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 chair@sussexplaywrights.co.uk


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 chair@sussexplaywrights.co.uk

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.


About Sussex Playwrights

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

Networking, meeting, reading and discussing new drama

Are you looking for an opportunity to showcase your play, explore a work-in-progress or listen to and discuss members’ plays?

Would you like to learn how to get your work professionally produced?

Meetings are held usually on the first Sunday evening [always check] of the month at the New Venture Theatre, Bedford Place, Brighton BN1 2PT.

Please note – although we meet at the NVT, Sussex Playwrights is not affiliated to the NVT and does not share membership.

Features include:

Guest speakers

Established writers, producers and performers talk about their careers, their work and their insights into how to get your work read, performed and broadcast.

Readings of members’ plays

By professional actors and experienced actors from local drama groups. All members are encouraged to discuss the play constructively, and make suggestions for improving, staging and marketing the play.

Writing workshops

Develop your writing with valuable group and individual exercises.


The Constance Cox Prize Playwriting Competition

Other events will be announced


The Summer Party in June and the Christmas Party


Membership costs £15 per year and entitles you to:

Free entry to all monthly meetings

Free wine or juice

One free entry to the annual Constance Cox Prize Playwriting Competition

You’ll be welcome to come along to any meeting and join on the night.

Visitors are always welcome to join us at meetings for a £3 contribution, which includes wine or juice.



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Honorary President and Vice President

Sussex Playwrights Honorary President and Vice President …


Honorary President

Playwright, novelist and screenwriter William Nicholson

Author of

His latest film Breathe, directed by Andy Serkis
Les Miserables
First Knight
Elizabeth: The Golden Age

is our Honorary President.

About William and his work: www.williamnicholson.com

For many years the late Sir Peter Shaffer was Sussex Playwrights’ Honorary President.

Honorary Vice President

In a role previously held by the actor Paul Moriarty, our Honorary Vice President is a long-term Sussex Playwrights member

Playwright and screenwriter Judy Upton

Author of

Ashes and Sand
Sliding with Suzanne
People on the River

Her plays are published by Methuen Drama

About Judy and her work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Upton

Thank you to William and Judy for their support of new writing in the region

from Chair Philippa Hammond, Secretary Thomas Everchild and the Sussex Playwrights committee and members

Take part

How to have your work read and discussed at a meeting

Work in progress or for sharing

We’re looking to members and guests to take part in meetings and showcase their work

If you’d like to have actors read an excerpt from your latest script in progress for discussion [10 minute slot]

If you’d like to read an excerpt from your latest fiction or non-fiction on the night [10 minute slot]

If you’d prefer to have someone read it for you, if you’re happier writing than speaking

Please contact us chair@sussexplaywrights.co.uk

Ideas for guest speakers

If you can suggest a great guest speaker for one of our meetings – please get in touch with us.

Ideas for workshops

Are there any particular workshops you’d like to have as part of a meeting?

Suggestions so far include:Reading aloud to an audience – For authors, being able to deliver an excerpt from your poetry, fiction or non fiction to an audience can raise your profile and increase your sales

Acting script-in-hand for beginners – being able to take a script and bring it to life with a group reading is a great skill for writers, and can help you appreciate what makes dialogue playable

Crowd funding your writing – how writers can create their own fundraising project online to support themselves and their creative work.

Audio drama performance skills – an essential toolkit of skills for anyone interested in performing audio drama

Please contact us

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