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Be an Angel - join a radical new scheme to 'buy time' for struggling new playwrights to write!

Paul Anthony Morris was the first playwright chosen for the scheme in 2008 and, with our help, completed his new play IDENTITY. Pericles Snowdon became the second playwright to win the award in 2009 and completed an extraordinary piece on Romany gypsies, THEY WHO LAY IN THE FIELDS LIKE BEASTS. Kenneth Emson followed in 2010 writing WHITE about his home town in Thurrock. Sarah Grochala was our fourth winner in 2011 writing SMOLENSK inspired by the events unfolding after the Polish plane crash on 10 April 2010. Clara Brennan completed her year as the fifth winner with her smouldering new play THE VENDOR and Satinder Chohan completed MOTHER INDIA as our sixth winner. This year we are delighted to introduce Steven Hevey who in 2008 found unexpected success with his first play IN MY NAME that transferred from The Old Red Lion to The Trafalgar Studios 2. That same year he won a place on Paines Ploughs Future Perfect scheme where his work was performed in venues around London. Moving forward from this early success has been problematical - a problem shared by many new writers who are only just finding their feet. In an overcrowded industry eager for new talent, finding the support and means to develop their skills further can be crushingly difficult. In Steven's own words:

All writing is about confidence and for me there is nothing that makes a writer feel more confident than being supported by an organisation with faith and commitment - two things that I feel a writer struggles to find in an industry that has in recent years become very tough and, in some cases, compromised by cuts in funding and the relentless pursuit of the next bright young thing. Your encouragement and support mean the world to me and I thank you for giving me the time and the space to push myself to write what I hope will be my best work yet.

Steven has had a number of short plays performed at the Soho Theatre, The Globe, Oval House, Hampstead Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Bush Theatre, Waterloo East, Old Vic Tunnels, Lyric Studio Hammersmith and The Vineyard, New York. He has worked extensively with Paines Plough and Old Vic New Voices. In 2011 he was selected for the TS Eliot US Exchange 2011. His play EVERY BIT OF MY LOVE won the sixth Time Warner Ignite competition and was made into a short film. His first professionally produced full length play IN MY NAME transferred to Trafalgar Studios 2 in the West End after a sell out run at The Old Red Lion in Islington. It then received its New York premier in the summer of 2010 at the Brecht Forum as part of the 9.13.project. His second full length play was PAY AS YOU GO at the Cock Tavern Theatre.

'Steven Hevey's In My Name, a ticking, short-fused bomb of a drama...brave and exciting'
Ben Brantley, New York Times

'This play is a stylish small explosion...Hevey (writer) executes it with blackly comic panache'
Sam Marlowe, The Times

The levels of support are as follows:

(equivalent to £20 a week)

  • will receive monthly email bulletins from Steven reporting on the adventures and misadventures of the writing process giving a rare peep through the keyhole at a writer's life
  • will be invited to 3 events a year to meet Steven during a workshop or for a chatty drink
  • will be invited to a performed reading of the final draft where feedback is more than welcome
  • will be invited to a preview night if the play is staged
  • will be invited to the opening night and party if the play is staged
  • will be credited in the programme for the first and all future productions of the play.

(equivalent to £10 a week)
  • will receive monthly email bulletins from Steven
  • will be invited to 1 event during the year to meet Steven and catch up
  • will be invited to a performed reading of the final draft where feedback is more than welcome
  • will be invited to the opening night and party if the play is staged
  • will be credited in the programme for the first and all future productions of the play.

  • will receive monthly email bulletins from Steven
  • will be invited to the opening night and party if the play is staged
  • will be credited in the programme for the first and all future productions of the play.
At the end of the process all Steven's supporters will have a finished play and will be the 'parents' of that play.

To become an Angel, please contact Sofie Mason on or call 020 7277 1511 to talk it through - thank you!

Previous Winners

PAUL MORRIS - Winner 2008
The story so far... Since his year of adoption, Paul directed a reading of his new play Gifted at the Bush Theatre and has completed the research and development for a trilogy of plays that he has been working on over the past two years. The development culminated in funding from the Arts Council to accept an invitation from the Arcola Theatre to take up residency in their Theatre Lab program. Since the conclusion of the project, Paul has been approached by a number of companies to submit the script and a proposal for possible production. The following link will give you a taster of what Paul has been up to over the past few months.

