The Off Cut Festival
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The Off Cut Festival is a showcase for new and undiscovered playwriting, directing and acting talent, with an emphasis on keeping the audience at the heart of the theatre experience.
It was created in 2009 by Trudi Boatwright and Daniel Brennan (artistic directors of In Company Theatre), with the first festival being held at The Old Red Lion Theatre in Angel, London. Twenty-eight short plays (24 in 2009 and 2010) run in four groups, with audience members voting for their favourite plays. The two plays in each group with the most votes go through to a final week, where the audience continues to vote until an ultimate winner is found. A panel of industry professionals attend the final night handing out awards for Writing, Directing and Ensemble Acting.
Off Cut 2009
The first festival was held at The Old Red Lion Theatre in Angel, London from 29 September to 18 October. The panel was headed by Moira Buffini, and included playwrights Josephine Melville and Robert Rigby, directors Psyche Stott and Nigel Douglas, producer Andrew Robb; literary agent Anna Brewer; playwright and actor Andrew Neil and Old Red Lion Artistic directors, Helen and Damien Devine.
One hundred and ninety-six plays were submitted from all over the world.
|Welcome to Quiz Night||John Moorhouse||Tobias Tobbel||James Clossick|
|The Teacher Who Loved Me||Chantelle Dusette||Paul Blinkhorn||Emily Holden, Daniel Wiltshire|
|This Just In||Darren Murphy||Darren Murphy||Denise Stephenson, Tim Lewis||Finalist - Winner Panel Award for Ensemble Acting|
|The Curse of Elizabeth Faulkner||Tim Downie||Anthony Coleridge||Finalist - This play has toured extensively and had an extended run at New Players Theatre in the autumn of 2013|
|Bugaboo||Christine Roberts||Michael Miller||Christine Edwards, Peter Mann,|
|Singers||Louise Gooding||Janet Palmer||Nicholas Agnew, Ed Cooper Clarke, Stacey Evans|
|Juicy Cherry||Tracy Whitwell||Joss Bennathan||Ben Mars (as Ben Enright), Tracy Whitwell||Finalist|
|Fish and Chips Twice||Fiona Keen, Andy Pandini||Adam Morley||Gemma Seren, Christopher Tajah|
|Mr Jolly Lives Next Door||Michael Stewart||Daniel Brennan||Jack Kelly||When original director became indisposed, Daniel Brennan took over at the last minute. He was not eligible for any award|
|No Idea||Tom Ellen||Juliane von Sivers||Matt Jamie, Mark Parsons||Finalist -
Panel Award for Directing
|Momentum||Craig Burrows||Lawrence Carmichael||Kerry Wootten,|
|Lights Out||Jeff Nolan||Stephen Glover||Richard Kowold, Erica Thomas-Lowe|
|Stone Crossing||Mark Homer||Jayne Denny||Thomas Coombes, Edward Law, Elizabeth Webster||Finalist|
|The Perfect Girl||Øystein Ulsberg Brager||John Ward||Mark Conway|
|The Hindsight Saga||Stuart Paterson||Jemma Gross||John Last, Steven Rostance,||Finalist|
|Something Came Out||Nicholas Pierpan|
|Spud and Moose||Anneka Harry||Leanne Davis|
|Human by Default||David Andrew Gregg||Louisa Fitzgerald|
|The Game||Julie Bower||Sophie Lifschutz||Sharon Andrew, James Marsh|
|Bodyguard||Peter Drake||Oscar Toeman||Maxine Howard|
|Closer to God||Anna Jordan||Anna Jordan||Peter Gordon, Ursula Early||Finalist -
Panel Award for Writing; Audience Award for Best Play
|The Intricate Workings of a Sherbet Lemon||Stuart Lee||Kamaal Hussian||Peter Mann, Liv Spencer|
|A Wake||Julia St. John||Julia St John||Joy Blakeman, Peter McEnery,|
|Like It Never Happened||Bea Appleby||Kate McGregor||Debra Baker, Graham Sterling||Finalist|
Off Cut 2010
After the unprecedented success of the first festival, it was quickly decided by all parties that a second event would run at the same venue from 21 September to 10 October. The same panel (though this time without Andrew Neil) was joined by actor Patricia Hodge, literary agent Lisa Babalis and playwright Tena Štivičić.
The Artistic Directors were joined by Nick Kneller as Producer.
This was the only year that the Off Cut producers selected a 'wild card' entry for the finals.
All actors would now be cast in collaboration with the Off Cut company, as opposed to writers and/or directors finding their own.
