Exciting programme announced for Offaly's Scripts festival

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly



Playwriting Festival seeks new works from Longford authors

A thrilling programme, full of theatrical gems, has been announced for this year’s SCRIPTS Ireland Playwriting Festival, taking place in Birr this July.

The picturesque Offaly town will play host to an ensemble of playwrights, actors, producers, directors for 7 fun-filled days from Thursday, July 13 until Sunday 16 July.

This year’s programme is packed with something for all theatre lovers including top quality theatrical productions from the likes of Fishamble and Branar, workshops with leading Irish theatre practitioners Jim Culleton and Gina Moxley, pop-up plays and more.

The SCRIPTS team is also looking for people to perform in Open The Mic, the festival opener at The Chestnut Bar on Thursday, July 16 at 8.30pm. "If you’ve written a song, poem, anecdote, comedy routine or shopping list, make sure you get in touch," organisers said. Ideas and registration can be sent to toscriptsireland@gmail.com

For budding or established writers in the area, there are two top class writing workshops on offer. Spinners on Castle Street is the venue for both Writing Bolder Women on Saturday, July 15, with renowned actor, writer and director Gina Moxley, 2-5pm (€20) and Writing A Tiny Play with Fishamble Artistic Director, Jim Culleton on Sunday, July 16, 11am-1pm (€20).

For booking, you can contact the Box Office at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre on (057) 91 22911 or log on to www.birrtheatre.com (Full fee is required at the time of booking).

Birr Theatre & Arts Centre will host no less than four top notch pieces of theatre across the weekend. On Friday, July 15, previous SCRIPTS winner Siobhán Donnellan will perform her one-act play, Going Spare at 8pm. On Saturday morning, it’s one for the kids as Branar, one of Ireland’s top children’s theatre companies, present Na Síoga agus An Gréasaí (The Elves and the Shoemaker) at 11am, which is suitable for ages 4+. 

The venue will then host one of the weekend’s headline events on Saturday night when Margaret McAuliffe presents her highly successful one-woman play, The Humours of Bandon, 8pm. It follows the exploits of Annie, a 16-year-old Dubliner, who we meet on the eve of the Irish Dancing Open Championship. It will be followed by a Talkback session with guests from the Abbey and Fishamble on how to have your script read, reviewed and developed.

The festival will culminate on Sunday, July 16 with ‘Nurtured New Works’, a special performance of the three brand new Irish plays, specially selected to be part of the festival. After a week of mentoring, editing and directing with playwright Eugene O’Brien, the winning play will be selected by Eugene, Fishamble’s Jim Culleton and New Writing Associate at The Abbey Theatre, Jesse Weaver.

For the full SCRIPTS 2017 programme, log on to www.scriptsireland.com

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