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Be prepared for a mind-bending feast of theatrical inspiration as the Momentum Showcase of new work by writers and theatre makers in the East Midlands comes to Leicester for the first time. Theatre Writing Partnership and Curve are proud to present a dynamic mix of new work for theatre created by budding playwrights, theatre makers, poets and screen writers - all from the East Midlands region - as well as well known writers Amanda Whittington and Segun Lee French. We始ll be presenting a feast of new work including script in hand extracts, full productions of work fresh off the page and one or two surprises in unexpected locations in and around the building. This year始s programme features work developed by Theatre Writing Partnership through two schemes that started in spring 2010: Young Writers for writers aged 15 to 26 and Crossovers aimed at experienced writers, actors and theatre makers. See the shows, meet the writers and tell them what you think. Bold, edgy, deep, crazy - you saw it first at Momentum...


New approaches Theatre Writing Partnership selected talented poets, devisers, screen and prose writers to cross over and apply their skills and creativity to writing for the stage. Catch this exciting new work in Extracts I and II, featuring work by Catharine Ashdown, Cathy Grindrod, Phil Nodding, Marilyn Ricci and The Gramophones. Created especially for Curve - Persistence of Vision. Generated collaboratively, through online conversations and with the guidance of writer Nick Walker (Talking Birds). Get a different view of Curve by ʻtaking a walkʼ with emerging writers from the region featuring work by Hugh Dichmont, Samuel Illingworth, Yvonne Lake, Will Morris, Ollie Smith and Roxanne Wells. Tours will take place on Friday and Saturday afternoon, between performances. New voices Theatre Writing Partnership have been delighted to work with a group of young writers, selected through a rigorous application process, who have undertaken a development journey with a mentor to produce a new play. Discover the regionʼs young talent at Extracts I, III and IV, featuring work by Subika Anwar, Sundeep Singh Maan, Mufaro Makubika, Serina Mehmi, Benjamin Norris, Alice Louise Nicholas and Louise Singleton. New plays Commissioned by Theatre Writing Partnership in 2009, Amanda Whittington, Britainʼs ʻmost consistently popular female dramatistʼ (The Guardian) shares the first ever reading of Consent, the story of Alicia, a school prom queen whose first year at University changes her life in a way she could never have expected. Developed throughout 2009, and shown at last yearʼs Momentum as a work-in-progress, Palm Wine and Stout, written by Segun Lee French and produced by Eastern Angles Theatre Company and Theatre Writing Partnership makes its East Midlands debut at Curve. Palm and Wine Stout tells the story of Taiye, born in the UK who returns to Nigeria to be reunited with his father. Discovered in 2009 and showcased in award-winning sketch show Pieces-Unity Through Comedy, Michelle Vacciana, talented comedy writer-performer, delivers USP through a USB in Fakebook, produced by Nottingham Playhouse.


A WORD FROM THEATRE WRITING PARTNERSHIP We are really excited about the writers and theatre makers we始ve worked with this year and the ideas they have been brewing. Momentum is our chance to share this work in progress and to gauge audiences responses as it continues to develop. There始s a rich mixture of material. We始ll take you from Somalia to India via Leicester high rises, the London underground and a top secret underground hideaway. Embarking on something new is always an unpredictable and sometimes bumpy ride but without passionate new work, theatre cannot excite and challenge its audiences. We hope to show you some exciting, challenging and compelling new theatre by writers of different ages and experience. In the mix we have experienced screen writers and poets writing for the stage for the first time, young writers flexing their creative muscles and an up and coming theatre company presenting an extract from their new show. We also have some well known names like Amanda Whittington giving their latest work an airing and we have some productions from Nottingham Playhouse and Eastern Angles Theatre Company. Make sure you catch Fakebook by Michelle Vacciana and Palm WIne and Stout by Segun Lee French. We始re also really excited to welcome Talawa Theatre Company to the Midlands with their acclaimed showcase Unzipped. Come and spend the week with us. We hope to see you there! Kate Chapman To book your ticket visit www.curveonline.co.uk or call the ticket office on +44(0)116 242 3595


WHAT’S ON


TUESDAY 26 OCTOBER, 7PM: FAKEBOOK Written and performed by Michelle Vacciana WEDNESDAY 27 OCTOBER, 7PM: PALM WINE AND STOUT By Segun Lee French, Produced by Eastern Angles THURSDAY 28 OCTOBER, 7PM: UNZIPPED A reading of Identity by Paul Anthony Morris FRIDAY 29 OCTOBER, 2PM: EXTRACTS I Wild Duck: Lost at Canal written and performed by The Gramophones Our Bird Cage by Sundeep Singh Maan Wallowing by Mufaro Makubika Still Missed by Alice Nicholas

