2020 First Stage

First Stage 2020

First Stage is a series of staged rehearsed readings of new short pieces of drama for one to four actors, with an opportunity for audience feedback, to be presented once the lockdown is over (dates and venue to be confirmed).

Scripts (which must adhere to our formatting requirements and include the submission form below) should be e-mailed to firststage@writeon.org.uk (we cannot accept scripts by post). Scripts must be received by midnight on Sunday 6th September 2020.

First Stage 2020 Guidelines & Submission Form

You must be a paid-up WRiTEON Member to submit. There is no additional submission fee. Membership is £20 for the year. Membership runs from 1st January to 31st December so, if you have not joined/renewed your membership since 1st January 2020, you will need to do so. For details of how to join/renew for 2020, by standing order or credit card, go to: http://www.writeon.org.uk/membership/

Our submission criteria is below:

  • Scripts must be your own original work.
  • Scripts may be for 1, 2, 3 or 4 actors.
  • Scripts should be between 5 and 20 minutes long. It is always useful to carefully time your piece, especially if it looks like it might be close to the maximum, as it is easy to underestimate duration.
  • Ideally, we are looking for DRAMA (serious or comedy) with credible characters, which tells an interesting story, uses the limitations of time, space, number of actors and simplicity of staging to its advantage, will inspire a director, provide satisfying roles for actors and delight an audience.
  • Scripts may be in any style and on any topic you like.
  • Ideally your play should only require a simplistic set, e.g. up to 4 chairs and a table.
  • Sound and Lighting effects, if used, should be kept simple.
  • Writers may submit an extract or the beginning of a longer piece only if it makes sense in isolation and will provide a satisfying experience for an audience.
  • Each writer may submit a maximum of two scripts.
  • We will not be able to stage musicals, due to WRiTEON’s limited expertise in this area.

WRiTEON Stage Festival- Buy Tickets

WRiTEON Stage Festival



Select which play you wish to buy tickets for buy clicking on any of the images below:

Rose’s place was the best home Alan and Kurt ever knew, and years later they return for their foster mother’s funeral. Alan is haunted by scenes from their childhood that he longs to put right. The young never appreciate the consequences of their actions, but whatever happened in the summerhouse, it’s time to face the truth.

2003- UK oil consultant Ryan Ellis is working in the Balkans. Although miles from the civil unrest (following the collapse of the Yugoslav Federation), Ryan is taking no chances. So when his wife Lidia comes out for a short visit, he hires Masluch, a local bodyguard, to look after her.

Shelagh is in her thirties. She has everything she could wish for: healthy body, long-term relationship, job with prospects of promotion … But in order to keep up with the competitive world she lives in, she will have to up her game. Is it worth losing yourself so that you can have it all?

Participation of Kim Komljanec kindly supported by the Slovenian Ministry of Culture and Embassy of Slovenia in London.


 “All brains and no blood…well that’s just no good for anyone.”

Emily and Andy said they were soulmates, but the music of their blood broke them apart. How will a chance reunion impact their lives now they’re “all grown up”? A gently comic exploration of friendship, love, sex and meaning.

John and Claire Cunningham are an average couple: married for years, they’re stuck in a rut, with only experimentation seeming to hold the key to invigoration. Except, those aren’t their real names, and their attempts to inject some much-needed excitement into their lives has led to a crisis of identity from which neither seems able to awaken.  

Three Gargoyles, The First, Second and Third, sit static atop three plinths atop a cathedral.  They spend their nights prattling on about priceless nonsense, until one night ‘The First’ is granted the gift of movement. The Offensive explores the case for freedom of expression and satirically navigates the logical rabbit holes of modern day identity politics

WRiTEON Stage Festival Readings

WRiTEON Stage Festival- Shortlist Readings

In July we will be bringing 6 thrilling new plays to the ADC Theatre venues as part of our WRiTEON Stage Festival. These are just some of the 60 submissions that we received last year. In fact we were so impressed with the other six plays that made the shortlist that we decided that we just had to share them with you! So we will be showcasing these in the form of script-in-hand staged readings at the Larkum Studio on the 10th,11th & 12th April. Each evening will feature a double-bill and costs a mere £3. That’s £3 for two hours of brand new theatre! Click the links below to find out more:

Canopy by Rachel Carnes

Canopy explores the sheltering space that people foster over time, as their mutual annoyance creates a kind of protection. When do the things that drive me crazy about you, become the things I would miss most? What if we were so busy caring for our family, we forgot to care for ourselves? What if we live long enough to discover that life’s promises are still ours to fulfill? What if we’re afraid? Where does love go — When we’re separated? And what remains? Canopy is about love — In whatever form that takes — And the patience love requires.

