Sussex Playwrights Reviews: The Other Side Of The World

Sussex Playwrights Reviews:
The Other Side Of The World
by Jonathan Williamson
Producer Simon Moorhead
Director Sorcha Brooks
In the 1950s, TV was new – and needed new ways to create it, made by young people with energy and vision. And the global reports created by Alan Whicker and his two-man team were leading edge stuff.
Today we can see the world as it happens online, but being able to see crisp first hand accounts of what was really happening out there was revolutionary then. And this new audio feature gives a behind the scenes look at just how it was achieved.
Producer Simon Moorhead is the son of Whicker’s right hand man, cameraman Cyril Moorhead, and the script is packed with family anecdotes from home and abroad.
There’s a great sense of seat of the pants early TV here, creating both the content and how it was made as they went along – with new kit, new ways of using it in a fast paced new broadcasting style.
The relationship forged by this close knit trio is captured in their central performances. Jon Culshaw’s spot on with the laconic iconic Whicker timbre and tone. Tom Dussek’s Cyril is experienced, fatherly and unflappable, and Matt Beaumont’s sound man Freddie is us, boyish, seeing it all for the first time with fresh eyes, exhausted, and exhilarated in turn.
The trio bounce round the planet, plunging into the world they find and capturing what they see and hear – and they’ve a smash hit on their hands.
Ultimately endearing and captivating, we’re right there travelling with them. Looking over their shoulders we’re given insights into just how it was done, how the pieces were constructed, on the journey in cars and planes, always heading somewhere, nailing bits to camera and coaxing audio in the bedding-draped hotel wardrobe.
Shocking and gripping images and sound documenting what’s happening out there flood back to the BBC, the excitement of the first rushes as the London crew realise just what they’ve got.
The script flits in and out, short scenes and leisurely paced glimpses taking a little while to power up, then building up steam.
The layered soundscape creates a great sense of period, old-school typewriters, engines, phones, telex and gunshots, cool jazzy music and vintage RP accents telling us that was then.
At its best, the feature plunges us into filmic set pieces; a faceoff with a Canadian icebreaker, ghastly Japanese conveyor belt surgery and the international incident that … nearly … caused WW3.
Like all the best travellers’ tales, the piece reveals dicey moments terrifying at the time and funny looking back – the stuff of great after-dinner stories and family legend. It captures a very personal take on a slice of TV history.
To listen:
TBC Audio, Catflap Media and The Jungle Room
Philippa Hammond

February 2020 meeting report

Sussex Playwrights February 2020 meeting

Sussex Playwrights was first formed in 1935 to promote members’ writing.

In the 21st century one of the best ways to spread the word is to get the writer’s voice out there, using the text and sound publishing systems available to us.

Sussex Playwrights: The Podcast

At our February 2020 meeting, we recorded material for our podcast introduction and promotion.

A chance for members to make short announcements about upcoming projects and productions.

In future podcasts we’ll include readings and interviews with writers, actors, directors and producers.

Announcing the 2020-2021 Constance Cox Prize Playwriting Competition

With the rise and rise of Print On Demand publishing, we’re planning to promote writers and writing by publishing the first collection of plays for stage under the Sussex Playwrights brand.

Our next Constance Cox Prize Playwriting Competition will also be a call for entries for this collection.

Details will be published on the website later on.

Enquiries to Thomas Everchild,


Sussex Playwrights Reviews

Sweet Productions
Brighton Horrorfest 2019

Written and performed by Emily Carding
Directed by Dominique Gerrard

Winner of the Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award (Brighton Fringe 2019).

‘one of the UK’s leading Shakespearian actors’ – The Stage

Earth, the far future – and humanity has finally succeeded in wiping itself out. Its successors, the android Guardians, are at work. Humanity 2.0 is under construction, and we’re the evidence it’s going quite well.

Emily Carding as Guardian Ariel, a poised, precise figure in turquoise plus ethereal makeup, eyes black pinpoints in blue-shadowed white, welcomes us to our lessons.

This artificial intelligence, a creature charged with the care of precious if problematic young life, is programmed with the entire works of Shakespeare as its guidebook to the human soul.

