A great day for drying the washing…


and for a read through of our first drafts…

DISORDER – Staged readings of 4 exciting new short plays at The REP 8 pm on Monday 26th September

What happens when things in your head aren’t what they’re supposed to be? Or what if they are and it’s everyone else who has the problem?

This autumn BOLDtext Playwrights Stephen Jackson, Vanessa Oakes, Julia Wright and Sayan Kent return to Open Door at The REP on 26th September and focus the dramatic microscope on mental health.

‘14 Across’ by Stephen Jackson
A hoarder’s house is stacked to the rafters – but what lies beneath it all?

‘Mademoiselle F’ by Vanessa Oakes
Mademoiselle F can’t stop thinking about polar bears:
“sometimes to control my thoughts  i stand on one leg… i find holding onto a chair i can stand on one leg for hours… it is exhausting… “

‘Obligation’ by Julia Wright
Ellie reluctantly visits her dad in hospital. She’s not in a forgiving mood but decides to give it a go.

‘Reflection Perfection’ by Sayan Kent
So you fall in love, feels good. In the pool of love. Deeper and deeper until it drowns you.

Tickets are FREE to book and then PAY WHAT YOU CAN on the night (most people think it’s worth at least a fiver!). Tickets should be booked in advance and are available NOW via http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/event/open-door-autumn-2016/ or call the box office 0121 236 4455



7 hours at Astley Castle in pictures

L sign.jpg

Liz and Vanessa arrive at Astley Castle to set up for our ‘Write What You Know Workshop’.


One of the grander workshop venues we have encountered so far.

N table

Fingers crossed that the weather holds…

astley sky

…because this is our view of the ceiling.

tea break

At tea break we all retired to Astley Reading Rooms for tea/coffee (and cake) and as the rain began to fall we decided to order another round of drinks and continue indoors.


Lunchtime brought a welcome break in the clouds, and Steve…


…with his trusty trolley.

S&L sofa

Steve rehearsing Liz (Julia’s understudy).

WIW audience

The audience start to arrive…

S&L onstage

Waiting for the rain and the thunder to abate so we can finally begin.

We met some lovely people and had a great day (despite the British weather). Thanks for having us!

I loved the relaxed feel of it all and the wealth of knowledge from the workshop leaders.

All elements were perfectly timed. Full of tips and ideas and very laid back. Very helpful.

Given me new enthusiasm for writing my book.

SELFIES is back!

SELFIES is back!

…on Saturday 25 June at Astley Castle, North Warwickshire

Join our very own comic surrealist Stephen Jackson, BBC Doctors writer Liz John and Coventry playwright Vanessa Oakes in the grand surroundings of Astley Castle as part of the Writers in Warwickshire Festival 2016.  Following our popular Write What You Know workshop in the morning, we will be reading our individual SELFIES in the afternoon.  More info and booking link at Writers in Warwickshire.  See you there!

with Liz John and Vanessa Oakes

10 am – 1 pm

£15 per person, including morning coffee. Maximum of 15 people so early booking advised!

Drawing on your own life, this workshop will help you to find your voice, hone your writing skills and turn your personal experiences into a story. We aim to inspire and motivate you. Previous participants have thoroughly enjoyed the session.  One said, “Great, open atmosphere to be able to express yourself in.”  Another commented: “I found it really helpful, thought-provoking, and opened me up to possibilities.”

performed by Stephen Jackson, Liz John and Vanessa Oakes

3 pm – 4 pm includes optional Q&A

FREE EVENT  Continue reading

To stay or not to stay?

To stay or not to stay?

BOLDtext Playwrights took on the complicated issue of Brexit in our two-part show, Eurotrashed, at Birmingham Repertory Theatre last week, funded by Arts Council England.

My fellow curator Helen Kelly and I insisted on the added excitement of some Post-Show Debates.
“Let’s get people debating the issues,” I cried. “There might be a fight!”
“We can ask the Rep to provide Security,” added Helen brightly.

The others eyed us with more than a glimmer of cynicism. “People’d rather debate football in the bar…” muttered the Doubters.

But we persisted, obsessed with our dream that Eurotrashed would be about MORE than theatre:
“We’ll help people decide how to vote.  It will be an EVENT!” I cried.
“It will be TWO EVENTS,” added Helen brightly, reminding us it was on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Doubters blinked.  Continue reading


Rich, Jenny & Jade

Descending into the bowels of the Crescent Theatre away from natural light on a sunny morning felt counter-intuitive.  But friendly front of house staff letting us leave our flyers among their packed display, and cheerfully ferrying us back and forth through security doors to the rehearsal room helped…  Continue reading