Persistence of Vision

FRIDAY 29 OCTOBER, 7PM: EXTRACTS II Bygones by Catharine Ashdown Always in the Afternoon by Cathy Grindrod The Wilderness Kid by Phil Nodding The Road from Baardheere by Marilyn Ricci

SATURDAY 30 OCTOBER, 2PM: EXTRACTS III Will You Marry Me? By Subika Anwar Seven by Serina Mehmi Stakes and Ladders by Louise Singleton SATURDAY 30 OCTOBER, 7PM: EXTRACTS IV Square One by Ben Norris Consent by Amanda Whittington

Persistence of Vision


MOMENTUM & CURVE PRESENT


In her debut one-woman show, Michelle Vacciana becomes Seyonsay Knowall, a woman on the edge who attempts to stop her daughter from disappearing down a USB portal and keep her in the real world. Michelle appeared in the Nottingham Playhouse comedy showcase Pieces in 2009 and has now been commissioned by the Playhouse to develop FAKEBOOK as a stand-alone show.

FAKEBOOK Written and performed by Michelle Vacciana Produced by Nottingham Playhouse


Produced by Eastern Angles Theatre Company in association with Theatre Writing Partnership, Palm Wine and Stout tells the story of Taiye's journey to Nigeria from his native city of his Manchester to be reunited with his father and his Nigerian family. Accompanied by his British-born mother Jane, the trip raises many more questions than it answers, especially when events take an unexpected turn. Segun Lee French's autobiographical play was developed through 2009 and shown at last year's Momentum as a work in progress reading.

PALM WINE AND STOUT Written by Segun Lee French Produced by Eastern Angles Theatre Company


Talawa Theatre Company brings the Unzipped showcase out of London for the first time. This year Unzipped will platform radio plays written by emerging Black and Asian writers from across the country. Talawa have been working closely with BBC Radio Drama to develop these dynamic new plays. Now in its fifth year Talawa has made Unzipped an unmissable and provocative platform for new writing - sometimes controversial and always outspoken.

UNZIPPED Talawa Writers始 Group


CONSENT by Amanda Whittington Four drama students are devising a play which reveals disturbing truths about the world they are living in. But will they face up to what theyʼre discovering? This powerful work-in-progress explores the myths and reality of sexual violence for young women and has been developed with Nottingham Rape Crisis.


CROSSOVERS WRITERS


Crossovers was a brand new development scheme to support emerging playwrights and offer actors, live artists, poets, prose writers, screen writers and journalists the chance to ‘crossover’ in to theatre writing. In 2010 Theatre Writing Partnership opened the opportunity to people who already had some professional experience as writers or had worked professionally as actors but wanted to write for theatre. In February, a panel convened to select writers for Crossovers that included: Julius Ayodeji, stage and screenwriter and lecturer in multimedia; Dani Parr, Associate Director at Royal and Derngate; Esther Richardson, director; Beatrice Udeh, Creative Producer at Nottingham Playhouse; and TWP staff Kate Chapman and Bianca Winter. Theatre Writing Partnership supported the selected artists with a programme of one-to-one support from a producer, director, writer or other appropriate artist and the opportunity to work with a cast of performers on their piece. Each writer involved in Crossovers has a different approach to their work and so we worked with each person to put together a programme which matched their aspirations and artistic background. The Crossovers programme included one to one meetings and feedback, group sessions to bring writers together and discuss work in progress, the opportunity to work with actors and/or directors on the piece and a showcase or platform event to share the work with an audience. The idea of Crossovers was to invest in theatre writing but also to push some boundaries and examine the role of the writer in theatre making - so we were interested in particular approaches or specific ideas about the outcome of the work.


CATHARINE ASHDOWN Catharine Ashdown was born and brought up in Belfast. She is a writer and script editor, working in drama development across television, film and more recently, theatre. Her screenplay, Borderland, was commissioned by director Margo Harkin (Hush-A-Bye Baby). Hometown, a series bible, was commissioned by ITV Drama. Her short film, Wings, directed by Esther Richardson has been selected by EM Media as part of this year始s DV Shorts. Bygones is her first stage play - but not, she hopes, her last.

