Tag Archives: Royal Court Theatre

Y Labordy – new initiative for writers for TV, Theatre and Film

I’m excited to be involved in this new initiative for Welsh language writers for TV,  theatre and film:

Ty Newydd

Ty Newydd

New Initiative Y Labordy Calls for Experienced Welsh Language Writers for TV, Theatre and Film

Have you written the next must-have box set? Should your words be spoken and heard at theatres across the globe? Is your feature script one rung away from the silver screen?

A new tailored initiative for experienced Welsh language writers of theatre, film and TV led by Literature Wales, Y Labordy is a unique opportunity for four experienced and aspiring writers to develop their ideas alongside some of the most respected scriptwriters and producers in their industry.

This bespoke immersive course will expand your knowledge and skills culminating in the opportunity to pitch to an array of international financiers and commissioners.

The objective of this ground-breaking initiative is to create a pool of contemporary writing talent with the capability of writing high calibre scripts for different media platforms and to broaden ability for writing from an international perspective.

The four selected participants will bring with them talent and experience which requires support in order for them to succeed on a high end international platform.

Deadline for Submissions: 12.00pm, Friday 11 July

Contributors to the initiative include:

Jeppe Gjervig Gram (BAFTA award-winning writer, projects include Borgen), Lisa Albert (award winning writer-producer, projects include Mad Men), Kaite O’Reilly (award winning playwright and dramaturg), Rachel O’Flanagan (experienced script editor), Rebecca Lenkiewicz (award winning playwright and screenwriter), Lucy Davies (Executive Producer, Royal Court Theatre), Kieran Evans (BAFTA award winning writer/director), Ken White (independent filmmaker and screenwriter), Kate Leys (feature film script editor), P.G. Morgan (Emmy-winning writer/producer), Marina Zenovich (LA-based Emmy-winning director) and Angeli Macfarlane (film and TV story editor).

Content of the Course

The structure and content of Y Labordy will be designed with each individual participant in mind. Successful applicants will participate in a tailored 11 month scheme (not full time) involving residential courses at Literature Wales’ renowned Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre (the first residential course runs from 15 to 22 September), regular bespoke one to one mentoring, festival and conference attendance, business skills development and project specific guidance.

How to Apply

To be selected for a place on Y Labordy, participants must have at least one professional screen or theatre credit, and will have to submit a letter explaining your expression of interest, two original story ideas to be developed into a script for TV, Film or Theatre as well as a sample script of your own work. Published novelists are welcome to apply. We regret that this initiative is not for new writers.

For more detailed information and the full guidelines for Y Labordy Call for Submissions: http://www.literaturewales.org/news/i/145128/desc/y-labordy/?

In partnership with S4C, the Arts Council of Wales, Film Agency Wales, and Creative Skillset Cymru.

 

A New Writer Doesn’t Mean A Young Writer….

Octagenarian PLaywrights wanted: Photo from The Independent newspaper

Octagenarian PLaywrights wanted: Photo from The Independent newspaper

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I’m grateful to my friend the writer Sandra Bendelow for bringing my attention to this…. The wonderful news that the Royal Court Theatre in London is seeking out ‘bright octogenarian writers.’ For a theatre so often associated with youth (I, amongst many, have benefitted from the development process attached to its well established  young writers programme), this is a major turning point indeed.

“The question was: ‘Why aren’t we giving those people a voice?’ ‘Vicky Featherstone says in an interview with the Independent, the link for which is below. ”What if you want to be a playwright in your 80’s, why can’t you be?”

Frankly, if this is what Vicky Featherstone has in store for the Court under her new directorship, things are looking up indeed…

For years I worked with Jonathan Meth and Sarah Dickenson of (now, sadly defunct) writernet – and we constantly challenged the notion that new = young. Although pretty youthful myself at the time, I was still painfully aware of the disparity in opportunity offered to the beginner performance writer, which revolved around how many years (or, rather how few) any scribbler had been on the planet. It seemed for a while that those who were rich in elastin but poor in life experience had a monopoly on any call for script development, when the hungry, eager 25 year olds (and god help the 45 plus year olds) were consigned to the scrapheap. New writing meant young in age writers. No wonder we began to introduce those clunky, worthy terms ‘young in career’, ’emerging writers’ and so on, to try and counter the endemic ageism within the profession.

For years everyone wanted ‘the new’, which meant ‘the young’, which also seemed to mean ‘the first’.  I was in my mid-20’s when I co-won The Peggy Ramsay Award for my first London production, Yard, at the Bush. I’d been writing for many years, with several BBC radio plays broadcast, two international productions, a handful of scripts produced for young audiences, and a solo presented at the Royal Court Upstairs as part of the Young Writers Festival. Despite all this hard work and experience, in the press I was still described  as ‘new, young writer wins award with her first play.’ It was clear that my long apprenticeship and years of self-sufficiency didn’t live up to the myth, the story so often paraded in our media: the overnight success; the ‘discovery’; the untutored ingenue, the young ‘natural’…

I’m sure these stories will continue – and some of them may indeed be true. I have no problem with precocious talent, and I celebrate creativity and success whatever the age. What became so wearing, especially having been one of those ‘prodigies’ bandied about myself, was it seemed to be the only story. Young in age practitioners seemed to be the only ones wanted.

