tuned for more about our latest projects soon...

Precious Alabi (Interview)

June 27, 2019

With Volume 3 of VOICES FROM HOME opening at Theatre503 this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our final writer is the fantastic Precious Alabi!

 

How would you describe your writing in 3 words? 

I probably wouldn’t.

 

Who or what are your biggest writing influences?

People and how we communicate hugely influence my work. I’m so interested by how rarely we really manage to say what we mean and somehow still, just about, get by. Music is a massive factor in this. Rhythms, beats, flows and lyrics seem to capture honesty and vulnerability and fun and emotion in ways I always want to see in my own writing.

 

What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town? 

Go to Shoeburyness. Everyone will tell you to go to Southend beach but it’s just stoney beach topped with miles and miles of tourists. Go to Shoeburyness and you’ll at least get a little bit of sand in between those toesies. Rated 4.5 stars on tripadvisor. You’re welcome.

 

What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

The playwright-director Anthony Neilson did this writers thing at the royal court almost a year ago. Honestly, he said something like ‘...ignore a lot of what you get taught at these writers things cause the very thing they tell you is wrong could be what makes your work incredible and unique’. I don’t think he used any of those exact words, but that was the general gist and I’ve pretty much held on to that.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home?

Two total strangers meet outside of a party with no history and probably no future. All they have is the present, their personal problems and some time to kill. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play 

There’s so many incredible voices being shared through Voices from Home and it’s a real testament to the quality of work currently brewing across the UK, and not just in London. I hope my play is entertaining but more importantly makes the audience really reflect on how we relate to people. Especially ‘others’.

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at Theatre503 from 30 June - 1 July.  

Phoebe Wood (Interview)

June 26, 2019

With Volume 3 of VOICES FROM HOME opening at Theatre503 this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our penultimate writer is the marvellous Phoebe Wood!


How would you describe your writing in 3 words? 

Blunt, shocking, funny???? (I think so anyway) 

Who or what are your biggest writing influences? 

My dad. 

What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town? 

Go to the Plantation Gardens (Norwich, Norfolk). Hot day, cold day, rainy day. If you’re happy, sad, everything in between, go! (but not if you have hayfever.) 

What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

Wipe back to front. 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

My play is about the unspoken thoughts and feelings of a person after experiencing trauma. 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?
I want them to be taken into a different person’s life for a brief time. Perhaps relating or empathising with the story before returning to their own lives once more.

VOICES FROM HOME runs at Theatre503 from 30 June - 1 July.  

Rachel Tookey (Interview)

June 25, 2019

With Volume 3 of VOICES FROM HOME opening at Theatre503 this week, we chat to our fabulous writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our third writer is the wonderful Rachel Tookey!

 

How would you describe your writing in 3 words? 

Precise, theatrical, mine.

 

Who or what are your biggest writing influences?

These vary a lot depending on what I’m reading at the time, but most recently Caryl Churchill and Alice Birch have been a huge influences. I love how their work considers the form and structure it should take, and uses that to make something innately theatrical. I wrote Anatomy of a Victim as a sort of tribute to Cloud 9 by Churchill. 

 

What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town? 

My house, and tell my parents I’ll call home soon. 

 

What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

‘Could this do it on a rainy Tuesday night in Stoke?’ 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

‘Anatomy of a Victim’ is a play that explores how true crime treats the female victims of male violence, and why women want to listen to it in the first place. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?

I’d like them to leave my play with a slight queasiness and maybe think twice the next time they put on their favourite true crime podcast. I’d like them to leave Voices from Home fired for the state of emerging writing in the South East. 

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at Theatre503 from 30 June - 1 July.  

Mark Daniels (Interview)

June 24, 2019

With Volume 3 of VOICES FROM HOME opening at Theatre503 this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Next up is the brilliant Mark Daniels!

 

How would you describe your writing in 3 words? 

Hopefully sometimes funny?

 

Who or what are your biggest writing influences?

Victoria Wood. Michaela Coel. Mark Gatiss. Vinay Patel. David Eldridge. Simon Amstell. Jonathan Harvey. The list goes on! Anybody who finds humour in the mundane and deals with bigger topics through the lives of ordinary people. Oh, and recently some more surreal stuff, like things by Edward Albee, Julia Davis, as well as Black Mirror and Inside Number 9!

 

What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town? 

Kent has lots of beautiful old castles like Hever Castle and Leeds Castle. It has vineyards now too which is quite exciting. I'm from a less Garden-of-Englandy area called Bexley which is in North West Kent and is also a South East borough of London. In Bexley there's... some history at Hall Place and Lesnes Abbey and... there's quite a big Asda in Bexleyheath?

 

What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

Keep a notebook with you all the time! You never know when you might have a little idea and you always think you'll remember it without writing it down, but you never do.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

My Boys is about a family reuniting at a funeral. It's a comedy drama that has the dark, yet hilariously awkward tension that you often get at funerals. It's all about differences within families and also those things you wished you'd said before it was too late. Many families for some reason struggle to be open with each other – especially British ones!

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?

I just hope people enjoy it really! And that it gives them something to think about on the way home. If not, at least it will have given them a night out of the house and something cultured to boast about to colleagues the next day!

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at Theatre503 from 30 June - 1 July.  

Rachel Causer (Interview)

June 23, 2019

With Volume 3 of VOICES FROM HOME opening at Theatre503 this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. First up is the fabulous Rachel Causer! 

 

How would you describe your writing in 3 words? 

Witty, intimate, playful.

 

Who or what are your biggest writing influences?

I first saw The Caretaker when I was young and have always loved Pinter’s very particular use of language, but more contemporary influences would definitely be Moira Buffini, Lucy Prebble, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Simon Stephens, Tracy Letts, Mike Bartlett, and screenwriters Andrea Arnolds and Yorgos Lanthimos, to name a few!

 

What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town? 

Lots to do in Berkshire! Go and visit the Queen at Windsor Castle, take a boat ride down the river after and top off the day with a trip to the Theatre Royal Windsor. That or you could go to Lego-land or the Look-out Discovery Centre and re-live some childhood dreams. 

 

What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received? 

Find the joy! The best scripts make the heart sing, not sink. 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

Like and Subscribe is a short play about friendship, technology and grief. It follows the lives of Kas and Polly, childhood friends who have not spoken for a while, who have now come together to record a podcast. The play is an exploration of the ways in which we perform our emotions and lives, particularly in the age of social media, and how that can affect the way we communicate with those closest to us. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?

I believe that there aren’t enough plays that explore female specific friendship and particularly those that address the effects of technology on those dynamics. I would love the audiences to come away feeling that they have seen a play that not only experiments with form in an interesting way but to consider the ways in which technology may be affecting their communication and to maybe even get in touch with an old friend they haven’t seen in a while. 

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at Theatre503 from 30 June - 1 July.  

Divided (Rehearsed Reading)

April 08, 2019

We’re incredibly excited to be staging a rehearsed reading of Ella Dorman-Gajic’s stunning new play Divided at the Chapel Playhouse on Sunday 21st July! 

 

Divided follows the fate of two women, 7 decades apart, both living in a society that threatens to stifle them. 

 

Sally and John fall in love amongst the confusion of post-war Britain. But when John’s trauma from the war threatens their livelihood, Sally desperately tries to keep their household afloat, as the underground world of female allure offers her financial security. 

 

Beth dreams of being a model - the next Kylie Jenner - while Adam dreams of being a professional photographer. But as they embark on a mutually beneficial venture in an image obsessed world, who is really being exploited?  

