Archive for April, 2010

IWC Publishing Day

22nd April 2010 by Maura McHugh

On Saturday May 8th from 10.30am – 5.00pm the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin is hosting an information day on publishing.

The event will feature talks with Dermot Bolger; Literary Agent, Jonathan Williams; Commissioning Editor for Hachette Books, Ciara Considine; Editor and digital publishing expert, Eoin Purcell; and Literary Publicist, Cormac Kinsella.

Tickets are €50 and can be booked by paying online or calling the Centre.

BBC Writers Academy

21st April 2010 by Maura McHugh

Applications are now open for the BBC Drama’s Writers Academy

Outline

The training you receive from BBC Drama’s Writers Academy will give you the specific skills required to write for some of the BBC’s most popular series such as Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty, and a springboard to write across all the BBC’s drama output.

To be eligible for this scheme, writers will have already had at least one professional (paid) drama commission in film, television, radio or theatre.

The Writers Academy will train up to 8 writers a year, over a period of twelve months.

Course Breakdown

The course will break down as follows:

Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama Series

This is a 3 month training course in writing for Continuing Drama Series which will consist of a number of workshops and lectures accompanied by intensive writing exercises and analysis.

During this period each writer will write a broadcast episode of Doctors.

The training course will be lead by John Yorke, Controller, Drama Production and New Talent, and other industry experts from all areas of drama production.

Course participants will be required to attend classes at the BBC premises in Elstree for three days per week, and one day at Television Centre in London.

Some expenses will be paid for writers based out of the London area for this period.

Writing for Broadcast

After you have completed the initial training and the Doctors script, your work will be assessed. If you have reached the required standard for production on Continuing Drama Series you will begin the next phase of the training.

Writers will rotate across Casualty, Holby and Eastenders in turn, writing a broadcast episode, spending a maximum of 12 weeks on each show.

At the end of the 12 months, each writer will have written for each of the four shows.

Core team & HQ

The course will be run and administered from BBC TVC in London W12 and BBC Elstree Studios. The course will be overseen and run by a Course Producer.

The deadline for applications is: May 5th 2010. More information and how to apply is on the web site.

Storyland II: Final 2

20th April 2010 by Maura McHugh

The final two series in the RTÉ Storyland competition are:

  • Zombie Bashers, written by Stephen Shields and directed by Conor McMahon
  • We Own the Streets, written and directed by Alan Kavanagh

McGuinness Play on TV

20th April 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Sky Arts has announced its successor to its Theatre Live! series, which saw six novelists make their playwriting débuts in 2009.

This year it’s called Sky Arts Playhouse – Live, and will bring new work by established playwrights to the screen, including Irish playwright Frank McGuinness, whose credits include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.

The plays will be broadcast live every Wednesday from June 9, with each production being previewed at the Riverside Studios in the UK for four nights prior to transmission.

As with Theatre Live!, there will be a special company of directors and actors formed for the series, which will be overseen by Sandi Toksvig as artistic director, and Pip Broughton, who is creative director.

Toksvig said: “With Playhouse – Live, we’re staying true to the theatrical experience whilst simultaneously ensuring that we successfully marry the components of theatre and television that make each experience so unique. We’re thrilled to have such an extraordinary range and calibre of playwrights on board, and are delighted about partnering with the Riverside Studios to give the creative teams an opportunity to preview each play.”

The schedule is:

  • June 9; The Typist, by Rebecca Lenkiewicz; directed by Bijan Sheibani.
  • June 16: Ghost Story by Mark Ravenhill, who is also directing the play.
  • June 23: Hens by Alia Bano; directed by Peter Gill
  • June 30: Crocodile by Frank McFuinness; directed by Toby Frow.
  • July 7: Ensler’s Here by Eve Ensler; directed by Josie Rourke.

West End Remains Popular

19th April 2010 by Maura McHugh

According to the Hollywood Reporter theatre is still proving very popular in the UK despite the recession, and the latest figures reveal that attendance at the West End in London hit 14 million last year and box office revenue made a record £500 million.

The current success owes to several factors, not least of which is a high standard of excellence. Critics have joined the public in being generally bowled over by the range and quality of what has been presented of late.

Two more reasons for the growing appreciation of what’s onstage: The lackluster state of British film and television means local talent is gravitating to the theater; and the development of well-trained directors.

Says Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough: “TV in the U.S. is infinitely stronger. Most U.K. sitcoms are pathetically vulgar and crude.”

Meanwhile, the current crop of top stage directors is among the most innovative and distinctive to date, with Rupert Goold (“Enron”), Michael Grandage (“Hamlet,” “Red”), Howard Davies (“All My Sons”), Christopher Morahan (“The Caretaker”), Ian Rickson (“Jerusalem”) and Nicholas Hytner (“London Assurance,” “The Habit of Art”) following in the footsteps of Sam Mendes, Richard Eyre, Stephen Daldry and Trevor Nunn.

Says Burns simply, “We train great directors.” It shows.

Burns, who runs Nimax Theatres with U.S. producer Max Weitzenhoffer, adds: “Not only are more people coming, they’re paying more money to see the plays and musicals. Last year, it was a coincidence that so many plays came to fruition in one performing year. It was very much the year of the play. But that doesn’t mean the musicals were struggling — it means the plays did better.”