With crystal clear delivery, all measured oddness and beatific white gaze, every second, every move is choreographed and precisely executed.

Assured technical support delivers a complete and subtle soundtrack of nature, computer sounds and voice fragments. As the light changes colour and quality, Ariel shifts and rearranges body components and voice samples, into young Juliet, blokey Henry and extreme Richard, all fluidly accessed moment by moment.

Like all experiments, some don’t go according to plan. There are moments of humour in the eeriness; the AIs can’t have been paying attention to Romeo and Juliet, as they completely fail to get adolescence. And shocks too, achieved by swiftly flipping lighting and performance. We’re left with our own ‘cry God for England’ moment, a call to action in our own fight for survival.

The piece is versatile; it could be performed in a huge venue with projections on screens, headmic and video closeups – or in the tiniest most claustrophobic venue, even one to one. Up close, Carding’s favoured mode, it’s captivating, an intensely personal and mesmerising experience.

Keep an eye on the Page for news of when and where Quintessence is on next.

Philippa Hammond

October 6th meeting 2019

Sussex Playwrights October 6th meeting 2019

Monthly networking and drinks for writers, producers and makers of new drama for stage, screen and audio


Miles Mlambo and Chris Gates whose new play Dancing In The Moonlight: A Play About Phil Lynott won acclaim at Edinburgh 2019. Writer / actor Miles performed an extract from the play followed by discussion with Philippa joined by director Chris.

Tom Dussek introduced his production of a night of short plays by Chekhov and Brian Friel

Director Mill Goble, writer David Wells and actor Gordon Foggo presented an extract from David’s Suicide Notes, a new play in preparation for the upcoming Brighton Horrorfest, followed by audience discussions and conversations.

Members’ news

Chair Philippa and Russell Shaw read two of the dramatic monologues as part of a Jackanory-style evening of horror tales in The Other 1% Live, produced by our own Simon Moorhead, at Sweetwerks on October 16th, kicking off Brighton Horrorfest 2019.

Previous guests Unmasked Theatre presented Brighton Scratch Night 2019  at the Rialto Theatre.

Previous guest Howard Ford’s family adventure film Adventure Boyz, featuring member Russell Shaw, had further showings this month.

Honorary VP Judy Upton’s radio drama The Bulbul Was Singing was BBC Radio 4’s Drama of the Week.

December advance news

Our Honorary President William Nicholson will be our special guest speaker at our December meeting! Playwright, novelist and screenwriter William Nicholson, author of his latest film Breathe, directed by Andy Serkis, Shadowlands, Les Miserables, Gladiator, First Knight, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

For your diary – our future meeting dates

3 Nov, 1 Dec, 5 Jan, 2 Feb, 1 Mar, 5 Apr, 3 May, 7 Jun, 5 Jul & 2 Aug.

July 7th 2019 meeting report

Sussex Goes To Edinburgh!

Playwrights, performers and producers in Sussex are preparing their shows for the long journey to Edinburgh this August.

We were delighted to welcome our July 7th special guests:

Emily Carding, winner of Fringe Review Outstanding Show award at the 2019 Brighton Fringe Awards for Quintessence

Simon Jenner’s review: Quintessence Fringe Review

Roger Kay and Lauren Varnfield of the Rialto Theatre

Lauren is writer, director and performer of Myra, the solo play on the story of Myra Hindley

Our review: Myra Sussex Playwrights

Roger and Lauren invite shows scouted at Edinburgh to the Rialto each year

Actor/playwright Jules Craig, in discussion with Philippa and Emily Carding about the experience of playing Shakespeare’s iconic male roles. Jules is currently playing Shylock for the Brighton Shakespeare Company.

The Merchant of Venice review by Simon Jenner


Sussex Playwrights

Welcome to Sussex Playwrights

For writers, producers, directors, actors and anyone with a passion for plays

Sussex Playwrights will soon be updating this website to a new system, the original site will be available until the process is complete.

Sussex Playwrights Writers Link

We promote new writing for stage, screen, radio, audio and on-line.

Our purpose is to encourage new work from writers throughout the English speaking world.

