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Original Playwriting

Original Playwriting Competition

The SFD has once again been running their annual Original Playwriting Competition for one-act plays. Entries were invited from authors living anywhere in the South-west of England. We received 11 one-act scripts for the Original Playwriting Competition 2017.

The reader panel has now reviewed all the scripts and come up with a shortlist of four. The author of the winning script will be awarded a cash prize of £100 and a silver trophy; the highly-commended runner-up will receive a cash prize of £25 and a certificate; the two commended places will receive a certificate. The awards will take place at the County Drama Festival in March 2018. A list of previous winners can be viewed here .

There is now a real opportunity for a group to take on one of the scripts for performance in the County Drama Festival. No royalties are payable for the festival performance and the SFD will offer £100 towards expenses of mounting the production. Please give this some serious thought ~ productions of original scripts have done very well at the County Drama Festival and in the past, productions of original scripts have won through to the English semi-final of the All-England Theatre Festival.

Pam H

Original scripts that are performed as part of the All-England Theatre Festival (of which the County Drama Festival is a Round 1), also qualify for entry into the national competition for the Geoffrey Whitworth Trophy and may be considered for entry into the George Taylor competition, at the discretion of the adjudicator and festival organiser.

Synopses of the shortlisted scripts are shown below and pdfs are provided for download by kind permission of the authors. Just click on the play's title. The scripts may be read but not used for performance without the express permission of the author. In the first instance, if you are considering producing one of the scripts for entry in the County Drama Festival next year, please contact the OPC co-ordinator, Pam Hillier by email  ( ).




The 2017 Shortlist (in no particular order)

What Would Caesar Do?
by Louise Pople
Cast: 2M

Setting: Tim's bedsit
Tim is a young man looking for love...
Estimated Running Time: 40 minutes

The Retirement Plan
by Louise Pople
Cast: 2F + 2M

Setting: The Yorkshire Dales
Two middle-aged ladies on an adventure.
Estimated Running Time: 40 minutes

All Inclusive
by Lydia Brimble
Cast: 3F + 2M

Setting: Present day around 2 am in the foyer of The Golden Beach Hotel
Sisters Dora, Debra and Daphne are all mature ladies looking forward to a happy holiday abroad in their chosen four-star hotel. Their holiday gets off to a bad start when their flight is delayed and their ground floor suite has been given to someone else. Debra takes charge of the situation and insists on a ‘sit-in' protest in the hotel foyer. Everyone is suffering from the lack of sleep including Pedro, the overworked night shift receptionist, who fears for his job and his reputation when Daphne, many years his senior, has romantic designs on him.
Estimated Running Time: 20 minutes

by Antony Bray
Cast: 3F + 2M (with doubling)

Setting: dream sequences + Douglas and Sylvia's lounge

Douglas dreams of playing for England at Lord's in an Ashes Test. The problem is, in his dreams he is wearing very little clothing and a John Arlott-esque commentator's voice adds to his embarrassment and humiliation when he goes out to bat and is bowled out for a duck. All this coincides with his sister-in-law Janice and her crass, booze-swilling Australian husband Bruce coming to stay, with the Ashes Test Series about to start. It is also the eve of Douglas's village cricket team playing its arch-rivals. Relationships between Douglas and his wife (Sylvia) and their visitors are examined, complicated and tested by the village spinster (Lilian) showing up to show support for Douglas - who she hero-worships for his Englishness and leadership qualities - which, in turn perpetuates the dreams of representing one's country in The Ashes.
Estimated Running Time: 45 minutes