PREVIOUS OPEN SESSION SELECTIONS 

2020: New Plays In Rep 

2019: New Plays In Rep 


2019

TINTED by AMY BETHAN EVANS | @AmyBethanEvans

'There's no access guide to sex; how to consensually sh*g your blind girlfriend.' Undateable? Laura is funny, creative and sexy. She wishes she could move out of her parents' house occasionally, but being visually impaired is not a flaw, even if some people treat it as one. But when you're disabled, the lines of consent get a bit... tinted. Originally written as a disabled response to #MeToo, Tinted examines bodily autonomy in the group society often leaves behind.

PERFORMANCE: TINTED was presented at VAULTS Festival in 2020, which earned Amy an attachment at the National Theatre Studio and an allotment at the Bush Theatre. It was remounted by Theatre 503 in July 2022 and toured to Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2022. 

BUZZING by ANITA KARLA KELLY | @loud_word

There’s a swarm, buzzing.  A buzzing of bees, of phones, of time.  A buzzing of TikTok, of energy drinks, of selfies.  A buzzing of every possibility and absolutely no future. At the heart of the buzzing is Kay. And all the while, watching her, is Iris, stitching a dress, a dress made of bees.

PERFORMANCE: The play was performed by the students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as part of Bristol Old Vic’s ‘New Plays in Rep’ season in 2020.

GLUCK'S FLOWERS by BRENDA CALLIS (Bristol) | @CallisBrenda

A female painter defies gender categorisation in the way she lives her life and presents herself publicly. A relationship grows between Gluck and the woman who supplies the flowers she paints.

DEVELOPMENT: Theatre West are currently seeking funding to tour Gluck’s Flowers to art galleries in the South West in Spring/Summer 2023.

DESTINY by FLORENCE ESPEUT-NICKLESS  (Chippenham) | @FlorenceEN

This monologue follows the story of a teenage girl growing up on a rural Wiltshire council estate. After a big night out takes a turn for the worse, Destiny’s life spirals out of control as she desperately tries to learn how to love and be loved.

PERFORMANCE: A work-in-progress sharing was performed at Ferment Fortnight in January 2020. It was further developed and played in venues across the South West in 2021/2. It is currently in development for digital and TV versions.

PUBLICATION: DESTINY will be published by Methuen Drama in July 2022.

THE SCARLET LETTER a musical by DAVID HEWSON | @manatseaman

Adaptation of Nathanial Hawthorne's novel. “In a New England, there are laws to be made” say the authorities who are nation-building new settlers of America.  The new orthodoxy places a particular burden on women, and one who transgresses is publicly shamed and cast out – but this builds a strange fascination for her, from the others; including a man who shares her ‘guilt’.

a moment and then nothing by SAMUEL E. TAYLOR 

[more info coming soon]

2018

THE M WORD by JASMINE WARD (Dorset) | @jasiswriting

It’s the year 2040 and twenty-five-year-old Cassandra Jakobs is certain she’s pregnant with the second coming of Christ. In a world full of internet trolls and naysayers can she stay true to herself, and convince the world that salvation is near? 

ST JOWAN'S TIDE by FELIX LEGGE (Hampshire) |  @FelixLegge 

Bry Lark’s Cornish mussel farm is in on the rocks: commercial trawlers have taken business and the London-based owner wants to develop the land. When Bry pushes the rivalry with local fishermen too far, a chain of events is triggered which threatens to destroy even more than Bry imagined. 

LAMINATED and HOT FLUSHES by LUCY BELL (Devon) |  @LucyBellSW

Hot Flushes — BHS Croydon branch is closing but there’s no closure for Annie in Womenswear, not even in the stoic lyrics of her favourite country songs. That’s until a chance meeting in the fitting room with a member of the National Rifle Association. Annie has a lot to learn from the Round Rock chapter of the Well-Armed Woman… 

PERFORMANCE: A preview South West tour of this play was staged by Documental Theatre in 2019. Further development in 2020/1.

Laminated — “How did it come to this? How did I miss the clues? This story began seven years ago but built to its grisly climax in the two weeks before Christmas, to a soundtrack of screeching breaks and something far worse: The Greatest Hits of West Life…” Inspired by the testimonies of couples with high needs kids.

PERFORMANCE: The play was staged by Documental Theatre in 2019/20.

PARZIVAL by STEPHEN CONNOLLY  (Cirencester) | @SteveConnolly3 

Alison’s farm holds a secret... but is it the conspiracy theory young Dan is seeking? His clumsy arrival forces Alison to finally reveal her version of the truth to daughter Emma. Torn between Dan’s awe inspiring theories and Alison's alternative, can Emma turn the situation into an escape and reality of her own?

DAMNATION ALLEY a musical by DAVID PODMORE  (Plymouth) | @dylan_I_aint 

On his return home from war, George Mariner, an American sailor, falls drunkenly into a world of blackmail, betrayal and murder amidst the squalor and debauchery of Plymouth’s notorious Damnation Alley. It’s 1806, the town is fuelled by drink and patriotic fervour, and barkeeper Bess Bridges is driven to the edge by the vengeful leader of the press-gang.