The story so far... The story so far... Since the OWE Angels gave him the opportunity to write & stage They Who Lay In The Fields Like Beasts, his Romani play set during the fall of the Soviet Union, Pericles has written a 5-star show on memory palaces for FoxedUp Theatre Co and had several shorts produced for The Miniaturists and Encounter Productions. This past year has seen Pericles' West Coast US debut as a playwright & his Far East debut as an actor. He has continued his work with the international arts publication Auditorium, recently being made Deputy Editor, and his short stories for the magazine, The Collected Diaries of a Theatre, have been compiled into an illustrated book. His short play Let Me Count The Ways is being produced this autumn by SALT Theatre, with a view to collaboration on a full-length production next year. Another of his plays, Forgive a Stone For Being Cold, is currently being developed into an immersive piece. He spent the spring in Singapore as Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, playing to houses of 2000 people in a respectable 32° heat, and thus is thoroughly glad to be back at his laptop in reassuringly wet English weather.

KENNY EMSON - Winner 2010
The story so far... Since receiving the support of Off West End and the incredible Angels, I have taken part in The BBC Writers Academy (writing two episodes of EastEnders and one of Doctors) and had two short dramas air on BBC Radio 3 and one full length on Radio 4.

I have been one of the Escalator Playwrights, completing a year's attachment to High Tide; completed a commission to Supporting Wall Theatre adapting the Marquis De Sade's novel Ernestine for a modern audience and last year I adapted Quadrophenia for the Mercury Theatre. My play Parkway Dreams (a musical about town planning!) toured the Eastern Region and my play England Street was produced at the Oxford Playhouse. I am currently under commission to BBC Wales, writing the pilot of a new Police Drama Series for BBC 1 called 'Ugly Bus', and my co-authored digital project #Laura Kitchen has just been greenlit to start filming in November. I have also had my hair cut off.

SARAH GROCHALA - Winner 2011
The story so far... Sarah has recently received Arts Council England funding to further develop the play that she wrote during her adoption, Smolensk.

She is currently working on the play with the support of Snapdragon productions, who hope to produce it in the near future. She has also been on attachment at the National Theatre Studio, where she has been developing a play about the issue of stalking. She has written numerous short plays, including two monologues for Agent 160 (of which she is a founder member).

She is currently working part time with Headlong as an associate artist, where she leads their programme of digital work. Projects for Headlong have included the 1984 Digital Double app and The Nether Realm, a virtual world that responds to activity on twitter. She also works as Lecturer in Writing for Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where she leads the theatre writing strand of the MA/MFA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media. She is currently writing a book about the use of non-linear story structures in contemporary British playwriting, which is is due to be published in 2016.

CLARA BRENNAN - Winner 2012
The story so far... since completing her adoption Clara has been commissioned for a TV pilot script of 'The Berserkers' with Channel 4 and is developing the series, alongside a lo-fi sci-fi series, with Fifty Fathoms/ Tiger Aspect. Her play 'Hi Vis' has been translated into Spanish and opens in Madrid in October 2013. Her one-woman play 'Spine' is due for production in 2014. Her third Theatre Uncut play, 'The Wing', previewed at The Traverse this August and is at the Young Vic in November. She is about to start work on a co-authored feature film with Elevator Productions and is currently writing a new play commission for The Drum/Theatre Royal Plymouth. The play she wrote for us Ð 'The Vendor' Ð was shortlisted for the Papatango Prize.

The story so far... Satinder's year as Adopted Playwright, supported by a host of divinely sent Angels, ended in April 2014. She is continuing to develop her Adopted play 'Mother India' about East-West surrogacy, talking to interested parties, hoping for a production in the near future. Recently, she received a Grant for the Arts Award to begin ‘1984', a coming of age play set against the backdrop of the Miners' Strike and the struggle for an independent Sikh homeland in India. With workshops at her old comprehensive and a small community reading in her hometown of Southall, ‘1984' will also receive an early outing as part of the Vibrant Festival at Finborough Theatre in November 2014. Another locally inspired piece ‘Red, White and Blue' about the murder of Samaira Nazir, will feature in a collaborative project about honour killings with Kali Theatre, aiming to tour in Spring 2015. Satinder is also working as a researcher for a fascinating new feature film set in the 1920s/1930s chess world. In any spare time, she is finally kick-starting a long-held writing ambition – a collection of short stories about Punjabi culture.

And from our Foster Children...

The story so far... "After an incredible start to 2012 - going into rehearsals with "Snookered" and then following it around the country whilst on tour - I have now taken up my Pearson Residency at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Alongside developing my craft as a writer, I will be developing a script with the hope of being commissioned at the end of the year. I have also been involved in a short piece for Eclipse theatre inspired by "A Rage in Harlem" which should be airing soon on The Space website and one of the satellite channels. And I've also written a short film that is in search of funding!