Sussex just happens to be where we started, in 1935.

More about Sussex Playwrights…

June 2nd 2019 Summer party

For your diary – Our next meeting

Our June 2nd summer party meeting is under construction – details soon.


The New Venture Theatre bar
Bedford Place

All welcome

Free to Sussex Playwrights members

Visitors welcome – £3 on door / £2 with Equity card [including drinks]

You can join on the night [£15 / £12 with Equity card], which entitles you to free entry to every meeting and event, including drinks, and an entry into our next playwriting competition.

Please note: Sussex Playwrights is a separate organisation from our friends the New Venture Theatre, and does not share membership.

If you’d like to present and discuss an extract from your play at a future meeting, please contact

Philippa Hammond

For your diary

The dates for Sussex Playwrights meetings over the next few months:

2 June 2019 [Summer Party]
7 July 2019
4 August 2019

Sussex Playwrights

Supporting and promoting new drama in the region since 1935

Our meetings

If you’d like a taste of what we do at our meetings … here’s a little run down of the last few events:


Our next meeting will be happening during the Brighton Fringe – Check out our April meeting report for details and responses to five of the upcoming shows we previewed at that meeting.

Members’ news

Protect and Survive

Sussex Playwrights’ writers, actors and producer collaborate on this major online audio drama series. Contributors include Russell Shaw, Sorcha Brooks, Philippa Hammond, Robert Cohen, Simon Jenner and TBC Audio producer Simon Moorhead.

You can hear the whole cycle 7 to 19 May as part of Brighton Fringe, in the Jubilee Library.

Imagine what life would be like in Brighton following a nuclear attack on the UK? The chaos, the anguish, the resilience….

What would you do to survive?

As the UK is hit by 160 nuclear warheads, The Other 1% takes you in and around Brighton from the day before to 1000 years after the attack. Systems at the local council collapse, the hospital can’t cope with the human tide and the postman is conscripted to maintain law and order. What exactly is the farmer feeding her pigs, what struggles will humanity face hundreds of years after a nuclear holocaust and how will language and our relationships evolve?

Brighton-based award-winning producer and director, Simon Moorhead: ‘The entire series is produced, cast and recorded in Brighton and Sussex. We are fortunate to have so much talent on our doorstep.’


May Guests:

A celebration of writing and performance during the 2019 Brighton Fringe showcasing two more upcoming Fringe shows and an award-winning short monologue, featuring performances and conversations with


Jenny Rowe

Jenny performs and discusses an extract from her solo play

‘Tiptree: No-one Else’s Damn Secret But My Own’


Most Curious Productions

Tristan Woolf presents an extract from his new play ‘The Hunters of Ghost Hall’, with writer and actors in conversation.


Joshua Plummer

Writer, actor and stage combat tutor Joshua performs and discusses his short solo piece ‘Samaritans’ – one of three winners of London Theatre Podcast’s New Year, Same Me competition. Joshua will also be giving some insights on dramatic combat on the night.


The Harbour Theatre Company

Eddie Alford presents and discusses an extract from his upcoming play ‘Hello Who’s Calling’


April 2019 meeting – now over

Brighton Fringe preview, featured extracts and discussions on:

Risqué! by Timothy Coakley

Directed by Murray Hecht


Meet the strip club owner who can’t get the staff, the incompetent sex line operator, the lift attendant with a secret, the man who wants a bigger one, Desperate Denise, inappropriate behaviour, the girl who can’t stop, the wife who can’t believe her eyes, the doctor who gets a shock, and the swingers who want to try something new!



Four Thieves Vinegar by Christine Foster

Directed by Margot Jobbins, FourTails Theatre Company

Four Thieves Vinegar is a black comedy about the black death. Set in the dingy depths of Newgate Prison, 1665: the height of the plague. The play finds its four characters – three prisoners and their jailer – in one of the few places currently untouched by the disease rampaging throughout the land. One prisoner, an alchemist, believes he has found a cure for the plague and implores his fellow inmates to help him make it. But to do that they’ll need gold, and to get that they’ll need to make good use of the only resources at their disposal: sex, wit and lies.