Presented as a rehearsed reading, the performance will be followed by a short Q&A with the creative team. Ella Dorman-Gajic is Broken Silence Theatre's current Writer in Residence. 

Voices From Home (Winners)

April 05, 2019

After much consideration, we’re beyond excited to announce the chosen writers for Volume 3 of Voices From Home, who will have their work staged at Theatre 503 this summer! 

 

Precious Alabi (Essex) - Losers

Rachel Causer (Berkshire) - Like and Subscribe 

Mark Daniels (Kent) - My Boys 

Phoebe Wood (Norfolk) - My first time was in a parking lot 

 

We’d also like to congratulate our 12 finalists, all of whom deserved a place at the festival. You make us proud to champion regional writers from the South East! 

 

Booking info for this year’s Voices From Home festival will be announced soon!

Rachel Tookey (Interview)

April 02, 2019

Get to know Rachel Tookey, one of our fantastic Young Writers in Residence! Originally from Surrey, Rachel's writing has been presented at Southwark Playhouse, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Etcetera Theatre, and New York's The Kraine Theater. 

​​

BST: How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

RACHEL: I don’t know.

How did you first get into writing?

I actually started off in stand up comedy when I was 15 - I would glue myself to Mock the

Week and try and guess the punchlines before they came. I spent most of my teenage

years performing in open mics around London and somehow ended up in two Edinburgh shows. I’d grown sick of stand up by the time I went to uni - it felt like jokes were only ever half a thought, and I wanted to write something more complete. I drifted into writing sketches, and finally ended up writing plays.

 

What inspires you to write and what themes are you passionate about? 

My biggest inspiration is writing that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. When I see writing like that, it makes me want to walk out the theatre right there and then and start writing myself. As a writer, I’ve never really tied myself down to any specific themes - I like to keep myself open - but certain ideas to seem to crop up again and again in my writing, like violence against women and cycles of trauma (not really sure what that says about me!)

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing? 

I never really liked where I grew up in Surrey - it always felt like I was in the plot of some

weird-ass novel where I was constantly running into the same people again and again. But my desire to be somewhere else entirely definitely fuelled my fantasising, which later

turned into my writing.

 

What are you hoping to achieve this year as our Young Writer in Residence? 

This year, I hope to challenge myself to write something radical and bold. Something I

wouldn’t write on my own.

 

What kind of theatre excites you? 

I’m excited by work that’s innately theatrical - that makes you glad you skipped dinner, and trudged all the way out to the theatre to see it, when you could be watching Netflix.

Voices From Home (Shortlist)

March 31, 2019

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our writers shortlist for Volume 3 of Voices From Home! We’ve loved reading your incredible submissions and have finally narrowed our list down to 12 finalists:  

 

Will Adolphy (Surrey) - The Farmhouse 

Precious Alabi (Essex) - Losers 

Rachel Causer (Berkshire) - Like and Subscribe 

Mark Daniels (Kent) - My Boys 

Zoe Glen (Kent) - Broken Blinds 

TR Guest (Hampshire) - DNA

Hannah Kennedy (Buckinghamshire) - Supernova 

Dan Le Friec (Guernsey) - With Love, Dan

Ed Mannion (Sussex) - Nead’s Bee 

Eilish Mullane (Suffolk) - Brathair 

Phoebe Wood (Norfolk) - My first time was in a parking lot. 

Emma Zadow (Norfolk) - His Name Was Ryan

 

We’d like to extend a special thank you to every single writer who entered the competition. The standard was super high this year!

 

The winners will be announced shortly and will feature in our next edition of Voices From Home at Theatre 503 this summer. 

Lewis Wood (Interview)

March 02, 2019

Get to know Lewis Wood, one of our fantastic new Young Writers in Residence! Lewis is a playwright based in London (originally from Essex), who focuses his work around mental health issues, using theatre and storytelling as a medium to talk about issues that are taboo elsewhere.

BST: How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

LEWIS: ”Trying his best"

 

How did you first get into writing?

I have written poetry since a young age, as I found it an incredible way to express my creativity, and the release pent-up emotions.  However, I didn't start playwriting until I was at university.  I originally had my sights set on being an actor, but I quickly realised that I was nowhere near talented enough.  I took a playwriting module at university, and I very quickly fell in love - as well as realising that I was quite good!

 

What inspires you to write and what themes are you passionate about? 

I think my writing falls into two camps.  Firstly, I'll try and write a story that only I can tell.  I've had a lot of experience with mental health struggles, and I like to draw upon these experiences in order to fuel my writing.  I think it's important to write from the heart, and to make sure that you think you're the best person to try and tell the story that you're intending to put on the stage.  However, on the complete other side from that, I like to occasionally write purely for entertainment's sake - sometimes there's nothing wrong with writing something which is funny, with no hidden, deeper meaning or message.  

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing? 

Definitely - growing up in Essex was an interesting place to try and nurture creativity, especially seeing as I went to a school who were quite insistent that science and technology were the way forwards, instead of focusing on the arts.  Instead of inspiring the themes of my writing, I think my regional roots have a big part to play in my reasons for writing in the first place.

 

What are you hoping to achieve this year as our Young Writer in Residence? 

I have an incredibly exciting piece of work, which I'm really looking forward to developing with the Broken Silence family. I'm not sure how much detail I can share, but it's a piece I've been working on for quite some time.  It's very close to my heart, and I think it has the potential to be a really special piece of art. Across my year with the team, I'm hoping we can work together to make something amazing.

 

What kind of theatre excites you? 

The kind of theatre where you can tell the creative team are really passionate about this project.  

Open Submissions Window

February 15, 2019

We are hugely excited to announce that submissions are now open for the third edition of Voices From Home, our platform for emerging writers from the South East of England! Following two previous sold out editions at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Volume 3 will be staged this Spring/Summer! 

 

Full submission information: 

 

- Open to writers from the South East of England only

- Writers must currently live, or originally come from, one of the following counties: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey or Sussex

- Script Length: 12 pages maximum

- 5 characters maximum

- Minimal props/set

- Scripts can’t have been previously staged/produced/published

- Only one script can be submitted per writer

 

Deadline: Saturday 16th March, 8pm 

Please submit entries to brokensilencetheatre@gmail.com, also stating your county of origin/residence. 

Ella Dorman-Gajic (Interview)

February 12, 2019

Earlier this year we announced that Ella Dorman-Gajic (formerly our Young Writer in Residence) has become our first Writer in Residence. As Ella continues developing her latest play with us, we chat to her about her work with the company so far!

 

BST: How did you find the experience of being Broken Silence Theatre’s first Young Writer in Residence last year? 

ELLA: I was absolutely thrilled to come on board as the first Young Writer in Residence of Broken Silence Theatre. Since then, I’ve developed a new idea into a full length play, which we workshopped with actors, which has meant I was able to dig deeper into the characters and story. I’ve done a couple more drafts since then. It’s been great to have the time to talk through these with Tim (Artistic Director), and applying his feedback in my editing process. Getting the chance to meet other like minded writers, actors and directors through Broken Silence has been invaluable, and I have seen so much great work come out of the theatre company. 

 

You’ve now become our Writer in Residence for 2019 - what are your plans for the residency? 