Four hundred and thirty-six plays were received, with writers from around the world able to submit up to four plays.
|Balls||Mark Withers||Asia Osborne||Victoria Daniels, Gabriella Schmidt|
|The Summer Display||Sheri Graubert||Katie Lewis|
|True||Ewan Jeffrey||Chris O'Donnell||Lee Drage|
|The Nth Degree||Bernie Shevlin||Kay Michael||Karina Sugden, Charlotte Sutherland||Shortlisted for Wild Card|
|Room With A Door||Alexis Boddy||Tom Latter||Brigid Lohrey, Robert Mason||Finalist|
|I Love Paris||Richard Fichett||Janet Palmer||Nicholas Agnew, Mark Conway||Finalist|
|Hetherington's Box||Jonathan Brown||Helen Tennison||Freddie Machin, Panni Skrivanos, Graham Sterling,||Shortlisted for Wild Card|
|Mad Mary Dancin'||Doc Anderson-Bloomfield||Anna Ostergren||Sarah Flower, Tracey Kearney|
|Sweet Engineering of the Lucid Mind||Mitch Féral||Alison Convey||Debra Baker, Simon Nicholas||Finalist - Panel Award for Writing, Panel Award for Directing|
|I Just Called||Tanja Mariadoss||Luisa Hinchliff||Kate Walsh||Finalist - Panel Award for Ensemble Acting (even though this was a one-woman play)|
|Shrink||Sadie Frost||Juliane von Sivers||Chandrika Chevli, Kate Russell-Smith|
|Plenty of Fish in the Sea||Luke Smith||Helen Broughton||Andrew Glen,|
|Lactose Intolerable||Lola Stephenson||Christopher Loscher||Helen Clapp, Michael Norledge, Chloë Thorpe||Shortlisted for Wild Card|
|Home||Mihaela Nicolescu||Kate McCarthy||Adam Smethurst, Jennifer Tan|
|On a Day Like This||John Turley||Mark Pollard||Aiden McCarthy||Finalist - Audience Award for Best Play|
|The Limestone Epoch||Katy Brooksbank||Eero Suojanen||Erica Thomas-Lowe,|
|2... 8... 13...||Jon Petherbridge||Dawn Kalani Cowle|
|Mexico Way||Tracy Whitwell||Tracy Whitwell||Olivia Caffrey, Don Gilet, Matt Jamie||Finalist|
|If I Were You||Sophie Alderson||Charlie Henniker||Priscilla Gray, Karl Niklas,|
|The Inspiration||Virginia Hayden||Martin Hackett||Jennie Lathan||Finalist|
|Falling Apart||Julia Bolden||Gemma Kerr||Richard Fish, Joanna Waters|
|Pimp My Baby||Louise Gooding||Michael Miller||Joanna Clancy, Stanley Eldridge, Polly Hughes, Duncan Pearse|
|The Trunk||Mike Carter||Scott le Crass||Stephen Brannan, Will McGeough||Finalist - Wild Card. A full-length version of this play will run at The Space (Theatre) in 2014|
|Rise and Shine||Joseph Murray||Gilli Foley||Harry Lobek, Naomi Reynolds||Finalist|
Off Cut 2011
After another enormously successful[clarification needed] run, it was decided that the festival needed to move to a bigger venue. The Riverside Studios - Studio Three would be Off Cut's new home and the festival ran from 27 September to 16 October. The panel, still headed by Moira Buffini, included casting director Jo Buckingham and Rob Drummer of HighTide.
A record 722 plays were submitted for consideration.
As in previous years, 24 plays were chosen by Off Cut's reading panel. A further eight were put to a panel of theatre bloggers, who chose four to go through to the festival. The bloggers were Scott Matthewman, Ian Foster of Ought to be Clowns, video blogger Alison Child, Luke Murphy of Twespians and Havana Wellings-Longmore of Talawa Theatre Company.
To further advocate the spirit of collaboration, from this year no writer was allowed to direct their own work.
Trudi Boatwright moved back to Australia, where she is still involved in Off Cut and runs a pared-down version in Melbourne.