The Way it Is by Donna Hoke

After eight years, Cane dumps his fiancee Yasmine because he thinks he’s found “the one.” But when he heads back to their apartment to collect his things, Yasmine’s not about to let him go without getting what she wants–starting with an explanation about why he wasted her time for so long, and ending with something Cane never expected. In real time, Cane and Yasmine fight for the lives they think they deserve in a taut two-hander about inertia, truth… and consequences.

Headhog by Tom Jensen

Life is fairly humdrum for Malcolm, until a rather prickly problem raises its head and turns his world upside down. He is forced to take drastic action that results in a truly mind-blowing experience.

Member by Hugo Chiarella

‘Member’ takes place entirely in the bedroom of a couple, Jo and Steve. Jo is a PR manager for a ride sharing startup. Steve is tepidly volunteering for a fledgling foundation that wants to transform the democratic process. Jo wants to work and prosper within the system, Steve has lost faith in the system. 

The play is a philosophical and political exploration about the tension between idealism and action. In a time when the world is increasingly divided by totalizing ideological positions, ‘Member; examines the ways in which these positions affect our interactions on an intimate and interpersonal level as well as a societal and global level.

A Mandarin Remembers by David Hutchison

Sir Andrew Drummond is a former civil servant who has had a distinguished career first in the Foreign Office and then elsewhere in government and public life. He is visited by a researcher who is employed by an up-market version of ‘Desert Island Discs’. She is ostensibly there to check on his choices for the programme but she is not all that she seems, and Sir Andrew finds himself having to confront the human consequences of policies for which he had a major responsibility.

With British troops still fighting – and dying – in the Middle East and Afghanistan, this play explores how politicians and civil servants reach decisions which can have fateful, and sometimes catastrophic, consequences.

The Contract by Trish Rawson

Two young people rescued from homelessness by a kindly, older and childless woman seems to be the perfect ending to cold nights sleeping rough in a doorway.  But Cynthia, their landlady, proves to be a challenge to live with. Who keeps knocking on the door? And why won’t she answer it?  Insistent on changing the ‘contract’ which she thinks binds them together, Joe and Deborah find their lives much more of a challenge than they could possibly have envisaged.  But living with Cynthia has affected their mental health. Will they manage to escape and if so, how?

Click the poster below to visit the main festival page:

Writeon Committee Member has play on in Soho!

Richard Peoples (who is a WRiTEON committee member, prolific writer, workshop leader and project lead) is having a short play of his entitled “Up to the Mark” staged at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Soho, London from 17 to 21 July. It’s one of a set of short pieces under the title ‘Invisible Light’. More info can be found here:


The play was shown as part of one of our First Stage seasons a few years ago. We are very proud to see him succeed and pleased that WRiTEON helped him develop the piece!


WRiTEON Social

WRiTEON Social

Come join us for the next WRiTEON Social upstairs at The Castle Inn on Friday 3rd November at 7pm. There will be drinks, merriment and the best word-based game there is, Articulate!


Calling all Producers!

Always fancied producing an evening of new writing but nervous to try it out?

We are looking for people who have not produced before to take the helm for a night. You would be assigned a mentor who would show you the ropes and be there to support you throughout the process. You would also work with the artistic directors, directors, techs and other members of the team to ensure your night is produced beautifully.

To register your interest and for more information, please use the link below to access our quick google form and submit your details!


Directors for First Stage


Calling all directors!

As we mentioned yesterday, First Stage is experimenting with a slightly new format this year and we are looking for directors to take on 2 or more plays in the same evening. You would be working with a core company of actors common to both pieces. We hope this will enable our directors to form a closer relationship with their actors, to experiment with a range of material and get the best out of the new writing.

To register your interest and for more information, please use the link below to access our quick google form and submit your details!


First Stage Acting


Would you like to act in First Stage 2017?

This season we are experimenting with something a little new for the cast of First Stage. We will have a smaller core company of actors who will each appear in 2 or more plays throughout the season. We hope this will enable our actors to form a closer relationship with their directors, to play a range of characters and get the best out of the new writing. Performances will still be script in hand.

To register your interest and for more information, please use the link below to access our quick google form and submit your details! We will be holding a casting session on Sunday 1st October – if you can’t attend but wish to be considered, please indicate this in your form.

Casting will take place on Sunday 1st October, 3-5pm at Milton Road Library.