I know! Yay! Once I’ve received some feedback for the newest draft of my play, we are going to organise a rehearsed reading. This will probably happen early summer time. I am graduating this year, so I hope to be active in more upcoming projects, and would like to help set up a new writing night - but there is still a lot to discuss! I would like to start work on another play as well, in the second half of the year, and perhaps get the chance to do some research and development. 

 

Do you feel your writing has changed over the past 12 months? 

I have definitely become a more confident writer in the last year. Having someone help guide my work and give me feedback has helped me identify what works and what doesn’t. Mostly, I am now much more aware of all the many elements necessary when creating nuanced characters and stories for theatre. So, I suppose I have become more considered when writing. But yes, I think my writing has improved, although I still find starting a new piece of work equally scary!

 

You’ve been involved with various shows elsewhere in 2018, including going to Edinburgh Fringe as an actor - has that influenced your practice or views on the industry?

I love Edinburgh Fringe, but it never fails to overwhelm me. Acting in and marketing a new play this year (Grace by Bloody Livid Theatre) was a great experience. I haven’t acted in comedy in a long time so I had to re-adjust myself to the style - which was very heightened. I think we did well because it was a comedy, and it was so absurd and silly, so we got some good audiences. My experience with fringe has made me realise how interconnected the theatre community is, and how important it is to be active in supporting other theatre companies. I made an effort to see as much theatre I could, and mutually support emerging artists in this way. This meant we made some good connections, and saw some incredible theatre, which influenced both my performance and my general approach to theatre making. Packing this all in, and performing with barely 4 hours sleep each night, definitely tested my patience. But it thickens your skin - which is what you need when starting out. 

 

You split your time between a few different places (Brighton, Norwich and London) - does that make it easier or harder to channel your creativity? 

It means I’m constantly surrounding myself with different people, and going to different events. I think this influences my writing in different ways, which is good because it means the style and content of my writing is always changing. Also, being busy definitely pushes me to write when I know I have the time, so in that way it does push me to be creative. But sometimes it can have the opposite effect, because moving locations can take me out of a particular writing headspace. But generally, I find it pretty difficult to predict when I’m going to be creative. But there are always obstacles.

 

In your opinion, what needs to change in the theatre industry in 2019? 

Wow. That’s a big question. I don’t know if I’m the best personal to judge, but from what I’ve seen, I think there needs to be more funding opportunities within theatre. Especially in relation to getting young people interested and engaged in it, perhaps by introducing more schemes to make it equally accessible up and down the country. 

 

And finally - what was the best show you saw last year? 

Electrolight in Edinburgh Fringe at The Pleasance Dome. New piece of gig theatre by Wild Card Theatre Company. Explosive. Dynamic. Enthralling. Just bloody brilliant, basically. 

Young Writer in Residence (Announcement)

February 09, 2019

Following an unbelievable landslide of applications, we are extremely excited to announce that we have two brand new Young Writers in Residence for 2019 - Lewis Wood and Rachel Tookey! 

 

We can’t wait to work with these exceptionally talented playwrights (originally from Essex and Surrey respectively) over the next 12 months! 

 

Lewis Wood is a playwright based in London, who focuses his work around mental health issues, using theatre and storytelling as a medium to talk about issues that are taboo elsewhere. He has had plays performed in London, Loughborough, the Edinburgh Fringe, and a transfer to Heidelberg in Germany.

 

Rachel Tookey is a writer whose work has been presented at Southwark Playhouse, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Etcetera Theatre, and New York's The Kraine Theater. She won Footlights’ Harry Porter Prize for her play Judge Judy's Buzz World, and was awarded the Methuen/Marlowe Society ‘Other Prize’ for her play Bromley Bedlam Bethlehem, which is currently being produced by Voxie Productions for a full run in 2019. She is delighted to be joining Broken Silence Theatre as a Young Writer In Residence. 

 

Much more to come from Lewis and Rachel soon! 

Young Writer in Residence (Opportunity)

December 03, 2018

We are delighted to open applications to find our Young Writer in Residence for 2019! 

 

One regional writer from the South East will be chosen to receive tailored career support, including a minimum of 2 x mentoring/feedback sessions, 1 x script workshop and 1 x rehearsed reading, culminating in the development of a new full-length play over a 12-month period. 

 

Broken Silence’s 2018 Young Writer in Residence, Ella Dorman-Gajic, will become the company’s first Writer in Residence. 

 

To apply, please submit an 8-12 page script/extract and 200 words on why this opportunity would help your writing career. Full submission information below: 

 

- Open to writers aged 18-30 

- Writers must currently live, or originally come from, one of the following counties: Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey or Sussex

- Script Length: 8-12 pages 

- Scripts should be in the form of a complete scene or short play 

- Scripts should NOT have been previously staged/produced/published

- Only one script can be submitted per writer

 

Deadline: 1st January 2019, 8pm 

Please submit entries to brokensilencetheatre@gmail.com 

Clare Reddaway (Interview)

November 09, 2018

With the second edition of VOICES FROM HOME opening at the Old Red Lion Theatre on Sunday, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our final writer is the fantastic Clare Reddaway!

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Stories. Wine. Stories. 

 

What kind of theatre or writing excites you?

I love any kind of new writing. I particularly like writing that addresses how we live now and the issues that face us as women, as humans, as Europeans. I like political theatre. But mainly I like theatre with great characters and a sense of humour.  A play that has all of the above, and is directed and performed with flair and theatricality, has me dancing in the aisles. 

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing?

I think that writers are often outsiders, and always observers. As someone who grew up an hour down the line from Victoria, I felt the pull of London without being part of it. I didn’t admire where I was, yet I wasn’t part of where I wanted to be. I think that uncomfortable not-quite-fitting-in has given me a heightened awareness of my surroundings and of the people I meet, and that has proved invaluable in all of my writing. 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

‘Sungrazer’ is about two sisters, divided by their attitudes to nuclear power. They find each other exasperating, and yet they love each other. The play is about family and it’s about how to live a principled life. It’s also about a comet. 

 

What would you like people to take away from Voices From Home and your play in particular?

That there are strong voices outside London. That women write great plays. That a full length version of ‘Sungrazer’ would be a marvellous play to commission. 

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11 - 12 November. 

Sydney Stevenson (Interview)

November 08, 2018

With the second edition of VOICES FROM HOME opening at the Old Red Lion Theatre this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our penultimate writer is the marvellous Sydney Stevenson! 

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Funny, feisty, loyal.

 

What kind of theatre or writing excites you?

I'm constantly striving to create more roles for women so when I see funny, three dimensional, kick ass, female stories on stage I get very over-excited. I also think humour is really important, there's nothing better than winning over an audience with laughter and then sticking the knife in with a major plot-twist or a dark secret.  

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing?

I spent most of childhood spilt between Buckinghamshire and London. There's always a sense of freedom when I head out of the city and into the countryside, but with that comes a sense of not belonging to either so a lot of my characters seem to be searching for their identity. The English Countryside, especially Bucks, for me has sense of the mystical and I'm finding as I write more, I like to involve a fantasy element in most of my stories. It makes things more fun - a feeling of escapism and what could be in an alternative reality. 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

'M** & Women' is set a dystopian future. Two young female guards sit slightly outside the narrative in a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern way, commenting on the world they inhabit. Hopefully not too many spoilers there! After reading 'The Power' and 'Who runs the World' I really wanted to write a piece about gender politics and the reversal of power whilst creating some witty characters. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?

