Playwright and dramaturg Amy Bethan Evans is a visionary writer and Bristol-based creative. She has just completed a ‘Write to Play’ a training programme with the inspiring and ground-breaking Graeae Theatre Company. Amy is also company director of Makeshift Wings and curator for ‘New Writing‘ festival at the Bierkeller. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy for the first time, we chatted about script development for theatre in Bristol and her journey to become a playwright.
Image by Carl Newland
I first met Liz Clarke when she delivered the Dare Devil Diva project as part of Drastic productions, she continues to work to empower and inspire Bristol people. As a practising artist who works in social engagement, it is essential to have a strong artist persona, which Liz manages magnificently. We met up and chatted over a pint at the Windmill pub.
I asked Liz if there were reoccurring themes in her work, which of course there are. ‘Otherness in feminism, gender roles, hyper-feminine archetypes and using the body in performance art.’
Radio 4’s Alison Crawford has produced and directed many outstanding, thought-provoking radio plays. Alison was nominated for the ‘Radio Academy Awards‘ in 2011 for producing and directing the ‘Recordist‘. She was also short-listed for Sony Radio Academy Award 2010 for ‘Best Single Drama’ for ‘Cavity‘.
Do you have a set requirement for genres?
Do you have opportunities for new writers?
I’m based in the Radio and Music department in Bristol and as we have a quite a small output guarantee (7 x 2.15pm drama slots and 2 x weeks of 15 minute drama slots for R4 per year) we’re not able to offer a lot of opportunity for new writers for drama but occasionally we’ll get a drama commissioned by a new writer. We also produce a number of short stories here for R4 and we often commission new writers to radio for those. For new writers I’d recommend contacting the Writer’s Room http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/ or producers from a larger drama department.
Bernadette Russell is a writer, performer, comedian; she creates magic and naughtiness in equal measure. She is based in Deptford, London, so it’s cheating a bit to include her in my Bristol based research. However she does perform nationally and I am claiming Bernadette’s Bristol parts for this interview. Her most recent touring play was the internationally inspiring ‘366 days of Kindness’. Her company ‘White Rabbit’ is a creative powerhouse of performance, writing and innovative ideas. Bernadette inspires many people every day including myself.
Bristol based poet and playwright Edson Burton, is highly a highly accomplished writer with infectious creative energy. I have followed Edson’s work for over a decade and was entranced by his first collection of poems, ‘Seasoned’. At the time Edson had an enviable dilemma of having two of his plays opening on the same night in different parts of the city. I wrote to Edson to tell him how I’d been inspired by his poetry and he replied with generosity and kindness. Since then he jokingly told me, he’d rather people were not inspired to write after experiencing his work, but instead be struck with an inability to express themselves after listening to such greatness! I can understand that wish, the desire to write something so bright and complete it could silence the stars. A few Bristol people may well have put down their pens after an ambitious complex creative achievement of the interactive play, ‘The Ithaca Axis’. Edson has written and continues to write a variety of radio plays for BBC radio 4 and theatre productions and continues to write compelling stories across genres. More recent works include ‘Icarus In Love’, which appeared at ‘The Bike Shed’ Exeter. He inspires many writers to spill their ink and strengthen their identities on the page.