13th January 2021
Chesil Theatre, the leading Winchester community theatre company, is pleased to announce the top ten winners of TakeTen, a national competition and festival of new writing.
Entries were invited from writers in the format of a 10-minute play based on the theme The Road Not Taken. An independent panel of judges from the world of professional theatre and drama had the task of selecting the winners from over 400 entries submitted from across the UK. The winners are:
A Desert Place
A Grande Day Out
All Our Lives,
Along Any Minute
Pufferfish Over the Carpathians
Waiting For a Fare
The plays cover every genre of theatre from absurdist to tragedy, satire to black comedy. Many writers explored topics of particular relevance to 2020 – loneliness, family relationships, retrospection. The ten plays are now cast with 24 actors and 10 directors.
Chesil Theatre Chairman David Small said:
“We have been delighted that TakeTen has been well received with so many participants from all across the UK. Chesil Theatre is pleased to play its small part in giving writers the challenge of creating a unique work within a prescribed format and theme, with the opportunity to see their work premiered on stage.”
The ongoing pandemic means that Chesil Theatre will need to adapt its approach to producing the festival. As Hampshire is currently in national lockdown, rehearsals are being held online. There is a possibility of initial streamed performances. The Company is determined to see this special festival brought to the stage once government guidance allows.
In previous festivals an intense weekend of four performances has taken place when writers, judges, actors, directors and audiences could all meet and share thoughts. Chesil Theatre will work towards once again making this aspect an essential element of the event.
Chesil Theatre has been running new writing festivals biennially since 2008 and has received positive encouragement from the professional theatre including a visit from Sir Ian McKellen who watched a performance in 2014.
Most recently, when the new TakeTen Festival was announced in May 2020 Sir Kenneth Branagh said:
“Three cheers for Winchester’s Chesil Theatre! At a time of challenge for all, they have bravely looked to creativity and imagination. Their new writing competition can lead the way to new ideas and new and entertaining ways to look at our changed and changing world.
“I hope these exciting writers will help herald the return of live amateur theatre, a vital part of Britain’s creative ecosystem.”
For further information please contact:
Chesil Theatre Marketing Team
About Chesil Theatre
Chesil Theatre (Winchester Dramatic Society) is based in the heart of Winchester, presenting six main productions a year, ranging from comedy to classics. Chesil Theatre also runs drama workshops and readings, plus two lively youth theatre groups as well as offering stagecraft and technical training. The Company has been performing for over 150 years.
Since 1966 Chesil Theatre has been the Society’s permanent home - a former 12th century church in Chesil Street, Winchester. This medieval building provides an intimate 75-seat studio-style theatre and versatile performance space.
About the judges for TakeTen
- Kate Spencer, stage and television actor, currently playing Grace Vickers in Coronation Street.
- George Richmond-Scott, West End director and voice coach, presently teaching at ALRA and RADA Business.
- Rosanne Collinson, Head of Drama, Peter Symonds College, Winchester
- Simon Plumridge, core member of Winchester’s professional touring company Platform 4
- Cecily O’Neill, author, Artistic Director of 2Time Theatre and a previous judge for Chesil Theatre writing festivals.