The Write Now Festival

Layout 1began at the Jack in 2010, and has run for six successive years.

Under the artistic direction of Kate Bannister, the Write Now  festival is an essential part of the Jack Studio Theatre’s yearly programme, which each year looks to find and produce the most exciting and significant work of emerging writers.

The full length play is chosen from submissions of previously unperformed plays from writers who have a connection to south east London. We are passionate about producing plays that engage with how we live today. In 2017 we will be looking for bold new voices and stories that engage with and reflect contemporary culture and society. 

Alongside our full production we run writing workshops, post show discussions, and each year we launch the festival with the performance of ten minute plays on a given theme.

We will be publishing our submission deadline and guidelines for Write Now 8 towards the end of the 2017. Please check back with us then for further details.

Write Now 7

The 2016 winning play was Better Together by David Weir.

Better Together premiered at the Jack Studio Theatre between the 10th and 28th of May.

We would also like to thank the 2016 final panel, Lin Coghlan (Eastenders, Soho Theatre, National Theatre), Franko Figueiredo (StoneCrabs Theatre), and Vinay Patel (Bush Theatre, Theatre503, BBC, previous Write Now winner) for their help in selecting this play.

Seven Shorts for Write Now 7: Fight or Flight?

This year’s winning short plays were:
Number’s Up by Heidi Hammond
Nothin’ goes off unplanned by Sophie Cairns
Carnivore by Sami Ibrahim
The Bird in the Sky by David Tarbuck
Superhero by Mark Harvey Levine
I’ll be Seeing You by Natasha Berger
The Reunion by Gemma Mills McGrath

Thank you to all playwrights who submitted to Write Now 7. We have enjoyed the opportunity to read your work.

Press for Write Now Productions:

While London is blessed with an abundance of mainstream theatres and fringe theatre venues, there are arguably only a few venues in London that in conjunction with hosting plays and scratch nights, have a fully developed programme for the nurturing of playwrights’ work – and the Jack Studio Theatre is one of them. Female Arts
David Weir’s intelligent and witty play could not be more timely… Sensitively directed by Kate Bannister, the exceptional cast portray Weir’s rich characters with conviction and humour. Ensemble work at its best. UK Theatre Network
The Jack Studio’s Write Now Festival celebrates the diversity and energy of south east London’s emerging playwrights. Writer Olga Nikora explores the turmoil of confused identity, dramatising the problem of artificially constructed boundaries and social categories in a progressively diversifying world. Nikora has a talent to inject fire and emotion into every line that engages the audience tirelessly holding their attention until the very last. 90 minutes straight through, and not once did it falter. rock paper scissors, Olga Nikora. The Upcoming.
The Jack is to be applauded for the high standard of writing that emerges from its Write Now initiative, and this year especially for its compilation of plays which would struggle to be more varied in their approach to leadership. Write Now Shorts. British Theatre Guide
The  Jack’s commitment to giving a platform to exciting new work under the artistic direction of Kate Bannister cannot be ignored. Pool is one of a number of pieces of new writing in the theatre’s Write Now Festival. It is everything Fringe theatre can achieve and more.  Pool, Tom Harvey. PostScript Journal
McGrath’s inspired writing fleshes out believable characters and mines the dramatic wealth from coming to terms with the past. It deserves to be seen by as big an audience as possible.  Botticelli’s Angels, Gemma Mills McGrath. Female Arts

The show is compelling simply for the double virtue of it being excellently written and well-cast. The entire team of No Rhyme is to be congratulated on an excellent production.  No Rhyme, Melanie Pennant. A Younger Theatre
I would truly recommend you to go and see it. The music was spectacular, the acting was amazing, the storyline had the audience captured from start to finish. Definitely make time to go and see this before it finishes. No Rhyme. Remotegoat
The Jack must be commended for its dedication to new writing… its distinctive programmes and intimate space offer rare opportunity for local talent to thrive. And with Emoticon, thrive it certainly did.  Emoticon. Melissa Bubnic. The Gay Stage

The Festival was supported by the London Borough of Lewisham, Arts Council England, Acorn Estates Ltd, Roullier White and The Unity Theatre Trust.

ACE-funding Lewisham-funding Acorn-funding Unity-Theatre-funding

For further information on all past production, please see our Write Now Writers and Archive pages.