In Company Theatre was closed down and The Off Cut Festival became a company in its own right.
|A Date With Doris||Jilly Gardner||Sandra Maturana||Sibéal McGuinne, Zak Rowlands|
|The Poet||Alan Fielden||James O'Donnell||Scott Ainslie, Mark Moore|
|Granted...||Lauren Spring||Kenneth O'Toole||Victoria Allies, Stephen Fawkes|
|They F*** You Up, You're Mum and Dad||Michael O'Hanlan||Luisa Hinchliff||Lorayne Constance, David Forest, Kathy Trevelyan||Bloggers' Choice
|The Wrong Tree||Wally Sewell||Brigid Lohrey||Richard Fish, Denise Stephenson, Nathan Thompson||Finalist - Panel Award for Directing|
|A Million Things||Tracy Harris||Nick Borsack||Eleanor Barr, Ceri Murphy, Martin Pratt|
|The Viewing||Ross Howard||Tim Lee||Karsten Huttenhain, Joanne Entwistle, Stephen Kelly, Duncan Pearse|
|All Men Are||Rosalind Adler||Laura Vorwerg||Robert Lyon, Philip Mansfield, Tabitha Money, Kate Russell-Smith|
|Bound||Rebecca A Fielding||Francesca Camozzi||John Bulleid, Luanna Priestman||Finalist - Panel Award for Writing|
|MEAT||Neil Bebber||Amy Simpson||David Maybrick, Sharon Young||Due to the indisposition of Sharon Young, the director replaced her for one performance.|
|Skyclad||Alex Everard||Tanith Lindon||Lauren Baxter, Edward Mitchell|
|Percolate||Tom Stenton||Lavinia Hollands||Susan McGoun, David Meyer|
|Two Rings||Louise Taylor||Michael Wilding||Natalie Bromley, Ellie Dickens, Barry Wilson||Bloggers' Choice
|Wet Dog||Ösp Viggósdóttir||Martin Hackett||Joanna Greaves, Karl Niklas, Victoria Waddington|
|The Final Days of Fringe Theatre||Ian Townsend||Sharon Willems||Mary Benn, Freddie Machin, Kate A Walsh||Bloggers' Choice|
|Memories of Loss||Hannah Williams Walton||Ali Anderson-Dyer||Joseph Adelakun, Elisha Myton, Rachael Seaton, Tessa Wood|
|Not to Be||Jake Leonard||Sian Thomas||Laura Glover|
|Alternative Therapy||Beatrice Armstrong||Dawn Kalani-Cowle||Daniel Hallissey, Ewa Jenson (as Ewa Jaworski), Erica Thomas-Lowe||Finalist|
|The Dictator's Face||Afsaneh Gray||Tom McLaren||Tobias Deacon, Funmi Ogunleye, Chetan Pathak|
|Spring||Georgina Burns||Gbemisola Ikumelo||Simon Nicholas, Jennifer Tan|
|Looking for Vi||Mark Wright||Julia St. John||Joy Blakeman, Peter Clements,
Maroussia Frank || Finalist - Panel Award for Ensemble Acting. Recently turned into a film featuring Josie Lawrence
|Low Prices You Can Taste||Michael Ross||Abbie Lucas||Ffion Jolly, Chris Urch|
|Click||Mike Carter||Justen Bennett||Sara Bahadori, Joe Browder, Stephanie Toghill, Ryan Witchert||Bloggers' Choice|
|Quid Pro Quo||Sandra Hale||Max Pappenheim||Peter Henderson, Jennifer Munby|
|Skunk||Erasmus Murikami||William Glenn||Emily Holden, Viana Maya, Charlotte Slater||Following injury at dress rehearsal, this play was never performed|
|The Craft||Andrew Biss||Lydia Parker||Dan March, Tracey Anne Wood||Finalist|
|Basement Flat||Steven Rostance||Scott Le Crass||Richard Jackson, Lainey Shaw|
|Let There Be||Tanja Mariodoss||Kate Bannister||Joanna Eliot, John Hoye, Hannah Wood||Finalist - Audience Award for Best Play|
Off Cut 2012
The festival remained at Riverside for 2012, moving into the much larger Studio Two. It ran from 25 September until 13 October. The panel was again headed by Moira Buffini, and included actor (and former Off Cut participant), Julia St. John and Matthew Poxon of The National Theatre Studio.
The number of plays writers were allowed to submit was reduced from four to two, and only UK-based playwrights were eligible or consideration. Nevertheless, 396 plays were received.
The Bloggers' Choice panel was made up of Ian Foster, Alison Child and Scott Matthewman.
