Writers for Sale

New writing is essential to theatre, both to introduce new voices, protect the future, and to address urgent and topical issues.  Six pieces of new writing were presented at Sale Waterside as part of Writers for Sale.  From the website:

In 2013 there was a unique experiment … one university and three theatres came together to deliver the UK’s first industry partnered Masters Degree in Playwriting. The Royal Exchange, Bolton Octagon and Liverpool Everyman opened their doors to emerging Playwrights and the first Graduates are proud to present their results.

The great thing about putting on an evening with six short plays, as JB Shorts have found, is that there’s something for everyone.  So it is here.  There’s a good mix of comedy, drama and monologue.  The plays are mostly well written although a couple are overlong even at twenty minutes, relying on a single concept that seems stretched out unnecessarily.  Some of the pieces need more work.

But personally I will always go for well written drama and my pick of this bunch is Large Animal.  Tom Ferguson’s play, crisply directed by Naomi Sumner and convincingly acted by Fiona Organ and Sarah Oldknow, examines what happens when a daughter meets the mother who gave her away.  The introduction of the ‘large animal’ is a lovely moment.

The Date, by Matt Lidis, looks at the modern day challenges of internet dating, and has the makings of a very funny and well observed comedy piece.   Joel Parry and Steph Reynolds make this piece their own with perfect timing.

Overall a varied and interesting evening and a welcome addition to Manchester theatre.





Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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