I'm about to start writing the second in my trilogy of plays for Tamasha, ("Snookered" being the first) - the play is set in a mini-cab office and is called "Approaching Empty" folowing the lives of a group of middle aged mostly Asian cab drivers. My hope is to give an insight into a different generation of men from those in "Snookered".

I'm also meeting with a number of Film and TV production companies to start the ball rolling towards fulfilling some more of my very long list of ambitions!"

The story so far...Jane lives in London but there's no denying her Derbyshire roots when you read her plays. She was a member of the Royal Court's Young Writers Group, Invitation Group for Playwrights and then their Supergroup of 12 specially selected writers. In 2012, her first play Barrow Hill premiered at the Finborough Theatre (thanks to the generosity of Sofie, Diana and Carol) and is published by Oberon books. Her other plays include Photos Of You Sleeping, (originally performed as an extract at Hampstead Theatre, it went on to have a rehearsed reading as a prizewinner in the 2012 PapaTango Playwrighting Competition); In World (shortlisted for the Writersroom 10 scheme and performed as part of Vibrant 2011 at the Finborough Theatre) and One Night in Zanzibar (shortlisted for the BBC Heartlands new writing search). In 2013, her short play The Taste of Us Or Pinocchio Gets Laid won an IdeasTap brief and was subsequently performed at the Invertigo Take Over at the HighTide Festival and Pleasance Theatre, London. Jane has worked with Hampstead Theatre and Theatre Centre as a Skylines writer, for which her play Life Mould was chosen as one of three pieces to be showcased. She has recently written A Guide to Removing Corpse Stains (commissioned by Company of Angels at York Theatre, Royal) wrote a twenty hander called Concrete Supernova for the Bush Theatre in association with White City Youth Theatre and was one of the five ‘Schoolwrights' writers, a scheme run in association with Tamasha, where she wrote How I Skinned My Sister and Leftovers which were performed at Rich Mix Theatre and Soho Theatre. She is currently working with the BBC on her first radio play and stumbling through a rather rude screenplay.

The story so far... Phil won the Rod Hall Memorial Award in 2008 from which he gained an attachment with Paines Plough. Subsequently, his first full-length play Adjusted was performed at the Interplay Europe Young Writers Festival in Utrecht. Phil's short play The Makings was one of three winning entries in ATG Churchill Theatre's Write Here Right Now 2009 competition, where it received a rehearsed reading. Adjusted was also the featured play at one of the Institute of Contemporary Arts' Lab events. In 2010 Phil's monologue Up The Dale was performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre Studio as part of Paines Plough's 'Come To Where I'm From' project. He is now working on Threads with the help of Sofie and Diana.

About Steven Hevey

Playwright Fin Kennedy's speech at the launch of the Adopt A Playwright Award

Guidelines for selection of candidates

With huge thanks to Steven's
growing family of Angels -

Sofie Mason
Nicholas Payne

Bill & Nini Aldridge
John Bakewell
Primrose Bell
John Bird
Lanier Brannen
Clive Brill
David Chiltern
Terence Chisholm
Bernice Chitnis
Ann Clifford
Kay Ellen Consolver
Debbie Cowley
Chris Crowcroft
Victoria Dickie
Cas Donald
David Donegan
Zuleika Dobson
Vineeta Dufficy
Bernadette Earley
Sascha Evans
Joachim Fleury
John & Bea Flynn
Francesca Franchi
Laura Gallo
Pooja Ghai
Jessica Hepburn
Tracy Hilliard
Alison Hindell
Frankie & Theo Holloway
Diana Jervis - Read
Margaret Levin
Janine Limberg
Richard & Kath Lynam
Mary Martin
Anne Mayer
Seth Melhado
Linda Plant
Emma Reeves
Sebastian Rex
Mirium Ryley
Wendy Salisbury
John Sandy
Jon Satow
Jenny Sheridan
Carol & Peter Slavid
Geraldine Sharpe Newton
Tori Stroud
Pauline Tambling
Paul Wade
Camilla Whitworth Jones
Jo Wright

Advisory Panel 2008/2014:
Clive Brill
Declan Feenan
Joachim Fleury
James Haddrell
Alison Hindell
Fin Kennedy
David Lan
Walter Meierjohann
Kerry Michael
Paul Morris
Pericles Snowdon

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