This year, audience members were also able to vote online for their favourite actors (male and female), playwright and director.
|IED||Rosalind Adler||Pauline Flannery||Daniel Hallissey, Elaine Harry, Polly Hughes|
|Waiting for Doggo||Gary Dooley||Janet Palmer||Raphael Bar, Elvina Muschett||Bloggers' Choice|
|Sun-eyed Girl||Julie Mayhew||Gilli Foley||Jennie Barbrook||Finalist - Winner Audience Award for Favourite Female Actor|
|The Big Ask||Joseph Wilde||Claire Lindsay||David Hemsted, Adam Loxley||Finalist|
|Bus Station Blues||Zainab Hasan and Jessica Raphael||Geri Spicer||Amma Boateng, Kate Wyler|
|Personnel||Hugo Plowden||Emma Burford||Matt Houlihan, Philip Nightingale, Michael Norledge, Linda Taimre|
|In My Mind I'm Going to Carolina||Gina Hills||Amy Mulholland||Richard Jackson, Ewa Jensen (Ewa Jaworski), Kathy Trevelyan|
|Chaps||Rupert Laight||Bernie Byrnes||Tommie Grabiec, Ross McNamara, Demetri Turin|
|Driven||Adam Udsen||Chris Carr||Andy Snowball||Winner Audience Award for Favourite Male Actor|
|Futures||William Patterson||Cat Robey||William McGeough, Stephen Sobal||Finalist|
|Buzz Kill||Annabel Wigoder||Sheryl Hill||Lauren Baxter, Antonia Reid|
|A Muse of Fire||Wally Sewell||Hannah Banister||Freddie Hutchins, Elizabeth Menabney|
|Boards||Charlie Platt||Rachel Illingworth||Rachael Hilton, Rachel Packford, Peter Rogan||Bloggers' Choice|
|Nice Sally||Joe Lidster||Jessica Radcliffe||Wendy Albiston, Stephen Kelly, Simon Kent, Asta Parry||Finalist - Winner Panel Award for Directing. Audience Award for Favourite Playwright|
|Leaves on the Line||John Hastings||Ellen Carr||Chantelle Dusette, Barry Wilson|
|Kicking and Screaming||Neil Irvine||Amanda Castro||Emma Fenney, Tom Graysham, Tom Whitelock||Bloggers' Choice|
|In a Box||Tom Collinson||Jonathon Carr||Jane Dodd, Stephen Fawkes, Amalia Vitale||Finalist - Winner Panel Awards for Playwriting and Ensemble Acting. Audience Award for Favourite Play|
|By the Weird Fountain||Thomas Willshire||Tom Bailey||Alice Bell, Ben de Halpert, Arwen Prosser, Peter Revel-Walsh|
|A Mile and a Half on a Bus||Ian Skelton||Alison Trower||Sakina Ballard, Ellie Dickens||Finalist|
|Care||Bryher Armstrong||Elf Lyons||Maya Thomas||Winner Audience Award for Favourite Director|
|Armed Forces Day||Michael Ross||Ping Ng Choon||John Hoye, Darrie Gardner, Zara Radford, James Unsworth|
|Cheaper Seats Clap Your Hands||Will Howells||Stanley Walton||Tom Blyth, Richard Fish, Lainey Shaw|
|Mud: The Urban Adventures of a Country Boy||Nick Myles||Manolis Emmanouel||Mark Parsons||Finalist|
|The Death of a Mime||Kieran Lynn||Anna Bates||Alexandra Agnew, Claude Girardi, Igor Medeiros, Francesca Reid|
|White Meat, Dark Meat, Breast or Thigh?||Tolula Dada||Lauren Bracewell||Roger Carvahlo, Daniel Francis-Swaby, Karina Knapinska, Lelo Majozi|
|The Stranger||Jeff Nolan||Ailin Conant||Leon Annor, Samuel Dent, Thom Mitchell||Finalist|
|NILF||Maya Sondhi||Sophie Moniram||Chandrika Chevli, Laura Hannah||Bloggers' Choice|
|Neil Diamond Saved My Life||Sylvia Dow||Jennifer Tang||Lisa Doran, Terry Jermyn|
Off Cut 2013
Giving time for further development and restructuring of the festival, it was decided to scale down production for 2013. Therefore, a much smaller project was devised in conjunction with Theatre 503 in Battersea. Writers were asked to submit plays between 30 and 45 minutes in length, with a view to their working closely with actors and directors, as well as with 503 dramaturg, Graeme Thompson and Off Cut's Artistic Director, Daniel Brennan to develop their plays in rehearsal. Two plays were chosen to run in a double-bill at Theatre 503 from 12 to 17 August.
No prizes were awarded, either by an panel or the audience.
Off Cut Roots
|Sophie in Wonderland||E. Moffett||Luisa Hinchliff||Samantha Béart, Elaine Harry|
|More Dead Girls||Troodie Mootz||Jessica Radcliffe||Tom Blyth, Alice Brown, Ewa Jensen, Charlotte Sutherland|