London theatre news: Friday 15 May 2020

Online - Opera - Playwriting - Projects

19 of the UK's most exciting playwrights have written a series of short pieces for the nation - for anyone to read and record a performance!
Image for ImagiNation from Theatre Centre and Theatre503

Image courtesy Theatre Centre and Theatre503

Theatre Centre, in collaboration with Theatre503, has commissioned 19 of the UK's most exciting playwrights to write short pieces for the nation, for anyone to read and record a performance.

The stories are for everyone - individuals, families, flatmates, school children, care homes and youth theatres - to submit their version, bringing writers and communities together across the country in exciting and unpredictable acts of everyday creativity.

In keeping with Theatre Centre's commitment to generate exceptional work in a time of crisis, their anthology will bring people together through the art of storytelling and serve as a timely reminder that we are all coping differently.

Theatre Centre and Theatre503 will use a selection of the recordings to create a patchwork of the nation - a reflection of these stories told by a multitude of voices.

They are pleased to have teamed up with Nick Hern Books, one of the UK's leading play publisher and performing rights licensors, to be the Publishing Partner for ImagiNation.

Artistic Director of Theatre503, Lisa Spirling, commented ...

"Theatre503 are buzzing to be a part of Theatre Centre's brilliant ImagiNation project.

This is a unique opportunity for us, one where we get to ask the best playwrights in the country (many of whom started their playwriting journey at Theatre503) to be inspired by the moment we are in, and to share that inspiration with the nation, who then tell that story for themselves."

Rob Watt, Artistic Director of Theatre Centre added ...

We wanted to be able to give families, young people, friends, flatmates something that they could have fun with, as a distraction or a way to reflect on the oddness we are all experiencing.

I am super excited to be working with Theatre503 and nineteen frankly awesome writers.

I can't wait to see what the nation creates."

You'll find the scripts for all of the plays here and Theatre Centre is also providing fun tutorial videos to inspire and perfect the recordings.

These include top performance tips from actors, directorial insights into how to film and approach the text, as well as vocal coaching to enhance delivery and bring the stories to life.

Here's an example ...

Find all the other video guides here.

Once you've perfected your recordings, you can submit them here by 6pm Wednesday 10th June 2020.

ImagiNation follows Theatre Centre's previously announced digital writing course, seeking to champion the next generation of voices under the guidance of professional writers.

Through these pioneering projects, striving to make opportunities for writers to keep creating work, Theatre Centre currently have an impressive 23 individual writers under contract over 31 commissions between April - June 2020, responding to the recent uncertainty with creativity and togetherness.

Later in the year, in association with Soho Theatre, Theatre Centre will tour a powerful piece of new writing from award-winning playwright Charlotte Josephine, Birds and Bees, interrogating the complicated dynamics of teenage relationships in the digital age.

You can find out more about Birds and Bees here.

The ImagiNation stories have been written by:

Jon Brittain, Ryan Calais Cameron, Alex Critoph, Zinnie Harris, Matilda Ibini, Asif Khan, Geraldine Lang, Bethan Marlow, Eoin McAndrew, Nicholas McQuillan, Nessah Muthy, Amy Ng, Chinonyerem Odimba, Lettie Precious, Leo Skilbeck, Julie Tsang, Daniel Ward, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Theatre Centre patron Roy Williams.

The tutorial videos feature:


Adjoa Andoh

Natalie Blair

Ian Bonar

Lisa Bridge

Natalie Dew

Liam Glover

Youssef Kerkour

Tom McCall

Miles Mitchell

Rebekah Murrell

Thomas Pickles

Eloise Secker

Dawn Sievewright

Simon Startin


Tian Brown-Sampson

Moses Ssebandeke

Voice Coach: Gary Horner


Imagination website

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