Essex Playwriting Festival Announced

The Mercury Theatre Colchester today announces the winner of the Essex Playwriting Competition – part of the Mercury Talent programme designed to support and develop people who want to work in the arts and creative industries. Over 50 scripts were submitted for the competition. Entries were read anonymously and judged by a panel of 12 to select the final five competitors. The final 5 were then read by the whole panel to select an overall winner.

Kenny Emson was the overall winner with his play WHITE, a story about the onset of modernity in a community that isn’t ready. Set in Thurrock, Essex, the play asks what we are willing to sacrifice for our families, for our principles, and for our way of life. A collaboration between the Mercury Theatre and the University of Essex, the Essex Playwriting Competition & Festival offers a chance for budding playwrights to receive professional feedback on their new writing and potentially see their work developed for the Mercury stage.

Kenny Emson’s play, together with four runners-up, will now be shared in a work-in-progress rehearsed reading in the Essex Playwriting Festival – a five day celebration of new writing to be held in the Mercury Theatre’s newly refurbished Studio Theatre. Readings are free to attend.

There will also be masterclasses and script surgeries available for budding writers giving them the opportunity to nurture their craft.

Winning Playwright Kenny Emson said:

“It’s a wonderful honour to be selected as the winner of this competition. The Mercury has always been an incredibly important theatre in terms of my development as a playwright and theatre practitioner. I have had a couple of plays that have come to the theatre on tour and worked with their young companies both as a writer (Quadrophenia) and workshop leader. I hope this is the start of another collaboration and that we can take WHITE or a new play into a full production in the future”

Associate (New Work and Talent Development) Dan Sherer said:

“Fifty budding playwrights from across Essex submitted an electrifying range of scripts, which I think audiences will be gripped by. The talent we have in this county is incredible. Just five scripts have made it through to the Festival, and I wish we could have presented many more. With this many untold stories looking for a platform, there’s no doubt this will be a regular fixture in future years.”

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]The festival will take place from Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 April. Masterclasses are priced at £10 and must be pre-booked. For more information or to book tickets call 01206 573 948 or visit:[/box]