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Lichfield New Playwrights

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Playwright Competition Winners To Have Work Showcased
A competition to find aspiring playwrights in the UK will shortly reach its culmination when the two successful entrants have their work showcased on the professional stage in Lichfield. The four-month nationwide competition was led by Tim Ford, the Artistic Director of the Lichfield Garrick theatre. The aim was to find the very best original, unperformed and unproduced piece of work based around the theme of Risk and Innovation. The competition formed part of Lichfield Garrick's 300th-anniversary celebration of David Garrick, whom the theatre is named after. Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century.

Kiersten Leslie
Aspiring playwright Kiersten Leslie

The two winners of the Garrick300 playwriting competition have been announced as Rory Payne and Ellie Galvin, who together wrote their play Paradise, and Kiersten Leslie, who created Moving Pictures. They will now see their plays given a staged reading at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre with professional actors on Friday 14th July. Tim Ford said: "The level of entries was incredibly high and there is such a breadth of playwrights, not just in Lichfield, but across the country who are writing great work. The variety of entrants who wrote their copy around Risk and Innovation led to some very interesting reads, some exploring the darker side of politics in the current climate. All the submissions were entered without the author's name on to make the judging impartial. I was pleased to find out that one of the winners (Rory and Ellie) are local to Lichfield."

Rory Payne
Rory Payne shared the writing duties on 'Paradise'

Paradise was created in an unusual but thoroughly modern way. Following a single conversation about the theme and story-line, Rory and Ellie wrote the entire play by bouncing emails back and forth. This evolved into using Google-Docs where they could both edit and add to the play from separate locations, watching the other work digitally in real time. Once the play was written they met just once more to read through and check details. Rory, from Lichfield, said: "Paradise explores themes of the Post-Truth, Brexit, Trump Era. We describe it as Hunger Games meets Frankenstein meets 1984. Our play challenges the audience to reflect upon current social values and to question the future; what happens when we take it too far? Both Ellie's and my 'innovative' writing technique fits very well with both the theme of the competition and the futuristic setting of the play itself."

Ellie Galvin
Ellie Galvin and Rory Payne wrote their play via email

Moving Pictures was produced by Kiersten Leslie, who is originally from New Zealand and now lives in Stafford. She said: "Moving Pictures was inspired by a newspaper article, passed on to me by a family member, about a 1930 British film that was made by the Empire Marketing Board, or one of its affiliates. This play is about a fictional member of the film-making team and how, after approaching the project with high hopes, he deals with colossal failure." The Garrick300 staged reading will run in the Lichfield Garrick's Studio Theatre on Friday 14 July at 8.00pm. Tickets priced £10 can be booked online or by calling the Box Office on 01543 412121.
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Why? Hear The Work Of Two Aspiring Playwrights
When: July 9
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Tickets cost £10
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