The Wasp by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

A twisting, taut psychological drama. Heather has made a success of her life. Carla is out of cash and she is willing to take part in an unusual proposition. The two women meet up for the first time since leaving school and the intrigue and manipulation begins. The Wasp by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm had its original production at the Hampstead Theatre in January 2015.



Chain Written and directed by Peter Gardiner, Two Bit Productions

From the team that brought you 2018’s “Bully Beef” comes Chain, a contemporary play with audio drama interludes. A group of anti-war activists commit themselves to radical new tactics, when they lead to consequences none of them could of for-seen it pushes their beliefs to the edge and threatens to tear the group apart.



Further Education by Pete Barrett

Directed by Luke Ofield and Pip O’Neill, Unmasked Theatre

1985: Frank the miner likes doing his job and reading the Sun. Unfortunately, Maggie is after his job and his new housemates definitely don’t like him reading the Sun. In a riotous clash of class, morals and feminism, very traditional Frank finds himself bunking down with three very modern students at the heart of the picketing wars.

In a country seeking to eradicate his livelihood, Frank must decide how he would like to be remembered once the line is inevitably drawn.

Award-winning Brighton company Unmasked Theatre returns with a winner from the highly successful Brighton Scratch Night.




Sunday March 3rd 2019 19.00 – 21.00 pm

It’s approaching that time of year again – the Sussex Playwrights AGM is here.

Please could all current paid members come to the meeting. Come along and have your say!

You will be very welcome to attend, speak, propose and second, and all current members are eligible for election to the 2019 – 2020 posts.

Could you let us know if you would like to stand in the election?

Posts and current holders are:

Chair – Philippa Hammond

Vice Chair – Robert Cohen

Secretary – Thomas Everchild

Treasurer – Keith Holman [Keith is an accountant and the son of long-serving Sussex Playwright the late Olive Holman. He is looking after this role in her memory].

Committee members

Please could you send any items for the agenda, and any motions you’d like to propose?

Non members are welcome too – although you won’t be able to vote or stand, you can get a feel for what Sussex Playwrights is all about, enjoy a glass of wine and networking conversation – all for just £3 / £2 with Equity card.

You would of course be welcome to join on the night!

Membership is £15 / £12 with Equity card.

Contact: Philippa Hammond


The New Venture Theatre bar
Bedford Place

All welcome

Free to Sussex Playwrights members

Visitors welcome – £3 on door / £2 with Equity card [including drinks]

You can join on the night [£15 / £12 with Equity card], which entitles you to free entry to every meeting and event, including drinks, and an entry into our next playwriting competition.

Please note: Sussex Playwrights is a separate organisation from our friends the New Venture Theatre, and does not share membership.

Our March guests

Lena Richardson Hill presents

an extract from and discussion on

The Thrill of Love

by Amanda Whittington

We’ll also be hearing from Christine Foster about the new production of her play

Four Thieves Vinegar

which will feature in 2019 Brighton Fringe.

Writer / actor Joshua Plummer in conversation.

Joshua was one of the winners in the London Theatre Podcast’s “New Year, New Me” Writing Competition.

Play readings at future meetings

If you have a short play or excerpt, work in progress or finished piece [up to 10 minutes long] and would like to present it at a future meeting for discussion and feedback, or you would like to read on the night, please email us in advance at

Next meeting date

3 March 2019


February 3rd meetup – finished

Networking and conversation for writers, actors, creators and lovers of stage, screen, audio and online drama

This month:

An extract from a new play in progress, Requiem for a Ratcatcher’s Daughter by Jules Craig, featuring Jenny Rowe and Sian Webber, followed by discussion with Jules Craig and the actors.

Jules Craig trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College, and as a voice coach at Central School of Speech and Drama. Recent credits include Marjorie in ‘Sisterhood’ (Kriah Arts) and Mustardseed/Snout in ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ (BSC at BOAT). She teaches Voice at ‘ACT’, Brighton and ‘Identity’ Drama School, London. Writing work includes: short stories for ‘White Rabbit’s’ ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably’ (Basement, Brighton), contributions to ‘Brighton, A Graphic Novel’, and ‘Backstage Brighton’ (QueenSpark Books), and ‘Edith, Elizabeth and I’, (One woman show), which she produced, performed and toured nationally in 2016.

