The Open Session: 2016 writers announced

The Open Session

Six writers who submitted plays this summer to Bristol Old Vic’s talent-call out, The Open Session, are to work with the theatre for a year from November 2016.

The Open Session invites scripts from writers of all levels of experience across Bristol and the South West region. Scripts are judged anonymously, ensuring Bristol Old Vic Literary department read and meet many writers they don’t already know.
 
This year’s successful writers are: Tuyen Do, Ross Willis, Mary Ingoldby, Skot Wilson, Jane Spurr and Toby Parker Rees.
 
Each writer will benefit from script editing support on their current and next play, guidance on placing their work in the industry, and access to the resources of the theatre. Thanks to recently announced funding from The Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation, the six Open Session writers are shortlisted for two commissions to produce new studio plays. Each playwright who receives the commission becomes the recipient of The Ronald Duncan Prize.

The plays submitted by 2016’s selected writers:
 
Summer Rolls by Tuyen Do (Cheltenham)
A Vietnamese family come to seek peace in the UK but the fight to survive still carries on. Status back home means nothing now, as the divide between family members widens, and threatens to pull them all apart.
 
Wonder Boy by Ross Willis (Bristol)
A schoolboy struggles with a severe stammer, helped by his teacher. He’s contested over by a comic book creation from his own mind – Captain Chatter - and taunting supervillain William Shakespeare.
 
Stanley at the Beaufort by Mary Ingoldby (Bristol)
Eccentric English artist Stanley Spencer worked as an orderly in Bristol’s Beaufort War Hospital in 1915/16 and vividly painted the everyday rituals and activities of the hard-pressed staff and the convalescing soldiers. “It’s all in the paintings” he enigmatically said, and his works inspire this play’s evocation of the endurance of an institution and the way we remember the past. 
 
Footsteps by Skot Wilson (Devon)
When a stranger staggers towards Michael & Tomas's campfire, their night of wild talk and whiskey is shattered. Deep in the woods between two Balkan states, the two tread carefully; in a time of war and mass migration, asking for help is a dangerous business.
 
Bedsitland by Jane Spurr (Cornwall)
Terry and Blandy interpret all the people they hear through the paper-thin walls of their bedsit: including 'Woman Who Lives In A Cupboard', the shouty husband '6 o’clock Nuts', and the local supermarket detective – 'Poirot'.
 
The Great Dog Pan by Toby Parker Rees (Devon)
Retirement goes dark via dog walking in this monologue play for an older actress.  Perhaps they expected sedate twilight years, but when their dogs keep finding things in the bushes the dog walking group encounter society’s underbelly as never before.

 
Details of The Open Session, and entry rules, can be found at bristololdvic.org.uk/writers