A Bit of a Song and Dance


Ever feel you’ve got the weight of the universe on your shoulders?

You need Dan Dare – or does he need you?

One man’s “Potteresque” escape hatch, live on stage and for one night only…

A script in hand show – come and see theatre get made!

Monday 14 July, 7:30pm, Tobacco Factory Theatres (Brewery) – just £3

0117 902 0344 or click the poster…

Reviews: “Pills, Thrills and Bellyaching…” 2-4 Aug, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

“Overwhelmed by hyper-energetic, Ali Watts, performing as a hard living but happy “Glasgoburgh” soldier, home on leave, who among the convivial crowd in the theatre bar would guess that “Passion”was written by a woman, Gill Kirk?…The outpouring of the soldier’s passion is pure masculine. Ms Kirk must have observed the species very closely, and Watts has too, so authentic is the character they’ve created.”

-Arthur Duncan, Remote Goat

“Gill Kirk’s ‘Passion’ was a splendidly fast, fevered monologue by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate Ali Watt, as a sped-up, loved-up Scot for whom the rave was a place less of hedonism than of to-the-death love and solidarity with his fellow men. This man … had seen the best and worst of human nature in the first Iraq war, and for him the rave was a veritable Eden of love and togetherness.”

– Steve Wright, Venue Magazine

“A moving, thought-provoking piece of theatre”

Viv Kennedy, Guide2Bristol

Eddie King & the Death of Rave – 2nd-4th Aug

Oooo, stuff from the surprise box is always great, isn’t it? Just agreed to join the merry crew taking part in Darkstuff Productions’ “Thrills Pills and Bellyaching – Eddie King and the Death of Rave” at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory on Aug 2-4th at 8-30pm.

This is gonna be a great show!

Here’s the spiel from Darkstuff:

Take yourself back to the 1990’s, just for a moment. A flash of lights, a blur of neon colour and the beat of music that hits at your acid-happy core…

Come celebrate one final night at a warehouse rave on the verge of oblivion where innocence is lost, memories are made and faith wavers. Another decade, another time, another Eddie and all is not as you might think. Join Eddie and his fellow rave-goers as the lost find each other for a moment and life frays at the edges.

Following two successful Eddie King events Darkstuff Productions returns to the Tobacco Factory Theatre with a whole new twist in the tale and a host of delightfully dark monologues. A night of new writing from Simon Harvey-Williams, Phil John, Gill Kirk, David Lane and Helen Parker, inspired by the euphoria-driven age of Rave. An age arguably the last great social happening of the Twentieth Century – an age before Facebook. The Acid Generation. Were you there? Are the memories stirring? Did Eddie King, that famous everyperson, overdo on the little pills and fry his brain?

Whether you’re a veteran raver, someone who wasn’t there the first time around, or an intrepid theatre explorer come plumb the depths of a dizzyingly exhilarating era without the morning-after headache.

This is not a rave.

This is a night to remember.

The Ustinov Writers’ Forum Moves to the Tobacco Factory

As you might have spotted if you read this blog regularly, I’ve been a member of a superb group of writers at the Ustinov. This group is now moving to the Tobacco Factory and this statement from the Forum explains the how and the why. If you would like to know more about what we’re up to and how you can support us, please read to the end!


In July the members of the Ustinov Writers’ Forum are leaving Theatre Royal Bath to start a new relationship with the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol.

Why move?
Theatre Royal Bath has reassessed the function of the studio space and its place within the organisation. As part of the strategy devised by Theatre Royal Bath’s Director and endorsed by the Board of Trustees, the Theatre sought to appoint a leading creative artist at the head of the Ustinov Studio to produce six in-house shows a year. Support for playwrights and Forum members was however moved from the Ustinov into the new Engage programme, which supports and encourages the interest, enjoyment and skills of adults in the performing arts at all levels of involvement. Disappointingly, the support reduced or removed some key services and fell below our expectations as a professional group: we therefore decided to seek a new home that we felt shared our commitment to the development and production of new work by regional writers.

Our achievements to date
Whilst we find the circumstances surrounding our departure from Theatre Royal Bath regrettable, we are very pleased to have achieved so much in two years with the support of the Ustinov, which has financed the Forum to provide industry-level development for professional writers; workshops; script reading; collaborative projects; visiting speakers and support for emerging and established writers in their desire to explore original ideas. Three Forum writers were seeded and supported to start new plays, five of the members’ scripts were staged as public readings, seven short plays were produced, eleven plays received half or full-day development sessions and fifteen writers were provided with one-to-one surgeries on their scripts. Four plays supported through Script Factory went on to professional production: COLLIDER and CIRCUS BRITANNICA by Shaun McCarthy, HERDING CATS by Lucinda Coxon and WATER’S NOT SO THICK by Gill Kirk.

Our next steps
We’re looking forward to the next stage of our development as a group. We hope being hosted by the Tobacco Factory Theatre to continue our work will allow us to build a wide range of new creative partnerships with theatres, producers, directors, actors and companies:

“We’re delighted to welcome the Writers’ Forum to the Tobacco Factory Theatre. The Forum’s hugely valuable activities complement our own commitment to the development and creation of new work and we are excited about the future of this relationship.” – Carrie Rhys-Davies, Education Officer, Tobacco Factory Theatr

How will we fund it?
As well as sharing our artistic aims, the Tobacco Factory Theatre has very generously provided space for monthly meetings, one-off skills workshops and bi-monthly script-in-hand readings in return for our support on new writing initiatives such as Script Space. However, we have no capital funding to run events or pay for professional development. We believe in paying professionals for their work and wish to do so wherever possible. We will be applying for project funding from ACE and other partners to help support this work financially from January 2012.

Your support
It is by coming to public events like script-in-hand readings that many of you have supported the Forum’s work in the past. We hope this can continue in the months ahead. If you would like more information on our plans to maintain and evolve a programme of writer development, are interested in discussing ways to support the Forum financially or creatively, or would simply like to be kept up to speed with the Forum’s future activities, please contact the group’s facilitator David Lane at davidlane1980@gmail.com