A real appreciation of female writers! I'm so honoured to be amongst such talented women with brilliant stories to tell. I think all of us are telling uniquely female tales that haven't necessarily had light shed on them before. It's a fresh perspective on the human condition and it's incredibly exciting evening of new work. Again, without giving too much away, I'd like audiences watching 'M** & Women' to see past gender stereotypes and how power in the wrong hands is a very dangerous thing, something that is extremely prevalent in our world currently. 

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11 - 12 November. 

Olivia Rosenthall (Interview)

November 07, 2018

With the second edition of VOICES FROM HOME opening at the Old Red Lion Theatre this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Our third writer is the wonderful Olivia Rosenthall!

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Fretful, forgiving and (sometimes) fun.

 

What kind of theatre or writing excites you?

Writing that plays around with different forms and narratives, and fiction that blends both poetry and prose together. And horror theatre. I like to be scared. 

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing? 

Previously I wouldn't have considered where I was from to have too much influence on my writing. I've never lived anywhere for longer than a year since I was eighteen, and my family moved around quite a lot when I was young. For me, home was never in one place, and reflecting on this now I think that probably shows in my writing. I'm very interested in movement, belonging or lack of belonging, so maybe that has something to do with it! 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

'Home Time' was originally a short story that was part of a bigger collection. I had intended for each piece to be a different account of female experience within the city. I was living in Paris at the time that I wrote it, and I became very interested in the space that women occupy within the city, and how that space is often breached or denied to us by men. Sometimes, as women, we can feel as though our space is not our own, especially in this particular environment. We are watched, touched, followed. There are streets we don't walk down, places we don't go to, transport we won't take at certain times. The men that violate our space come and go, almost as if they themselves are a product of the city. 'Home Time' is a retelling of an experience that a friend had on the tube in London, that many women have unfortunately shared. Though it was initially written as a short story, as I was writing it I found that it began to take shape as something to be performed, rather than read. That being said, I've never written anything for performance, so I'm thrilled to get to see how it adapts for stage!

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices From Home and your play in particular?

I think what will be the most interesting thing to see as audience members is the similarities and differences between all of our work. Having met the other writers, I was in awe of the plays they have written and I can't wait to see their work on stage. As for my own piece, I'm just terribly grateful to watch something I've written get performed! I'm completely new to this kind of experience, so I hope the audience can share in my excitement too!

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11 - 12 November. 

Jo Gatford (Interview)

November 06, 2018

With the second edition of VOICES FROM HOME opening at the Old Red Lion Theatre this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. Next up is the brilliant Jo Gatford!

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Bloody mindedly determined. 

 

What kind of theatre or writing excites you? 

The kind that makes you feel everything all at once. The kind that manages to focus in on deeply personal stories while also making a comment on the world at large. I think we're moving towards a particularly politicised period of literature and drama and art, and I think it's important for audiences to face up to uncomfortable issues. But it's always the individual human stories that are most engaging, and even the most political piece of art needs a domestic counterpoint to bring it back to a personal level.

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing? 

I grew up in a small, weird little town near Brighton, so I have this polarised experience of the dull slowness of small town life, where everyone knows everyone, and the colourful, anarchic spirit of the city in which you can be anonymous but often feel alone. Flying Ant Day falls somewhere in the middle: the protagonist is privileged but trapped within suburban life, and desperately alone despite being part of a small community.  

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

‘Flying Ant Day’ is about a woman who (literally and/or metaphorically) disappears. It deals with the potential loneliness of motherhood and the invisibility of women struggling to uphold an impossible balance of patriarchal and feminist ideals. We're told it takes a village to raise a child but the reality of modern western society doesn't really support that concept, and I know so many women who feel like they've somehow lost their identity in becoming a mother and are terrified of 'failing' at this unattainable perfectionism of parenthood. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices From Home and your play in particular?

Each play is totally different, but each tells an important story - by women, and about women - and I'm so excited to see them all together. I think Voices From Home gives voices to characters (and writers) who have an untold story to tell, from the domestic to the dystopian, and will hopefully challenge a few perspectives. None of them are 'easy' viewing; they all deal with issues that put you off balance, and hopefully leave you thinking. The main thing I'd like audiences to take from my play is the importance of listening, and of being seen.

 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11 - 12 November. 

Emma Zadow (Interview)

November 05, 2018

With the second edition of VOICES FROM HOME opening at the Old Red Lion Theatre this week, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process. First up is the fabulous Emma Zadow! 

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Quirky, imaginative and determined.  

 

What kind of theatre or writing excites you? 

I'm also an actor, so for me, I like character-driven stories that have a bold voice. If the characters don't feel like they could exist outside of the world of the play, I struggle to engage. The writing that I am drawn to, takes risks and shows the audience a world or time they might not have experienced before or known about. It's got to feel playful, imaginative and a story that can only be told through theatre. I'm a visual person so imagery and style to build a world are winners as well. 

 

Have your regional roots influenced your writing? 

I've never seen myself as a 'regional writer', but growing up in Norfolk, I would say the necessity to entertain yourself by your own means has been a big factor in my writing. Having little internet connection or access to youth programmes in a small community, we were encouraged to make up our own fun; plays, making our own books with scrap paper, home movies and scripts, shoe-box rain forests and making dens. So, I'd say I relied on imagination as a 'regional' which I still do now I'm not in Norfolk. 

 

Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home? 

'The Cromer Special' is a piece that actually came out of a writing exercise at the Soho Writers Lab, and revolves around two teenagers, Maggie and Jess, stranded on Christmas Day in the local chippie in the 'quaint and quiet' Cromer on the North Norfolk coast. They're both characters I think we've all known in our own lives, and that teenage frustration of being stuck in the middle of nowhere. It's ice cream vans, parades of arcades, chippies and charity shops...'In the seaside town, they forgot to bomb' (Morrisey 'Everyday is Like Sunday'). 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from Voices From Home and your play in particular?

There's such a breadth of style, genre and style in Voices From Home, and I'd like audiences to see regional new writers in a new light. 

VOICES FROM HOME runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 11 - 12 November. 

Alex Reynolds (That Girl Interview)

August 30, 2018

With the world premiere of THAT GIRL coming up at the Old Red Lion Theatre next week, we chat to our wonderful cast to find out more about them and their process. In our second interview we talk to Alex Reynolds! 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Fun, loyal, compassionate.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your character in THAT GIRL? 

Poppy is the girl we all know, she is a lot like all of us millennials trying to find our way in this big, rather unrelenting city. Where so many struggle under the weight of the expectations of career, family, relationships, Poppy stays positive and follows the path she wants to create for herself. She is a kind, loyal friend to Hatty and they’ve shared more memories together than she can count but some friendships become complicated. She is also falling in love so a lot of changes are happening in her life. 

 

What was your first impression of the script? 

My first impression was the lasting impression; I loved it. I thought it was such a funny, poignantly and nuanced piece of writing and I truly related to so many of its themes. There was something also rather poetic about the story, relatable but subtle with so many layers to it. The audience go on a real journey with the characters, and there are some surprises along the way. 

 

What has been the biggest challenge in rehearsals so far?

Multi-Rolling is always a challenge (I play another character, Lola, in the play). Performing multiple characters is hard because you have to make sure they are all equally three dimensional and authentic, no matter how much stage time they have. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from the show?

I want them to laugh and cry, and then debate after. I want the audience to be moved by the relationships they see in the play. It's always so wonderful when an audience comes away from a play questioning things, reflecting on their own circumstances and thinking...what would I do if that were me? 

