Playwriting Festival lives on after Warehouse closure

The International Playwriting Festival which for the past 26 years has been staged at the Warehouse Theatre has found a new producer and a new home.

Warehouse PhoenixWarehouse Phoenix, a company formed by members and friends of the Warehouse Theatre in order to continue its work and tradition, will produce the 27th IPF on the weekend of June 29-30 at the Fairfield Halls.

The Arnhem Gallery will be converted to a theatre for the occasion and will play host to the best plays selected from last year’s competition.

The winning play from the BRIT School’s annual Strawberry Picking season will also be presented and winning plays from the IPF’s International partners – Extra Candoni in Italy and Theatro Ena from Cyprus.

Ted Craig, the director of Warehouse Phoenix, said, “We will also be hosting a top UK touring company for a special guest performance.”

The two days will be arranged into four programmes, at 5pm and 7pm, with a supper interval each day. More information about the programmes will be available on the Warehouse Phoenix website at the beginning of June, once the judges have made their selections.

The International Playwriting Festival has been discovering and promoting the work of new playwrights since 1986. Over the years it consolidated the Warehouse Theatre’s role as a powerhouse of new writing. The IPF is held in two parts – the first is the competition with entries from all over the world, submitted between February and August each year, and judged by a panel of distinguished practitioners who make a selection of the best plays.

The selected plays are then showcased on the Festival weekend with a view to achieving a full-scale production.

Playwrights whose career has been launched by the International Playwriting Festival include Peter Moffat (current hit TV series The Village), Kevin Hood (Film: Being Jane, TV: Silent Witness), Guy Jenkin (many TV series including Drop The Dead Donkey) and Croydon writers Mark Norfolk and Richard Vincent.

Norfolk is a founder member of independent production company Prussia Lane Productions producing original films such as Ham and the Piper, the multi-award winning Crossing Bridges and Love is not Enough. He also directed the ground-breaking film archive Jewish Mothers & Daughters for the Heritage Lottery Fund. Vincent’s Real Estate, after being selected for the IPF was then produced in Italy by Il Centro per la Drammaturgia Contemporanea ‘H’, Quartieri dell’Arte and Festival delle Ville Tuscolane July 2001 and Teatro Colosseo, and has since been developed as a screenplay.He has also written for the BBC’s Casualty and several screenplays for the Film Council.

Tickets for the 27th International Playwriting Festival are available from the Fairfield Box Office 020 8688 9291 or online at priced: Each Programme £7, Day Ticket (includes Two Programmes and Supper Dish) £18, Festival Ticket (includes all Four Programmes and Supper Dish) £32. A booking fee of £1.50 per ticket may apply.

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