I think the monopoly of youth-orientated workshops, opportunities, and development programmes may be weakening. We have had an explosion in fee-paying courses (and not just those in higher and further education and the original writers centres like Arvon and Ty Newydd, but now the Faber Academy, and the Guardian masterclasses, etc….) and it is often those who have been around a while who can afford to develop themselves. At some workshops I gave in the South West recently, the 50 plus writer was as evident as the under 25 – which personally, I think is fabulous. For years I’ve seen new plays which sparkle with potential but are sometimes thin on content. On more than a few occasions I’ve gone away thinking ‘that playwright will be really interesting in about ten years when they’ve got something to write about.’

So what might octogenarian first time playwrights write – and in what form? I hope it’s edgy and experimental – which are not exclusive to youth (our own Caryl Churchill is, after all, 74 years young). I can’t wait.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/bright-octogenarian-playwrights-wanted-royal-court-seeks-new-talent-among-over-80s-8580738.html

A new writer doesn’t mean a young one…..

Octagenarian PLaywrights wanted: Photo from The Independent newspaper

Octagenarian PLaywrights wanted: Photo from The Independent newspaper

. . . . . . ..

.

.

.

.

.

I’m grateful to my friend the writer Sandra Bendelow for bringing my attention to this…. The wonderful news that the Royal Court Theatre in London is seeking out ‘bright octogenarian writers.’ For a theatre so often associated with youth (I, amongst many, have benefitted from the development process attached to its well established  young writers programme), this is a major turning point indeed.

“The question was: ‘Why aren’t we giving those people a voice?’ ‘Vicky Featherstone says in an interview with the Independent, the link for which is below. ”What if you want to be a playwright in your 80’s, why can’t you be?”

Frankly, if this is what Vicky Featherstone has in store for the Court under her new directorship, things are looking up indeed…

For years I worked with Jonathan Meth and Sarah Dickenson of (now, sadly defunct) writernet – and we constantly challenged the notion that new = young. Although pretty youthful myself at the time, I was still painfully aware of the disparity in opportunity offered to the beginner performance writer, which revolved around how many years (or, rather how few) any scribbler had been on the planet. It seemed for a while that those who were rich in elastin but poor in life experience had a monopoly on any call for script development, when the hungry, eager 25 year olds (and god help the 45 plus year olds) were consigned to the scrapheap. New writing meant young in age writers. No wonder we began to introduce those clunky, worthy terms ‘young in career’, ’emerging writers’ and so on, to try and counter the endemic ageism within the profession.

For years everyone wanted ‘the new’, which meant ‘the young’, which also seemed to mean ‘the first’.  I was in my mid-20’s when I co-won The Peggy Ramsay Award for my first London production, Yard, at the Bush. I’d been writing for many years, with several BBC radio plays broadcast, two international productions, a handful of scripts produced for young audiences, and a solo presented at the Royal Court Upstairs as part of the Young Writers Festival. Despite all this hard work and experience, in the press I was still described  as ‘new, young writer wins award with her first play.’ It was clear that my long apprenticeship and years of self-sufficiency didn’t live up to the myth, the story so often paraded in our media: the overnight success; the ‘discovery’; the untutored ingenue, the young ‘natural’…

I’m sure these stories will continue – and some of them may indeed be true. I have no problem with precocious talent, and I celebrate creativity and success whatever the age. What became so wearing, especially having been one of those ‘prodigies’ bandied about myself, was it seemed to be the only story. Young in age practitioners seemed to be the only ones wanted.

I think the monopoly of youth-orientated workshops, opportunities, and development programmes may be weakening. We have had an explosion in fee-paying courses (and not just those in higher and further education and the original writers centres like Arvon and Ty Newydd, but now the Faber Academy, and the Guardian masterclasses, etc….) and it is often those who have been around a while who can afford to develop themselves. At some workshops I gave in the South West recently, the 50 plus writer was as evident as the under 25 – which personally, I think is fabulous. For years I’ve seen new plays which sparkle with potential but are sometimes thin on content. On more than a few occasions I’ve gone away thinking ‘that playwright will be really interesting in about ten years when they’ve got something to write about.’

So what might octogenarian first time playwrights write – and in what form? I hope it’s edgy and experimental – which are not exclusive to youth (our own Caryl Churchill is, after all, 74 years young). I can’t wait.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/bright-octogenarian-playwrights-wanted-royal-court-seeks-new-talent-among-over-80s-8580738.html