THAT GIRL runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 3rd - 15th September. 

Will Adolphy (That Girl Interview)

August 29, 2018

With the world premiere of THAT GIRL coming up at the Old Red Lion Theatre next week, we chat to our wonderful cast to find out more about them and their process. In our first interview we talk to Will Adolphy! 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? 

Intense, Wacky, Driven...

 

Can you tell us a bit about your character(s) in THAT GIRL? 

Adam is a carefree, bass playing charity worker. Dylan is a gym loving accountant. Both are part of a generation searching for love in the age of Tinder. 

 

What was your first impression of the script? 

Very relatable. Hatty captures the nuances surrounding dating and societal pressures in a painfully real way without shoving the themes down your throat. Lots to play with. 

 

What has been the biggest challenge in rehearsals so far?

Dare I say it rehearsals have been nothing but fun. Apart from some illness amongst cast members it's been smooth sailing (so far). For me though the challenge of differentiating the two characters (Adam/Dylan) is a task still at hand. 

 

What would you like audiences to take away from the show?

It would be wonderful if the younger audience members see how important listening/being present in a world full of distraction truly is to our mental health. And for the older audiences this is a chance to really get a sense of how hard it can be to find love/maintain friendships in the technological age. 

 

What kind of theatre excites you? 

I grew up with a love for film so visceral, aurally entrancing, assault to the senses theatre is my sort of vibe. But there's so much mind boggling work out there, if it's got good characters and an engaging story I'm in. 

THAT GIRL runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 3rd - 15th September. 

That Girl (World Premiere)

July 20, 2018

HUGE SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

We are mega excited to announce our latest production, That Girl by Hatty Jones, will premiere at the mighty Old Red Lion Theatre in September! And tickets are now on sale!

Inspired by the writer’s own experiences as the child star of the film Madeline, That Girl is a touching and brutally honest new play that places female friendship at its heart, investigating how they develop and erode as women approach their 30’s. The play explores the inevitable loss of youth and the contrasting effect it can have on a group of friends.

Lee Knight (Adam & Eve Interview)

May 17, 2018

With our 5-star feminist smash ADAM & EVE opening at the Hope Theatre on Tuesday 22 May, we chat to our fantastic cast to find out more about them and their process. In our third and final interview we talk to Lee Knight!

Can you tell us a bit about your character in ADAM & EVE?

Adam is a young Teacher. Married at a young age to his child hood sweetheart, Eve. Getting a Mortgage, having children are all the natural way forward but something isn’t right. What he really wants is something the play touches on but it’s complexities lie in what is expected of young couple in todays society and the pressures they face, particularly men.

What was your first impression of the script? 

It’s rare you get a script that makes you vibrate as much as this did to me. Tim writes the Characters so perfectly that the text just lifts off the page. He makes my job very easy. Well…easier! 

What has been the biggest challenge in rehearsals so far? 

The biggest challenge has been to try and understand such a complex character who is very different to me. People are complex and that’s the actors job to try and get under the layers. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers but that is part of the fun in exploring in the rehearsal room. And that goes on into the performances. It’s a constant discovery process. It’s never finished.

What would you like audiences to take away from the show?  

I would like them to find empathy in both Adam & Eve. Different audience members will relate to different characters but in this piece, I think the interesting part is that these two people are just navigating though life trying to make the other happy but also trying to make themselves happy. Sometimes the latter can seem brutal. Whether Adam goes the right way to do this, I don’t want to give anything away. But as the actor playing him, my job is to try and empathise with him. 

What kind of theatre excites you? 

Theatre that educates people emotionally in a way they never knew possible. The Inheritance at the Young Vic, which transfers to the West End in September, is the perfect example of this. It makes you address things in your life, it makes you understand things, that you never ever thought about before. It’s extremely powerful. 

Adam & Eve runs at The Hope Theatre from 22nd May to 9th June.

Jennifer Davis (Adam & Eve Interview)

May 16, 2018

Adam & Eve director Jennifer Davis is interviewed by the wonderful Theatre Things blog - read all about it here!

Following its critically acclaimed debut last year at the Brockley Jack, Broken Silence Theatre’s Adam and Eve returns next week for a longer run at Islington’s Hope Theatre, now with new director Jennifer Davis at the helm “Adam and Eve is about a young couple who have moved to the country in search of a better life,” explains Jennifer, who takes over from the show’s previous director Paul Macauley. “Everything’s going pretty perfectly until one day Adam is sent home from school following accusations made by a student… It’s a story about truth, lies, temptation and sin.”

Tim Cook’s play was a five-star hit last year, with reviewers describing it as “utterly phenomenal” and “absolutely chilling”. Unsurprisingly, Jennifer is pretty excited to be involved in its revival. “The writing is exceptional. In just 60 minutes Tim has managed to create a gripping, relatable experience that will leave an audience really questioning which version of the truth they believe. I’ve wanted to work with Broken Silence since seeing their production of Crushed at the King’s Head Theatre in 2015; I really admire their commitment to supporting regional writers and new work.”

Some might be daunted by the prospect of taking over such a critically acclaimed play, but Jennifer is looking forward to putting her own stamp on the show and exploring the opportunities that come with a new cast and venue: “I was honoured to be asked, and fingers crossed I create something that will do the previous production justice. We have two new wonderful cast members in Lee Knight and Melissa Parker – not forgetting the brilliant Jeannie Dickinson who was in the original run. There’ll also be a new set design and perhaps a few surprises…“I’m excited about exploring the Hope’s space, too. It’s such an intimate venue and I can’t wait to see how the play develops when the audience are quite literally eyeball to eyeball with the actors.”

 

Jennifer studied Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2013. “Originally I wanted to be an actor but at university quite quickly realised that wasn’t for me,” she explains. “I’ve been freelancing as a director for five years now and have really found my happy place – working with new writing!”

 

Those five years have kept her busy; she’s now a Junior Associate at the King’s Head Theatre and an Associate Artist with Theatre Absolute, and she also founded Shoot Festival, which supports emerging artists in Coventry and Warwickshire. “I’ve been very lucky to work on some incredible projects, so highlights are hard to choose! But if I had to… I’d probably say directing (sorry)by Susie Sillett at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. It’s a one woman show that explores what it’s like to grow up as a millennial and the pressures we face in today’s current economic, social and cultural climate.”

 

Adam & Eve runs at The Hope Theatre from 22nd May to 9th June.

Jeannie Dickinson (Adam & Eve Interview)

May 15, 2018

With less than one week to go until our 5-star smash hit ADAM & EVE transfers to the Hope Theatre, we chat to our fantastic cast to find out more about them and their process. In our second interview we talk to Jeannie Dickinson!

Can you tell us a bit about your character in ADAM & EVE?

Eve is married to Adam. Eve is very confident in her future with Adam and unlike Adam she is a realist, not a dreamer. She's understanding and caring - she's the glue that holds their relationship together. 

 

What was your first impression of the script? 

How much room for play and excavation there is within the text. This is exciting for an actor to explore in rehearsals and throughout our run at the Hope Theatre. 

What has been the biggest challenge in rehearsals so far? 

Rehearsals have been a dream (true). So much fun and play. The biggest challenge I had was realising we only had a relatively short amount of time.

 

What would you like audiences to take away from the show?  

Eve talks about one's own truth and how everything can be both true and untrue. The importance of perspective. I want the audience to come away conflicted. If we could split the audience that would be great.

What kind of theatre excites you? 

