Theatre West

2010

2010 provided us with a number of occasions for a bit of a knees up – in January Theatre West left its teens behind as it turned 20. That’s two whole decades of dress rehearsals, world premieres, parties, first nights, last nights, late nights ... did we mention parties? And, just to prove that we'd learnt something along the way, for the second year running a play we commissioned made it to the shortlist of the Meyer Whitworth Award – probably the most prestigious prize for new playwrights in the country. We produced Nostalgia by Jimmy Whiteaker last season and were delighted and proud that his challenging, original play has been recognised.

We got a great response when we asked women across the south west to send us scripts and we opened the season with play readings of three of the four plays that made up our shortlist. The winning script was Pavement by Sharon Clark which took the third slot of the season.


Children of Salt

Children of Salt
by Edson Burton

Across the country on the same night they struck; The Children of Salt. For thirty days they shot, hacked or beat anyone they could find.

Now, years later, Kgosi and Abena have found new life in each other. But when son Ogun returns and starts to question Kgosi’s motives, doubt and paranoia begin to poison their relationship.

When you have witnessed genocide, can you ever truly find peace?

In association with the Bristol Old Vic


A Laughing Matter

A Laughing Matter
by Dom Rowe

Los Angeles, 1973.

Charles Douglass is the inventor of the Laff Box, a two-foot tall organ that generated the first ever canned laughter. He is climbing out of a toilet window in the most expensive restaurant in town because the producers of MASH are canning the laughter - and they’re not the only ones. Meanwhile, Audrey is a mime artist from the beat generation, on a seemingly endless tour of America with her 'Suicide Mimes' - trying to beat the bad reviews to the next town.

It is no laughing matter when the world turns its back on your life’s work.


Pavement

Pavement
by Sharon Clark

In a sprawling, dilapidated house on the north coast of Cornwall, Ruby tries to keep her head above water by picking cabbages and fixing cars, whilst Rash knows it is only a matter of time before his genius is recognised. Broke, bickering and beleaguered their lives are consumed by the constant shadow of the person who left them many years before ...

Pavement is a fierce, funny and tender meditation on love, loss and broken engines.

'Clark has an ear for dialogue and an ability to craft a play that sets her head and shoulders above many of her contemporaries.' The Independent


Venus at Broadmoor

Venus at Broadmoor
by Steve Hennessy

1870. A string of random poisonings around Brighton result in the admission of Christiana Edmunds to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. The penny dreadfuls call her the Chocolate Cream Poisoner, but she prefers to be called Venus. Dr. Orange is struggling to understand why. Principal Attendant Coleman is struggling to stay off the drink. The Broadmoor Annual Ball is approaching. Christiana just wants to dance.

Based on the true story of Broadmoor’s most notorious female patient, Venus at Broadmoor is the fourth and final part in Steve Hennessy’s acclaimed Lullabies of Broadmoor series.

'...a piquant mix of witty Gothic ghoulishness and serious moral questioning' The Independent (of Lullabies of Boadmoor)

Produced in association with Stepping Out and Chrysalis


Rabbit Ears

Rabbit Ears
by Bruce Fellows

The clock's ticking; her world might crumble, so Bren needs a good mate to be there for her. Someone she can rely on, someone she can talk to about stuff: anxiety, love, conscience. But if Rosie thinks we’re all just a bunch of chemicals, where do finer feelings come into it? And what about those rabbit ears? Well, a bunny’s not a bunny without them, is she?

Produced in association with Southwest Scriptwriters


PLAY READINGS
Away with the Fairies
by Gill Kirk

Stanley and Isobel are two strong-willed women in their 70s, living their dreams: sculpting in London and farming in Orkney. But both rely more than they realise on their nigglesome loved ones: a 59-year old accountant and a troll. When Isobel commissions a sculpture, to prevent her troll from inheriting her farm, she unwittingly unleashes his ingenuity for mischief. But there are some things even he hasn’t bargained for...


A Playreading of Consulting with Chekhov
by Crysse Morrison

Doctor Darling is rarely surprised by strange behaviour, until the night his ex-lover dressed as Peter Pan flies in on a mission of revenge. It’s a sticky situation, but perhaps even more difficult for Sadie, as she tries to work out what happens next from best theatrical principles, with both her characters in revolt against her.


A Playreading of Show Dog
by Shiona Morton

As Julie grooms Dixie for a winning rosette, her son Michael prepares for another kind of show. Essential kit is packed. Treatments, times and targets are planned with precision.

Speer watches and listens. Her job is to protect, to stem the tide. In time she will interrogate, hurt if she must.

Show Dog explores the relationship between mother, son and spook as terrorism flourishes in the back bedroom.