Leeds Arts: New playwriting competition starts with four short (and free) plays

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This year sees the launch of a new playwriting competition in Leeds.

The Walter Swan Playwriting Competition attracted 200 entries from across the UK.

The competition, to encourage new writing talent, was named after the late Walter Swan, a local author and former contributor to the Yorkshire Post, who died aged 59 in April last year.

His friend and competition judge Yvette Huddleston, who has directed two of the winning plays, Evening and Antarctica, said: “We had a very good response, the idea now is to do something every year. Walter was a writer but also a fine director and when he died, his family were keen on doing something to remember him by.”

Yvette, who wrote several plays and books with Walter, added: “He had been writing long before I met him, he was always very encouraging of others, particularly in the creative arts. We whittled over 200 entries down to a shortlist of 15 and from those chose four. What we’ve ended up with are four short plays, no more than half an hour long each and with no more than four characters - that was part of the brief.

“It’s great to support rising talent and if you want to get out and see something different - and they are certainly that - then this is a great opportunity because tickets are free.”

The plays are all half an hour long, tickets are free but places must be booked in advance. The plays are Evening by Padraic Walsh, Antarctica by K S Dearsley, Following Orders by Ben Ramsey and Cutlery Drawer by Oliver Balaam.

See ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or wyp.org.uk Plays will be performed at both venues, although The Cutlery Drawer will only be shown in Ilkley.

Venues: Ilkley Playhouse, Nov 4, 7.30pm & West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nov 7, 7pm

More info: See ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or wyp.org.uk

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