Theatre about people and the human condition. 

Adam & Eve runs at The Hope Theatre from 22nd May to 9th June.

Melissa Parker (Adam & Eve Interview)

May 14, 2018

With just one week to go until our 5-star smash hit ADAM & EVE transfers to the Hope Theatre, we chat to our fantastic cast to find out more about them and their process. In our first interview we talk to Melissa Parker!

Can you tell us a bit about your character in ADAM & EVE?

I play Nikki. She’s sixteen years old. She’s been raised by just her Mum and she works shifts at the local supermarket around school-hours to help her Mum out. She’s very independent and probably has been from a younger age than most of us have to be, so she’s really quite mature for her age. She’s very intelligent and headstrong and she doesn’t really care what people think of her. She’s a bit of a lone wolf.

What was your first impression of the script? 

I was totally gripped throughout my first read of the play, and then once I’d got to the end it left me feeling confused…in a good way! It was complex and I had to let it sink in and digest it and unravel it. It was not a ‘what-you- see-is- what-you- get’ kind of play – a lot was going on under the surface of the words on the page. I had to re-read it several times and ask myself A LOT of questions before my first audition. I was really intrigued in particular by the mysterious character of Nikki, and as an actor understanding what was going on in her head presented itself as a very juicy challenge!

 

What has been the biggest challenge in rehearsals so far? 

Simply figuring out what’s going on in Nikki’s head and really getting behind her perspective of things has been an interesting challenge so far. Particularly because Nikki doesn’t give much away in her language - she’s quite economical in terms of her actual choice of words, but she’s always got so much going on in her head. Also, a large part of her intellectual and emotional journey happens off the stage, so for me a challenge so far has been working out what exactly that journey is, and therefore where she is at when we do see her on stage.

 

What would you like audiences to take away from the show?  

I think there’s a lot in this play about consequences, and I think if our audiences could come out of the play and have a greater awareness of the scope of consequences that certain actions can have, that would be an interesting thing. This is also a play about truth, and I think it would be interesting to see if different audience members take away different versions of what they believe the truth is – I sort of hope they do!

 

What kind of theatre excites you? 

I just love good writing. I can pretty much get excited about any type of theatre if I like the writing. But to be a bit more specific, I tend to be pulled towards character-and-relationship-driven plays that hone in on a small number of characters in detail; stories about ordinary people going through extraordinary times in their lives.

Adam & Eve runs at The Hope Theatre from 22nd May to 9th June.

Tim Cook (Adam & Eve Interview)

May 02, 2018

Tim Cook chats to London Pub Theatres about Broken Silence's critically acclaimed drama ADAM & EVE and its transfer to The Hope Theatre this May. 

 

LPTmag: How did you go about updating ADAM & EVE the genesis story, for today’s audience?

Tim: I've always been fascinated by the original biblical story of Adam & Eve, especially by the themes of the story. It's a tale that everyone knows to some degree and is quite familiar with. I think there's a really interesting modern relevance to the themes of truth, temptation and sin. I wanted to explore the essence of the biblical story by placing it in a rural modern day setting. I was born and raised in Sussex and I wanted to tell the story of a young couple who are forced to move out of the city (due to rising costs and just how ridiculously unaffordable it is) and start a new life in the countryside in search of their dreams. I didn't strictly follow the original narrative, but it was certainly the inspiration point. The character of Eve frames this version of the story. I definitely see it as her story, told with a specific feminist purpose. The two worlds come head to head - traditional values and beliefs matched against 21st century living. 

 

What was the particular need that you were addressing?

I really wanted to explore what it means to live in a post-truth society, but from a domestic, everyday perspective (from the point of view of a relationship). We see the effects of living in a post-truth world on TV, especially in terms of politics and the media, but how does that trickle down and change our everyday lives? In the play Adam is a teacher who gets accused of sexual harassment by a student. Through the course of the play the audience is presented with several different versions of the truth and they have to decide who or what version of events they believe. In writing Adam & Eve I wanted to find out how important truth really is in modern society. Does truth still matter to us? Has what we say become more important than what we do? There's generally so much noise in the world (on the news and on social media), that everything feels like an opinion piece. The play definitely questions that mentality and a society where rhetoric holds more weight than meaningful conversation.  

 

What kind of writer’s devices have you used in telling the story?

This is a tricky question, as I don't want to give too much away! However, I'm drawn to the idea that a play tells you what to expect in the opening scene or opening few scenes. That definitely doesn't mean that it gives away the whole story, but there's lots of little clues in there about how things will unfold - a bit like Agatha Christie, but without the murders. With Adam & Eve I wanted to go against the narrative grain and play with the audience's expectations of what will happen to this young couple. I dislike narratives that are signposted, so every time I had the choice of where to take the story, I tried to go with the least obvious, or should I say most surprising one. There's twists and turns and it keeps you guessing until the very end. 

 

Matthew Parker, Artistic Director at The Hope insists that all the shows that make it into his programming have theatricality. What does that mean to you?

To me it means two things, especially in relation to this production. Firstly, although the play appears to be naturalistic on paper, it gives us the license to be very creative with the design elements of the show. We want to create a world that is quite eerie and atmospheric for the audience. It's absolutely not a kitchen sink drama, it's more like a modern day fable or a twisted fairytale. Secondly, it means using the space at the Hope theatrically, to heighten the drama and the tension in the script. It's such a wonderfully intimate playing space, so we can be deliberate about bringing the audience into the action of the play and by choosing what to show them and what not to show. The theatricality of the play comes from what's not being said by the characters; the tension and stakes are slowly raised to breaking point. Although this isn’t strictly a theatre related example, I'm a big fan of Mike Bartlett's Doctor Foster. It’s gripping and frequently terrifying, but you can't take your eyes away from it. If audiences respond in a similar way to Adam & Eve then I would be very happy. 

 

The five-star reviews of the show’s last run (at the Jack Studio Theatre) say it all for this show. What are the challenges of bringing it to a different theatre?

The play will definitely change during this transfer, partly due to the different space at the Hope, but we also have a really exciting new team on board, including a fantastic new director in Jennifer Davis. The first version of the play was very much a case of learning about how Adam & Eve works as a piece of theatre and how we tell that story to an audience. The success of the first run was surprising and wonderful in equal measure, because we went in without too many expectations. Now we’ve got a new team in place, we'll be approaching the show with a new vision. I find that really exciting, because we're trying to create something new, as opposed to taking the previous version of the show and presenting it in exactly the same way. Theatre is about pushing boundaries, so as a team we've tried to embrace that. 

 

What do you particularly want to achieve through your writing in general (and this play)?

I want to start interesting conversations, especially amongst audience members and my peers. Hopefully Adam & Eve sparks the imagination of those people and gets them talking about the issues raised in the play. Perhaps it might even get people creating their own work in response, either directly or indirectly. As a writer, it's a wonderful opportunity to get my work out there on a bigger scale and see how the audience respond. It's a different kind of excitement to writing plays, which is a very solitary process - this is the really enjoyable part and also the most nerve-wracking. 

 

As a writer what’s next for you?

I try to write one full-length play per year, so writing a new play is next on my to do list, but finding the time to write it might be a challenge. I think there's a balance between waiting for the story to find you as a writer and going in search of it. I tried to actively seek out my next story earlier in the year, but found I was trying to force it too much. I had lots of ideas, but nothing I wanted to commit two months of my life for. I’ve got a few producing and directing projects coming up, so I'll wait until the time feels right. I don't want to rush the process. I don't believe in writing for the sake of it. 

