Not to shun my training in classical and Shakespearean text, I launched Chippy Lane Productions to champion Welsh work from emerging playwrights as well as the established ones. I think it is important that the UK nurtures and develops Welsh and Wales-based playwrights as well as promoting and championing it’s already bright cannon of talent. Sherman Theatre, The Other Room and NTW are already doing their bit. As a new Welsh company positioned beyond Wales it was imperative that we follow suit.
My first act was a new scratch night called Chippy & Scratch, a feast of Welsh “Theatre in progress”. This placed together emerging creatives with a much-needed audience that can give constructive feedback, vital in developmental stages.
The first scratch night was run in October 2016 and received over 22 submissions from Welsh and Wales based playwrights. The evening was a tremendous success and had over 32 actors, directors and writers involved. Many of the writers have now gone on to progress their work in a variety of ways. Many of them have said that the scratch night gave them the confidence and the drive to continue. It was a simple decision to make this a regular annual event, with each year bigger and better than the last.
In March this year I opened the submissions window for our second scratch night and to my surprise the submissions doubled to 44. Due to the demand I wanted to do something special and I was delighted to announce that the night would also be programmed in Cardiff at Chapter on July 18th. Our second installment this year is hence, Chippy & Scratch “Does The Diff”. Since I couldn’t take all of the scratches to Cardiff, I decided to run a little competition to take the 4 highest voted pieces back home to Wales. With all of the writers and most of the creatives having a connection with Wales it seemed like a perfect opportunity.
On the 27th June at The London Welsh Centre, 8 pieces of new writing were scratched and the audience were given the opportunity to pick their favourite. Over 80 people selected the pieces that are going to be shown in Cardiff on the 18th July at Chapter. The winner received a beautiful Welsh wooden plaque that they will get to keep until next year.
I am a firm believer in building theatre communities and sharing knowledge with others to help them grow. So much can come from collaboration and nurturing relationships and so far Chippy Lane has benefited greatly from people believing in its ethos and vision. We would love to see you at Chapter and celebrate these budding new playwrights as they continue on their journey.
Here are the creatives involved:
Cardiff Boy – WINNER
Writer Kevin Jones
Director Matthew Holmquist
Cast Jack Hammett
You Gotta Go There To Come Back
Writer & Director Poppy Corbett
Cast Michelle Luther
Writer Ruth Majeed
Director Becca Lidstone
Cast Rebecca Ormrod, Roanna Lewis, Mica Williams
Tiny Mad Animals
Writer Neil Bebber
Director Jac Ifan Moore
Cast Tobias Weatherburn, Joseph Tweedale
Hosts: Andrew David & Chris Harris (Cymraeg)
Producer Becca Hammond
Readers Luke Hereford, Becca Hammond