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Original Playwriting

Original Playwriting Competition

The SFD is once again running their annual Original Playwriting Competition for one-act plays. Entries are invited from authors living anywhere in the South-west of England, including young writers under 25, whose work will be judged as a separate category.

The closing date for submission of scripts for the 2018 competition is 12 noon on Wednesday 12th September

The entry form is available here, and the competition rules can be read here. Please note that hard copy scripts will not be returned to their authors after the judging, so please retain a copy.

Once all the entries have been received they will be assessed by a panel of readers who will use their varied experiences in the world of theatre to select a short-list. From these a winner in both the general and the young-writer categories will be agreed. The author of the winning script in the general category will be awarded a cash prize of £100 and a silver trophy; the young writer will receive a cash prize of £100. There may be up to two highly-commended runners-up who will each receive cash prizes of £25. These awards will be made at the County Drama Festival in March 2019. 

Once the shortlisted scripts have been agreed, they will be made available to groups in the Somerset Fellowship of Drama. We would like directors to consider these new plays for production at the County Drama Festival. No royalties are payable for the performance in the Festival and the SFD will offer member groups £100 towards the expenses of mounting a production. Please give this some serious thought ~ productions of original scripts do very well at Festivals and in the past, have won through to the English semi-final of the All-England Theatre Festival.

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 scripts that were shortlisted for the 2017 competition are shown below and pdfs are provided for download by kind permission of the authors. 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 a production of one of the scripts, please contact Pam Hillier, Co-ordinator for the Original Playwriting Competition ( ). The winning script for the 2017 competition was ‘Stumped' by Antony Bray - see below.

 A list of previous winners, dating back to 1952, can be viewed here .


Pam H
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


and the THE 2017 WINNER:

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