 

Where would you like to be in ten years time? 

There's plenty I’d like to achieve in the industry. I’ve always wanted to run my own theatre, but I’m open to my goals changing and evolving over time. Ten years ago I never thought I’d be where I am now. Ultimately, as long as I’m still writing and making theatre with people who inspire me, then I’ll be happy. I’d like to keep supporting emerging writers too, that’s something I am very passionate about doing through my work as a dramaturg. 

 

How important is it for you to develop your work on the pub theatre circuit?

It's so crucially important to my practice and my career, that I can't overstate it really. All of my plays have been staged at pub theatres in one version or another. Pub theatres are the lifeblood of the fringe theatre scene. It’s so important for this generation and the next generation of theatre makers that the pub theatre circuit continues to thrive. 

 

Finally, what should we be particularly looking out for when we come to see ADAM & EVE?

Apart from watching our incredible cast, you should look out for Nutella. There’s lots of Nutella.

Adam & Eve runs at The Hope Theatre from 22nd May to 9th June.

Voices From Home (Winners)

March 29, 2018

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our Voices From Home competition. Congratulations to the following writers, who will have their plays staged at our festival this summer! 

 

Jo Gatford (Sussex) - Flying Ant Day

Clare Reddaway (Sussex) - Sungrazer 

Olivia Rosenthall (Essex) - Home Time 

Sydney Stevenson (Buckinghamshire) - M** & Women 

Emma Zadow (Norfolk) - The Cromer Special 

 

Stay tuned for further Voices From Home announcements and thank you again to every writer who entered - we had a fabulous time reading your work. 

Voices From Home (Shortlist)

March 24, 2018

We are delighted to announce the following writers have been shortlisted for our next Voices From Home! 

Vicki Connerty (Oxfordshire) - The Snow Angel of Antartica

Alissa Cooper (Kent) - Untitled 

Michelle Donkin (Sussex) - Agency 

Jo Gatford (Sussex) - Flying Ant Day 

Pippa Gladhill (Kent) - Last Tree Standing 

Clare Reddaway (Sussex) - Sungrazer 

Olivia Rosenthall (Essex) - Home Time 

Trudie Shutler (Hampshire) - Bricks 

Sydney Stevenson (Buckinghamshire) - M** & Women 

Emma Zadow (Norfolk) - The Cromer Special 

 

We were blown away by the standard of submissions and would like to extend a special thank you to every single writer who entered. We had a wonderful time reading all your marvellous scripts, with over 100 entries coming in from 11 South East counties.

 

The winners will be announced shortly and will feature in our next Voices From Home this summer.

Ella Dorman-Gajic (Interview)

February 15, 2018

Get to know Ella Dorman-Gajic, our fantastic new Young Writer in Residence! Ella is a Brighton-based playwright, actor and spoken word artist. She joins the company after the success of her short play 'Trust', which premiered in our first edition of Voices From Home. 

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Passionate, outgoing and a bit of a perfectionist.

 

Where’s your favourite place in Brighton?  

Hmm… so difficult.  I want to say North Laines but I guess that’s a bit general so… The Tempest Inn is cracking especially in the summer. Or just anywhere on the seafront.

 

How did you first get into writing?

I’ve always been interested in theatre and writing felt like a natural progression from acting, which I have done since I was quite young. Learning about the feminist movement and the plight of women  motivated me to want to start writing about the female experience in particular.  But I didn’t start writing confidently until I was introduced to the spoken word scene in Brighton.

 

What inspires you to write and what themes are you passionate about?

I feel passionately about  giving a platform to issues and experiences which I feel are not fairly represented in society. Writing is also a personal outlet for me and is often a source of catharsis. So a lot of the time my own personal experiences prompt me to write, as a way for me to make sense of them. In terms of themes, I like exploring issues surrounding gender, media, betrayal and loss.

 

You also write and perform as a spoken word artist - do you approach that any differently to playwriting?

For me, writing spoken word is a completely different process from playwrighting. When I write a poem, I am usually prompted by a specific idea or phrase about something I feel passionately about, then I will flesh it out. I am a lot more obvious about my views in my poetry, as I feel it’s a medium I can get a direct point across quickly and concisely. My poetry is  usually autobiographical. However, with playwrighting I have to explore the mind of a character who is not myself; with this comes exploring their views and how they work in a story. Getting a political point across through storytelling is an entirely different challenge and this is something I concentrate on more in my playwrighting, as poetry doesn’t rely on plot. Having said this, I often incorporate spoken word into my plays so I guess they do overlap in some sense.

 

You recently took part in Voices From Home at the Old Red Lion Theatre, with 3 other regional writers - how was the experience for you?

Amazing. This was the first time I had  seen my work staged and performed by actors. Listening to someone else say my words was both bizarre and incredible. Everyone did such a great job!

 

What are you hoping to achieve in your year as Broken Silence Theatre’s Young Writer in Residence?

I would really love to complete my first full length play and maybe even get it put on! I want to collaborate with actors and directors who are associated with the company; we are planning on doing a research and development session soon which I am really excited about.

Why is new writing important?

I think writing is a way of holding a mirror up to society. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, we should be giving a platform to a new generation of writers who can use it as a catalyst for change.

Open Submissions Window

February 10, 2018

We are very excited to announce that Voices From Home, our platform for emerging writers from the South East, is returning and submissions are now open to female writers only! Following a sellout run at the Old Red Lion Theatre in November, the second edition will be staged this Spring/Summer.

 

Full submission information: 

- Open to female writers only

- Writers must currently live, or originally come from, one of the following counties: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey or Sussex

- Length: 8-12 pages maximum

- 4 characters maximum

- Minimal props/set

- Scripts can't have been previously staged/produced 

- Only one script can be submitted per writer

Deadline: Saturday 3rd March, 8pm 

Please submit entries to brokensilencetheatre@gmail.com 

Voices From Home (Feature with Tim Cook)

October 30, 2017

It’s almost an unwritten rule that every new writing theatre company should have their own version of a new writing night. Since I formed Broken Silence Theatre in Brighton in 2013 it was something I wanted to do, not just for the sake of it (because in my opinion, you should never do anything for the sake of it in this industry), but because of the opportunities it might create for other writers, other creatives. 

 

It took a long time (and many a brainstorming session) to realise what was perhaps lacking in the industry and how we could contribute. In the end, like many things, it was obvious. Broken Silence is a regional theatre company from Sussex. We specialise in new writing. Let’s make it about the best emerging regional writers outside of London. Let’s bring these writers to the capital, so people can see how good they are. 

 

And so, Voices From Home was born. A new writing night that will showcase regional writers from the Home Counties and put them front and centre of the process. And not just a celebration of the writers, but of the counties themselves. And so, the search began to find our writers, to seek out the brightest writing talent across the regions: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex. 

 

Each new writing night will host just four writers. The first writer to come on board is Sussex-based Ella Dorman-Gajic, a spoken-word poet and playwright. I'd seen her perform at a young writers showcase for New Writing South in Brighton. She's one of those writers who makes you sit up and pay attention. She was an obvious choice and sprang to mind immediately. 

 

I'd come across the work of Norfolk’s James McDermott previously, from hearing about his super successful solo show Rubber Ring. And then earlier this year, he wrote a piece for Scene Gym (a regular new writing workshop that I co-produce), which was just brilliant. His voice is very clearly defined; his writing both heartbreaking and hilarious. He’s a very natural talent and a writer who is very much on the rise. 