Sian Webber has worked extensively in theatre and on screen. Recent TV work includes Gunpowder, Silent Witness, Black Earth Rising, Midsommer Murders and Holby City and for ten years she has played the recurring role of Ritchie Scott in Eastenders.

Jenny Rowe is an actor / improviser & writer who performs with Brighton improv group The Maydays (***** Fringe Guru) and Impromptu Shakespeare. She has also guest performed with Whirled News Tonight at the iO Theatre in Chicago. She has toured with Fluxx and runs improv for creative writing workshops. (‘Jenny Rowe excels at the one liners that bring a sketch to a satisfying conclusion.’ Fringe Review, Argus the Musical).

Requiem for a Rat Catcher’s Daughter is a dark comedy exploring ageing, identity, and the pleasures and pitfalls of living alone. EVIE has found her own inventive means of controlling the plague of rats in her garden, creating her own homemade traps. When an unfortunate accident draws the attention of the local authorities, she is plagued with visitors: community police, social workers, and a rat catcher. When REBEKAH arrives, EVIE assumes she is yet another official and hides the bigger better trap that she is building. However REBEKAH is not what she seems, or what EVIE assumes her to be, and EVIE’S independence is consequently challenged.


If you’re working on a new script, perhaps in preparation for Brighton Fringe, and would be interested in presenting a work in progress extract or having a scratch reading on the night, please do let us know!


For your diary

The dates for Sussex Playwrights meetings over the next few months:

7 April 2019 [Brighton Fringe Preview]
5 May 2019 [Brighton Festival / Fringe meeting]
2 June 2019
[Summer Party]
4 August 2019

Sussex Playwrights

Supporting and promoting new drama in the region since 1935

Previous meetings

Sussex Playwrights January 6th 2019 – finished

Happy New Year!

All about Sussex Playwrights’ January meeting for writers, actors, producers – anyone interested in new drama and all media.

Special guests:

Brighton’s TBC Audio producer / director Simon Moorhead brings all the latest news of his current work – the huge online audio drama project The Other 1%, recently mentioned in the BBC Sounds’ Drama Podcast Report. Essential networking for writers and actors in the region!

Writers, actors, crew, post production work – this series is almost entirely Sussex-created and made.

Fascinating insights and essential networking opportunity for any writer or actor interested in connecting with a commissioning producer working in the city.

Philippa Hammond gives a live performance of Delicacy, a brand new monologue by Grant Gillespie and Laura Lockington, which will also shortly be recorded for the series.

And personal commitments permitting, writer-actor-producer Robert Cohen will be performing a preview extract from his solo show ‘Hi Vis’, which will be running at Sweet Venues in February, followed by discussion on the practicalities of writing, performing and producing solo work.




Christmas party

Drama, comedy, stories, wine, nibbles, great conversation …

Come and join us for our annual Christmas event!

Take part: If you have a Christmas / winter / ghost themed short story, sketch, short play and you’d like to perform or share them on the night, please email

November meeting – finished.

A monthly writers’ and actors’ meetup

Different Theatre’s writer/director Sam Chittenden will present and discuss an extract from her latest drama Sary, shortly to feature in Horrorfest, followed by discussion about her experiences around creating new drama, writing for production and performance, and marketing writers’ work.

Featuring Sharon Drain and Rebecca Jones.

We’ll also welcome Luke Ofield and Pip O’Neill – as the Rialto Theatre’s resident company, the award-winning Unmasked Theatre, they run the highly successful The Brighton Scratch Night. A development programme for new writing, the Scratch has seen five plays go on to full Fringe runs, and this year will see a whole lot more.

Ben Baeza and John Black perform an extract from Naked Kittens by Max Wilkinson, directed by Luke & Pip.

Unmasked Theatre are a producing company based in Brighton, with four years’ experience of critically acclaimed productions, with a focus on new writing and adapting classical literature for the modern stage.