Theatre West


Take 30 writers, a Bristol A to Z and three buckets of pingpong balls and what do you get? A seasonful of sizzling new writing, that's what. The writers, all nominated by a partner orgnisation*, were each randomly allocated a square from the Bristol A to Z (hence the pingpong balls!) and sent off to the four corners of the city to explore. You can see the short films of their journeys on YouTube, here. From scrapyards to suburbia via the Downs and the docks the writers poked around in their given locations - some you wouldn't look twice at and some … well, you wouldn't really want to.

Through summer 2012 two groups worked in tandem, one on full length scripts for that year, the second writing short pieces with an eye to developing full scripts for 2013. The end result was five full productions, 2 play readings and 17 small but perfectly formed ten minute plays.

* Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Script Space, BBC, Cheltenham Everyman's Writers' Lab, the Writers' Forum in Bristol, Theatre West and The Bike Shed in Exeter

Sleep Lane

Sleep Lane
by Steve Hennessy

A taxi driver takes a mysterious Greek passenger to a fairytale treelined lane on the edge of Bristol and a night of midsummer madness begins. Characters from Greek mythology emerge from and disappear into the leafy suburban street. An unfolding economic tragedy is sweeping across Europe from Greece and about to engulf the lives of three individuals all equally baffled by the mysteries of love, sex and money. Is anything in Sleep Lane real, or is it all just a dream where money grows on the trees?


by David Lane

"I've watched you all for hundreds of years. Spying on the shores from the shallows.

"You dance, laughing and throwing your heads back to the sky, but I'm there - observing, watching your smiles from the surface. I see what everyone misses."

Carys lied to George. George made up stories about Carys. Then came three bouncing babies and a life full of love.

But when a lie goes beyond the grave, the unknown, the real and the mythical collide. There's no going back.

And a debt is waiting to be paid.


by Alice Nicholas

"Hasn't anyone ever broke a promise to you before?"

One night of freedom. A locked cemetery. Three players. No rules.

Maisie and Bel have known each other forever but tonight there's an intruder in their close knit group. Coogan's presence unravels the fragility of their friendship as it is tested to its limits by the unseen shadows lurking in the dark.

No one knows how this night will end. But one thing's for certain; whatever happens none of them will ever be the same again. Honest.


by Joe Ledbury

Sophie and Jack have parted ways after twenty years of marital warfare. Now they find themselves forced back together in the home they dreamt up and destroyed. Back in their familiar battleground, they must both try to get along, or they could lose the one thing neither of them can do without.

Items of Value

Items of Value
by Katherine Mitchell

Eddie's as rundown as his scrapyard. Dogger's trying to help, but he'd rather be stealing things. Holly wants to save the world, but it's not really working out for her. The Jeep is causing problems, and Gordon's got something wrong with his bowels. When a strange parcel arrives, everything's thrown into question. It might just contain all the answers. So why won't Eddie open it?

In a world gone crazy over consumerism, three people learn what they value most. What will they risk losing in order to keep it?


Five Short Trips

Why is there a woman dancing around a garage dressed as Deborah Kerr in a ballgown? Is it true that aliens have taken up residence in the Cooperative Wholesale Society flour mill in Avonmouth? And who is the soaking wet man under the suspension bridge? You can find the answers to these and many more intriguing puzzles when you join us for an evening of short trips – five 10 minute plays each inspired by a location randomly drawn from the Bristol A to Z.

  • The Dripping Man by Jarek Adams
  • Back to a Future by Carolyn Csonka
  • The Downs by Peter Green
  • Promises, Promises by Natalie Smith
  • Pye Corner by Howard Timms

A playreading of 'Hansel'
by Shiona Morton

A 'script in hand' performance of Hansel, one of eight plays shortlisted for our season that was narrowly pipped to the post.


All good stories have them.

In a house at the edge of a wood, Edith is searching for memories amongst the rubbish she collects. Every few months her daughter breezes in and slices through the mess, trying to tidy away her own sadness. There are three rooms in this house, and one of them is empty. Out under the trees a boy is watching and waiting.

Three people lost in a deep dark wood. One can't remember, one can't forget, and one can't find a home.

A playreading of 'Palm Island'
by Shaun McCarthy

A 'script in hand' performance of Palm Island, one of eight plays shortlisted for our season that was narrowly pipped to the post.

Anna struggles to save her South Bristol gym from going broke. (Mysteriously, she is learning Portuguese.)

Gym regular Sally struggles with life after her husband dumps her for 'a teenage tart with a rose tattoo on her arse.'

Unemployed gym regular Phil feels life is unfair and flirts with far right politics. (And with Sally.)

Set against the lows of the recession and the high of the 2012 ‘summer of sport', Palm Island follows three people trying to move forward in tough times. Not everyone will succeed.

National Lottery Funded