 

Danielle Pearson, hailing from Berkshire, came recommended via The Watermill Theatre (where she's resident playwright), who in turn came recommended via Clive Judd at the Old Red Lion Theatre. I don’t want to give too much away about her piece for Voices From Home, but it makes you want to travel immediately to Berkshire and meet the characters she’s depicted. It’s beautiful, bittersweet and life-affirming. 

 

For every season of Voices From Home we also feature a Headline Playwright, who can be from anywhere in the world, and invite them to write a piece alongside our regional writers. On this occasion I’m delighted to have Sevan K. Greene (born and raised in Kuwait) join the company as headline writer for our inaugural night. I’ve been lucky enough to direct some of Sevan’s work before, and not only is he a joy to work with, but he’s undoubtedly a writer touched with greatness. 

 

Alongside my co-curator Katharina Rodda, we set our writers a one-word theme (Trust), for the first Voices From Home. I thought I knew what to expect from them, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, in the best possible way. The concept of home is unique and different for each writer involved. It comes out in their characters, in their dialogue, in the rhythm of the text itself. Inevitably each writer has been informed by their own background, which has made for such an exciting and diverse response to the brief. It also raises a question that I’ve forever found important, especially for writers: How does our background and upbringing come to define us?

 

Voices From Home isn't purely about giving these playwrights a London credit, it's about bringing a group of gifted regional writers together to present their work in a single evening. It's about what happens when they create work together, how those voices contrast and work in tandem. To me theatre has always been about dialogue. Not just dialogue written on the page. But dialogue between writer and writer. Between writer and audience. Between audience members who disagree. For us, this is the start of a journey. We aim to bring Voices From Home to London every 6-8 months and establish a regional touring network, taking the work back to the Home Counties after it opens in London. For now, we hope people join us at the beginning of the journey. To celebrate regional writing in all its glory. Come along, you might just be surprised. 

http://www.londonpubtheatres.com/opinion-tim-cook/4594094146

Tim Cook is Artistic Director of Broken Silence Theatre. Voices From Home is playing at the Old Red Lion Theatre on Sunday 19 and Monday 20 November (7.30pm).

Broken Silence AD Tim Cook asks: Does a regional theatre company need to bring work to London?

June 07, 2017

This is a question I often ask myself in my capacity as Artistic Director of a regional theatre company. To put this into context, when I graduated from drama school in 2013 I wanted to establish a company that made bold and exciting new work, with a specific focus on the quality of the writing and performances. I didn’t care where that was. All I cared about was making work that was immediate and vital. Having grown up near Brighton, I thought it was the most obvious place to start. As a city Brighton is always vibrant, dynamic and diverse. So I left London, moved back to Sussex and established Broken Silence Theatre. 

 

The initial plan was to stage work exclusively in Brighton, alongside local theatre makers and actors, and to entice the wider industry down to Brighton (after all it’s only an hour’s train journey from London, right?). We did well, even exceeding expectations - our first show sold out at Brighton Fringe and received some glowing reviews. Then the Fringe ended, the fanfare died down, and we were confronted with the reality of producing work on a regional level year round. What opportunities were left in the 11 months following May? To give you the simplistic and slightly reductive answer: not many. If you discount the excellent community theatre scene, and the big commercial juggernauts such as the Theatre Royal, you come slightly unstuck. We had a show we wanted to stage again, but if not in Brighton, then where? 

 

The most obvious answer was London, where we found people were very receptive. They wanted to know about us. They wanted to know about our work. The fringe scene in London gave us the perfect platform. Fast forward a few years and we’ve found the pub theatres in London to be particularly supportive, presenting us with a natural stepping stone from Brighton to the capital. In fact, aside from site-specific shows, our entire London output has been in collaboration with pub theatres (in the past/next 6 months we have or will be working with the King’s Head, the Old Red Lion and the Jack Studio Theatre). It might not be right for every regional company (especially those further afield) but right now it’s right for us. Without presenting work in London, I’m not sure the company would’ve grown to where we are today, premiering 4 full-length productions in 2017.

 

Of course we crave having the same set-up in Brighton, where we’re still based, but in recent years the city has sadly lost its closest equivalents (88 London Road, the Nightingale). Increasingly, it seems, theatre is viewed as a luxury, rather than as a necessity in a healthy and culturally diverse society. So we bring work to London in order to get industry attention. We bring work to London to get those precious reviews. Above all, we bring work to London, because otherwise, we fear it might never be seen.

http://www.londonpubtheatres.com/have-your-say/4593892956

Paul Macauley (Interview)

January 17, 2017

How does it feel to have the World Premiere of Necessity at Brighton Fringe? 

Brighton is an amazing corner of the world, and the Fringe is an exciting festival with a growing reputation. I'm really looking forward to it.

 

How have rehearsals been coming along? 

I love being in the rehearsal room, it's the best time. We're so lucky to have the cast we do for Necessity. Exploring the play with them has been fascinating and a real shared journey of discovery. We're in good shape I think!

 

Could you tell us about the inspiration behind the play?

Necessity's story hangs around a young couple who receive an anonymous letter meant for someone else. They are forced to consider withholding or forwarding the letter to the true recipient, and face the consequences of either course of action. Astonishingly this actually happened to somebody I know. What seemed incredible to me was the sudden responsibility to make a difficult choice that arrived with just one piece of paper. It felt like a great jumping off point for a drama.

 

What can people expect when they come to see it? 

The core of the play is a fascinating 'what if?' and it doesn't present the characters with easy choices or the audience with easy labels for those choices. There's a tension that occurs in trying to resolve those things. We want to present a story that feels as though it could be happening on your street, with people you know. This production has a wonderful cast of actors, who bring that drama alive in such an identifiable way.

 

Do you see Necessity as a morality play? 

The moral aspect of the drama really attracted my attention when first writing the play. Ultimately it's less about characters trying to do the 'right' thing, and more about the complexities of living with the consequences of your choices when any option feels like a necessary evil. The moral muddiness of that world is very interesting.

 

How would you describe your writing process? 

1. Think about thing, usually for a long time 

2. Eventually write thing down, from beginning to end

3. Realise thing is way too long. Trim 

4. Read thing, shamelessly laugh at parts, shamefully cringe at others. Edit

5. Finish thing just in time. Start thinking about another thing

 

You’ve previously worked with Broken Silence Theatre, how’ve things been different this time around? 

This is the fourth show I've worked on with Broken Silence Theatre. Each show, and each production, has been enjoyable, unique and has presented its own challenge, not least because the company is committed to growing the quality of its productions each time. What's slightly different this time is that I'm directing from a script I wrote, which makes the process feel another level of personal.

 

What's the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? 

Recently I have paraphrased someone I don't remember who might have said: 'If the scene's about what the scene's about then you're screwed'. It feels like good advice for writers. And directors. And probably actors.

 

What are your plans for the future? 

Immediately I will be performing in another fringe show that I have co-created. I've also just finished post-production on a short film I directed, so I'll be working on getting that out into the world. There's another play I've written that I would really like to see developed, it's quite different to what I've done before. And writing, lots more writing.

 

Finally, what do you hope people take away from Necessity? 

A sense of satisfaction of 75 minutes well spent and a question or two for the journey home. That's not too much to ask for, right?

Please reload

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • White Google+ Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

© 2019 Broken Silence Theatre