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Write Here! Write Now! Rhodes heats kick off Contexture's playwriting competition


By Paul Winspear


A festival of short plays by undiscovered local writers returns to Rhodes Arts Complex in Bishop's Stortford next week.

Contexture Theatre, the Bishop's Stortford-based professional theatre company established by husband and wife Simon Anderson and Gailie Pollock, once again presents Write Here! Write Now! – the Herts & Essex Festival of Playwriting.

The festival features a total of 25 new plays by 28 writers, performed by a cast of 100 actors across six nights in three towns.

Now in its fourth year, the 2019 staging kicks off with heats at Rhodes on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (Feb 5-6) before visiting Harlow Playhouse (Wed Feb 13 and Thu Feb 14) and Hertford Theatre (Tue Feb 19) for further heats.

The 25 finalists in the competition, which was launched last autumn, will see their short plays brought to life on theatre stages by professional directors and local casts. Each night, the audience vote on the winner to go through to the grand final in Hertford on Monday February 25.

The event aims to inspire and nurture new writing talent in the region.

Simon Anderson, one of Contexture's directors, said: "The festival has grown massively since it started in 2016. We're doing six nights this year and have become a truly regional festival.

"It's a wonderful celebration of the talent we have on our doorstep and a great shop window for what theatre has to offer, but what is most inspiring is that this year we have a number of finalists who have entered before. The festival encouraged them to have a go at playwriting and they're now continuing to write and honing their skills."

The Rhodes showcases include the works of a number of local writers, and Contexture want people to come along and support them and help select the piece that will represent Bishop's Stortford in the final.

"Join us to celebrate the talent on our doorstep, enjoy the variety that theatre has to offer, have your say on the winner and perhaps help discover the next Alan Ayckbourn or Mike Leigh," said Simon.

Tickets for each of the two Rhodes nights cost £12 and are available from the theatre or Contexture's website, contexturetheatre.com, where there are more details.



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