Additionally, ongoing script editing support to Dionne Draper and Tom Dewey.

2017

GUNSHOW by CONNOR MACLEOD (Bath)

Gabe is a Middle American child of the internet – searching for her spotlight in a vast sea of vloggers and unboxers. It's tough and addictive, but Gabe needs those hits and a USP to get them, so… "Welcome to Gunshow".

THE DISSOCIATION OF SHIRLEY MASON by ISABELLA CULVER (Bath)

Shedding new light on the real 1950s case of a girl with sixteen different personalities. Shirley Mason (aka Sybil) became a victim through diagnosis, while her therapist and a journalist brought her case to international fame. Set in America during a time when psychiatry went rogue, what was the truth behind her condition?

PERFORMANCE: The play was performed by the students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as part of Bristol Old Vic’s ‘New Plays in Rep’ season in 2019.

MILLIE AND GEORGE by LIZ MYTTON (Bristol)

When they fall for each other Millie and George know 1960s Jamaica isn't ready for two women in love. Kingston's hotel and club scene provides some cover, but dangers run deep and superstition abounds. As daughters of the Empire could they leave for the utopia England seems to present? 

OUR BLOOD IS AN OCEAN by JACK SANDERSON-THWAITE (Bristol)

Tonight John is attempting an exorcism and he needs your help. He's been haunted by the Incan priest Rascar Capac ever since he first saw him in the Tintin books. It's time to put a stop to it, but there's so much that could go wrong. One man, a microphone, and a room full of ghosts. 

MR MAGLUMP a musical by BROOK TATE (Bristol)

"Watch out for No.9" they whisper. On a street where everybody knows their neighbour, one man stands apart – Mr Maglump. Behind his door lies a rather marvellous secret which could turn the town upside down, and quite possibly the right way up. Just one brave child has the courage to find out what it was, or who it was, that put the glum in Maglump. 

PERFORMANCE: The play was performed by the students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as part of Bristol Old Vic’s ‘New Plays in Rep’ season in 2019. It was also streamed online as part of Bristol Old Vic At Home during 2020.

2016

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. 

PERFORMANCE: The play’s premiere production, by VanThanh Productions in association with the Park Theatre London, was performed at the Park Theatre and Bristol Old Vic in 2019.

PUBLICATION: Script published by Oberon Modern Plays

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. 

PERFORMANCE: The play had its premiere production performed by the students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for Bristol Old Vic’s New Plays in Rep season in 2019. It was later produced by Bristol Old Vic for performance in the main house in 2022, directed by Olivier award-winning director Sally Cookson.

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 and 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.

FILM: This play was adapted into a short film, commissioned by ‘Film and Video Umbrella,’ released in 2021.

2015

THE PALACE by OLIVER GAMBLIN (Bristol)

Inspired by the recent grooming scandals, two young women make decisions about how their lives will be shaped. 

OUT WITH THE MILK BOTTLES by HELEN K PARKER (Bristol)

After war how much does a soldier want to remember…. And how much can he forget? 

APOPHENIA by MAREK HORN (Bristol)

A dystopian play about the relationship between celebrity and art. 

SWEET CHERRY RIPE by TRUDIE SHUTLER (Salisbury)

A woman finds a strange young boy at her husband’s funeral. 

ANOTHER GREENLAND by DREW HEWITT (Salisbury)

A middle-aged lecturer faces up to the tragic consequences of his teenage years.

ORCA by MATT GRINTER (Bristol)

A mysterious young girl is scooped out of the water by fishing boats on a remote island. 

PERFORMANCE: As well as becoming a BOV Open Session play, ‘Orca’ won the Papatango Prize, leading to its premiere production by Papatango at Southwark Playhouse, in November 2016. 

PUBLICATION: Script published by Nick Hern Books   

2014

AAMINIKA by TIMOTHY  X ATACK (Bristol)

An all-female artillery unit fight on the rebel side in a civil war. 

BOOBY’S BAY by HENRY DARKE (Cornwall)

A holiday home squatter makes a political stand in a disenfranchised Cornish community.  

PERFORMANCE: The play’s premiere production, in association with Bristol Old Vic, was performed at the Finborough Theatre London, The Wardrobe Theatre Bristol as part of BOV’s Studio Walkabout Season, and site-specific performances at a holiday home and beach in Cornwall. All Spring 2018. 

PUBLICATION: Script published by Oberon Books

QUIET KIN by NICK HAVERGAL (Devon)

A brother and sister find their childhood playground haunt taken over by dangerous strangers and corrupted innocence. 

THE LONG TRICK by MARIETTA KIRKBRIDE (Bristol)

The Robin Hood of South Cornwall leaves a trail of broken promises and stolen Jet skis in his wake.  

PERFORMANCE: The play was produced by theatre company Bucket Club and was performed at VAULT Festival in 2017. 

KILLING JOHN WARWICK by TABITHA MORTIBOY (Bristol)

A young woman’s perfect and squeaky clean first flat holds a secret she must rid herself of – at all costs. 

LEVERET by MATT JONES (Salisbury)

A family’s attempts to come to terms with their grief reveals the importance of stories and personal mythologies.