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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 2019 competition is 12 noon on Wednesday 11 September 2019.


The Entry Form is available here ~ and the Competition Rules can be read here...


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 young writer category 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 2020.

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 often 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.

A synopsis of the winning script for the 2018 competition is shown below and a pdf is provided for download by kind permission of the author. The script 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 this script, please contact Brenda Shrewsbury, Co-ordinator for the Original Playwriting Competition ( ).

Brenda Shrewsbury




The Flag
by Neil Walden

Cast: 2F + 1M 

Setting: The head teacher's office

In the 1930s, a teacher visits the head teacher in the hope of curtailing the celebrations surrounding the prospective visit to the school of a high profile parent. An argument escalates as to whether the flag should be flown above the school in honour of their visitor. They become more entrenched in their views and their friendship becomes strained. The situation is finally resolved by the pragmatic approach of the caretaker.

The play has an awareness of the current debate surrounding international visits by unpopular Heads of State.

Estimated Running Time: 25 minutes

 Click here to read the play in pdf format.

You can also see it in production at this year's County Drama Festival in the afternoon session on Sunday 24th March, at the Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster!