Play readings will offer mix if themes

The WordFest play selection panel
The WordFest play selection panel

FIVE plays have been chosen for Shoreham WordFest’s Making a Drama Out of Nothing evening.

Actress and playwright Janet Behan has been working with writers on a 17-week course to help them produce short plays, lasting a maximum of 15 minutes.

The WordFest play selection panel met last month to read through the 12 submissions and decide on the final five for a rehearsed reading performance at the Shoreham Centre on Friday, October 3.

The panel was made up of author and Wordfest patron Simon Brett, aspiring playwright and actress Tricia Cunningham, Brian Gill, who has organised WordFest drama since the festival started, and WordFest member, David Johnson.

Mr Brett said: “It is a huge credit to Janet that in just 17 weeks, all her playwriting class delivered a short play to be considered, and all of them had the potential to be performed.

“The standard was very high, with varied themes - dramatic, humorous, wit and wisdom as well as gritty human emotions. Scenes were set thoughtfully with convincing dialogue.”

Mr Johnson was chosen to chair the discussion and lead the feedback to Janet and her class.

He said: “It was a difficult choice, as so many of the plays had merit and could offer a good performance.

“We agreed to select five plays on the basis of generating a successful evening’s entertainment with a varied programme. We wanted there to be a balance of themes and range, with a mind to the impact on the audience.

“We may be able to include one or two more once it comes to preparation to staging the rehearsed reading, but we definitely want to organise an afternoon reading of the other plays during WordFest, as they all deserve to be heard.”

A date for this will be announced nearer the time.

Janet now has the task of recruiting actors and organising the rehearsed readings.

The five plays chosen are Meeting by Libby Longhurst, Myfanwy by Barbara Meredith, The Conchie by Celia Behan, Just What She Wanted by Colin Mitchell, and The Trogolodytes by Roger Deller.