Writers’ Bloc Extracts of work from this year's graduating MA Drama Writing Students

Writers’ Bloc

Welcome to the first ever Writers’ Bloc, from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

These rehearsed readings are of extracts taken from full length stage plays written by the MA playwrights at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Over the course of the year, the students have been working with playwrights Stephanie Dale and David Edgar to explore a plethora of writing techniques, principally for stage, radio, television and film. The students have also worked with many other leading playwrights, as well as other industry professionals.

It has been an extraordinary final term; all of the work shown here has been made possible by the resilience, creativity and ingenuity of the writers, directors, actors, production arts students and staff at BOVTS.

To watch, check back here on the dates of each live broadcast when links to our YouTube channel shall be added just before the house opens!

Read the Writers’ Bloc scripts here.

Writers' Bloc 1

Tues 30th June, 2pm

 

Maddie Beautyman, The Predicament of Living

A young woman speaks to us from her family kitchen which now feels too big for two. Remnants of loved ones grace the walls that come to haunt her. She controls the space, transforming it into an autumn day or a solemn Christmas scene as she tells her stories. The environment around her becomes a character, defying her orders, rebelling against her. Exploding, much like her mind.

Oh and somewhere in the chaos she has a thought, a thought that tells her she wants to kill her stepfather

Abigail Slack, Two Tribes

Named after the hit song of the summer of 1984, Two Tribes follows Sarah, a young working woman, through the miners’ strike that tore Nottingham apart. When Sarah takes one side, and her father takes another, she discovers a new family in the Women Against Pit Closures and the fight for her community.

3pm

Emily Glaze, Mute

After an operation to remove a brain tumour, Zoe slowly loses her ability to talk, read and write; leaving her unable to continue her work as a coder. Having recently moved with her partner Ray, back to his family’s secluded farmhouse, she finds herself being further silenced and isolated from her old life.

Amid the darkness of her recovery, Zoe finds a biography of Ada Lovelace, whose pioneering work on algorithms encourages Zoe to envision the possibility of creating a new language. Through trauma she discovers the power of her silence and within that the means to free herself from her confinements.

Dan Scott, Orbital Decay

East Germany. A disintegrating society begins its final era. As the feared State Security tightens its grip on the nation, the Satellite continues to plummet to Earth.

In a reunified Germany, while the wallpaper has been changed, the cracks in the plaster underneath are deeper than ever.

Written during the 30th year of German reunification, Orbital Decay is a play about barriers and walls, the deep-rooted effects of trauma and how a romanticized past can shape our present

Writers' Bloc 2

Thurs 2nd July, 2pm

 

Eva Sinclair, Artificial Flavouring

Olive wants to be a famous home cook, own a kitchen island and share a proper evening meal with her partner Billy. Billy wants to be an Engineering Lecturer, he never uses his kitchen island, but might enjoy an evening meal with his partner Olive, if only he could taste.

When Billy’s eccentric University supervisor Louis, suggests he embarks on a study to place a neural interface in his brain which will input artificial responses to flavour and taste, Billy seizes the chance to get closer to his dream job and potentially save his relationship.

The study propels the three characters on an unexpected and dramatic journey that tests whether Billy and Olive can ever truly understand each other.

Artificial Flavouring examines how you shape other people and they can shape you, exploring whether you can ever truly love someone if you can’t experience what they love. This original comedy play seeks to uncover whether science can explain our taste in food and taste in a partner.

Jacob P. Woods, Pink’s Furniture Store

Pink’s Furniture Store contains hopes and shadows, asking questions of mutual care, grief and journeys on the edge. The story largely takes place over one night in a coastal town; unearthing spaces of exploitation and shelter, life transitions and surprise encounters, as they unfold within the Furniture Store, the beach and the streets linking them. The relationships between the central motley crew of Pink, Aisha, Yaqub and Ros reveal unexpected connections of trauma, loss, love and camaraderie.

3.15pm

Jaisal Marmion, West Country Oriental Gentleman

The year is 1899 and Sanjay is the West Country Oriental Gentleman, an Indian nationalist whose sole mission is to assassinate Queen Victoria. The ageing Queen is coming to Bristol, for only the second time in her long reign, for a parade in her honour. However Sanjay does have one problem; he’s not actually sure he can go through with it, also none of the white people in Bristol seem to believe him when he tells them he grew up in the West Country, oh and he’s not actually a gentleman; he’s a woman posing as a man, and one who thinks her fellow conspirators may be starting to get suspicious.

Georgie Bailey, Tadpoles

‘Beware of the pond life, it’s bad yano.’

Tad’s older, autistic brother Kit is being targeted by the local Estate Boys gang. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Tad begins a feud with them, leading himself into the jaws of a shady group inhabiting the local pond who offer him protection in exchange for a job, whilst Kit is indoctrinated into a crew of his own: the Toad on the Roads volunteers. But there’s a reason you shouldn’t stay by the pond after dark, and there’s a reason you should never trust strangers…

Tadpoles explores gang culture through the lens of young people on the cusp of adulthood and our relationship with the things we don’t understand. It interrogates perceptions of the working-class youth of today’s Britain, and smashes the stereotypical demonisation we see of them; questioning whether anyone is truly born bad, and how far we would go to keep our loved ones safe.

Graduating MA Drama Writing Students

The links below will allow you to access the online profile or website of each of our graduating students, along with a selection of their work. For further information, or to arrange a meeting with a graduate (industry only), please contact Stephanie Dale.

Georgie Bailey MaddieBeautyman Emily Glaze Jaisal Marmion
Dan Scott Eva Sinclair Abigail Slack Jacob Woods

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has a renowned literary pedigree and enjoys relationships with theatres across the city and south west. The School delivers plays in partnership with the Bristol Old Vic, Redgrave Theatre and Tobacco Factory, amongst others, on a regular basis, ensuring that students experience practical application of their craft in professional settings.

This new industry-focused, vocational course is led by Stephanie Dale, with David Edgar.

Students drinking coffee in Clifton Village
The training provided by the MFA programme is superb. The depth with which we explore, paired with unyielding curiosity that is met with the most knowledgeable, passionate, expert tutors is what makes BOVTS programme one of the finest around. I feel honoured to call BOVTS my grad school. Rachel McVay, MA Professional Acting Student