HARTS THEATRE COMPANY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LYRIC HAMMERSMITH PRESENTS THE YOUNG HARTS WRITING FESTIVAL 6 - 7 APRIL 2018
Young Harts Writing Festival is an inter-borough writing festival, which merges the gap between emerging young artists and professional artists. Through an online competition, five plays written by emerging young writers are chosen. They receive a free writing master class, this year with theatre-maker and poet Inua Ellams, and another month to complete their plays. Each young writer will be partnered with a professional writer as a mentor.
This year's emerging writers are: Masha Kevinova, Mariam Hayat, Simeon Blake, Tyrell Williams, Sophie Wright and Ruby Foley (special commendation writer) who will compete against Kalungi Ssebandeke, Milly Thomas, Sarah Kosar, Nathan Byron and Emma Dennis-Edwards.
Plays will be directed Daniel Bailey and Ann Akin.
Tickets £10 (£5 concessions)
meet our SPECIAL COMMENDATION WRITER
MEET THE PRO WRITER: nathan byron
We speak to pro writer and actor Nathan Byron about how he started out his career, playing Joey in ITV sitcom Benidorm and what he's up to at the moment...
1) Hey Nathan, so how did you get involved with Young Harts Festival?
I got involved when the wonderful Ann Akin, Harts Theatre Company Artistic Director, dropped me that fire email and asked me if I would be on this year's pro writer line-up. I was super flattered because I've never been called a pro writer before. Now I wonder if'll I ever feel like it's fitting, haha! Will anyone call me pro again? Tune in on 6 and 7 April at the festival for the answer.
2) Besides from playwriting, you're also an actor and currently star in Benidorm as Joey. How did you get into acting?
I started acting as part of Lyric Hammersmith's youth theatre, where I would try to to do every single workshop they ever had, even the choir. I just wanted to try everything and try to live my triple theatre dreams until I realised, man ain't no triple threat, so I just worked hard on acting, because singing and dancing ain't really my vibe, unless I'm drunk.
I then got my first agent after performing in a show. Getting Benidorm was literally only 3-4 years ago, but honestly it changed my life and I learnt that one audition can literally change your life for years and years. I love the show, the people I work with are legends. It's just LIT.
Quick plug plug Benidorm is on Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV. Tune in and keep a brother paid plz.
3) You're currently working on a web series, Reality 2.0. Can you tell us a bit about this?
So Reality 2.0 is part of my #Reality series which is a social commentary anthology series about being young, black and british. Every episode covers a different topic that is being discussed in the black diaspora. One of the best moments of my life was when we screened series two at the BFI and we had like 300 plus people there. I will never ever, ever forget. I love making the web-series, it's my total passion project, in fact I'm going to for series 3.
Another quick plug plug you can watch series 1 and 2 here www.realitywebseries.com then tweet about it because that's how this world works now.
4) Do you have a favourite playwright and why?
Is it terrible to say I don't? I just try to watch as much theatre as possible, especially theatre with black people in it. I have playwrights who inspire me like Roy Williams, Arinze Kene, Somalia Seaton, Lynette Linton and Natalie Ibu (who is a director but a theatre don).
5) Do you have any pro tips for aspiring writers/people trying to forge a career in the arts?
Yeah just be AUDACIOUS with your wants and dreams, you deserve it. Try to create as much as possible.
If you're a writer, try and write everyday, it doesn't have to a play or a film script or anything, just write freely, about anything. After you create I would say try to SHARE as much as possible, as that is the best way to get feedback (it can hurt but you get better). Don't restrict your style and be scared to experiment in different forms. When I started writing I was like 'ok I'm a playwright', but then I realised I could write films so I started doing that. I've also recently just got my first kids' book deal and no-one told me I could write for books for kids - but I tried it and it worked, so experiment in ALL of the mediums.
6) For the sake of the festival we know you can't tell us anything about your play - but are you able to tell us what audiences might expect?
I have no idea how they will receive what I have written, I'm shooketh, it's different for me
MEET THE PRO WRITER: SARAH KOSAR
Ahead of Young Harts Writing Festival, we catch up with Sarah Kosar. As well as being on the pro writer line-up for this year's show, she's also a playwright and the Head of Talent at the music-tech start up ROLI. We find out more...
Hey Sarah, what have you been upto recently?
In terms of writing, I'm currently under commission to the Old Vic Theatre as one of the Old Vic 12 to write a new play (Our Name is Not John) this year. I'm also working with director Debbie Hannan on a new play called The Monica Lewinsky Project which we will be going into R&D for in early April.
Amazing! How did you get involved with Young Harts Festival?
I had heard brilliant things about Young Harts Festival over the past few years and one fall day last year Harts Theatre Company Associate Director Roy Alexander Weise gave me a call to ask me to get involved. Roy and I worked together on Butter Brain, my full length play for young people with Young and Talented at Broadway Barking Theatre in 2016.
Tell us more about working with The Old Vic...
The Old Vic 12 is a year long attachment consisting of writers, directors, designers, producers, composers and even a puppet maker. Throughout the 12 months, the group of us collaborate to create new work, receive mentorship, and give workshops to emerging artists. I'm totally psyched after turning in my first draft of my play Our Name is Not John to prepare for a week of development with our team in May. Although we're only three months in, the other eleven have changed the way I think about my work and practice. Also they're all just stellar human beings.
And alongside that, you're also Head of Talent at music startup ROLI - can you tell us a bit about that?
At ROLI, I lead the Talent function which means searching, interviewing and growing our multidisciplinary team. I hire for roles as varied as Financial Controller to R&D Mechatronics Engineer.
Would you say you have a favourite playwright?
I wouldn't say I have a favourite but my top three would be Lucy Prebble, Young Jean Lee and Sarah Kane. They each have an instantly recognisable style and voice that permeates their work.
Any pro tips for aspiring writers?
Constantly ask yourself why does this story need to be onstage and live?
For the sake of the festival we know you can't tell us anything about your play - but are you able to tell us what audiences might expect?
To feel right at home....
HARTS THEATRE COMPANY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LYRIC HAMMERSMITH PRESENTS THE YOUNG HARTS WRITING FESTIVAL 2018
Submissions open from 5th January - 16th February 2018 5pm
the THEME IS HOME
Young Harts Writing Festival is an inter-borough new writing festival, which merges the gap between emerging young artists and professionals. Through an online competition, six plays from emerging young writers will be chosen. They receive a £100 commission and a free writing master class with INUA ELLAMS, as well as another month to complete their plays. Each young writer will be partnered with a professional writer as a mentor.
Not limited to, but we are particularly interested in ethnically diverse writers.