BYGONES A Belfast pub, 1995. As the crowd gathers outside to greet President Clinton始s historic visit, Carmel, a Catholic, and Dan, a Protestant, each try to make sense of their troubled past. catharine@scriptdevil.co.uk


Image credit: Ricki Lage


THE GRAMOPHONES The Gramophones are a dynamic all female ensemble of theatre makers who specialise in playful, witty, interactive theatre with a twinkle in its eye. For the last year the Gramophones have been working and playing together through the devising process. Wild Duck: Lost at Canal is their first journey into the uncharted waters of theatre writing. The Gramophones are Kath Akers, Ria Ashcroft, Sian Dudley, Kristy Guest and Hannah Stone.

WILD DUCK: LOST AT CANAL All aboard the Wild Duck for a journey that isn't quite shipshape. Follow our intrepid and slightly inept adventurers as together they embark upon a voyage into the unexpected. The audience are invited to play within this interactive, clown-inspired world. www.gramophonestheatre.wordpress.com gramophonestheatre@googlemail.com Hannah Stone 07929 168436


CATHY GRINDROD Cathy Grindrod is a Derbyshire writer, originally from Lancashire. She was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2005-2007 and has published five poetry collections, the most recent being The Sky Head On (Shoestring Press). In 2008 she wrote the libretto to More Glass Than Wall, an oratorio in collaboration with composer James Redwood, nominated for a BBC Radio 3 British Composer of the Year Award. Cathy is a working poet and freelance literature worker, tutor and consultant. In 2009 she was second prizewinner in the East Midlands Airport/New Perspectives Dream Up Monologue Writing Competition. Always in the Afternoon is her first play, and she is looking forward to continuing what has now become an absorbing and addictive interest in theatre.

ALWAYS IN THE AFTERNOON Cathyʟs play, Always in the Afternoon, is the story of four women – all related directly by birth, but not all known to one another. It is a tale of cuckoos, the 1960s, adoption, identity, and what happens when individuals face responsibility for their feelings and actions, and for each other. It is the story of many, told through letters, statistics, and through the experiences of a single family. www.cathygrindrod.co.uk cathy.grindrod@btinternet.com


PHIL NODDING Manchester born screenwriter now based in Nottingham and represented by Elinor Burns at Casarotto Ramsay. Phil originally worked as a journalist then a location manager before taking up writing full-time. Given his first break by Paul Abbott on series 2 of 'Shameless' Phil went on to write for the BBC1 Kay Mellor drama ʻThe Chaseʼ. He is currently developing an original TV drama series and is commissioned to write a screenplay for a romantic comedy. Last year Phil co-wrote ʻHighlitesʼ, an afternoon play for Radio 4 and has been commissioned to write a drama series Womanʼs Hour. Phil won the RTS Midlands New Talent Award in 2006 for his first episode of Shameless and won the BBC Writersroom ʻInside the Boxʼ competition. Phil established the internet film site www.britfilms.tv, exec-producing a slate of short films under the ʻThree Minute Warningsʼ scheme.

THE WILDERNESS KID A mum and dad are desperately trying to control the outlandish behaviour of their drug-addicted sixteen-year-old son. Unable to cope they take the drastic step of having him kidnapped and taken to an extreme brat camp in the middle of a Wisconsin forest. The traumatic weeks that follow threatens to tear apart the family apart for ever.

phil.nodding@btopenworld.com 07768 880685


MARILYN RICCI Marilyn Ricci's short play Sixteen had a rehearsed reading at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton as part of Momentum 2009 and was subsequently chosen for a further reading at The Old Queen's Head in Islington in May of this year. Her previous drama has been shortlisted in competitions and produced/workshopped by theatre companies in Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire. She is also a poet published by HappenStance Press.

THE ROAD FROM BAARDHEERE The Road From Baardheere focuses on the civil war in Somalia which has raged for twenty years.  In 1991, Arwo and her son, Nadif, are forced to flee Mogadishu as mayhem follows the fall of the government, clan warfare breaks out and their clothing shop is reduced to rubble. The violence and chaos of the road sees them desperate to find a place of safety, struggling to survive. Twenty years later, Qamaasha and Samawade, who managed to flee to the West, have their own problems - dealing with a rebellious teenager, local yobs and, of course, damage and loss from the past, guilty secrets - in particular an incident on the road from Baardheere. m.ricci@btinternet.com


YOUNG WRITERS


The Young Writers programme began in 2002 and has helped the launched the careers of professional writers from the East Midlands who sent in their scripts while at school or university and then went on to get professional work as writers in theatre, television and radio. The programme offered young writers the chance to develop a new idea for a stage play or piece of writing for theatre with support and help from established theatre writers and directors. Professional actors were also brought in for rehearsed readings and workshops to help the writers improve and develop their writing. We run the Young Writers Programme to support young people with a passion and a flair for theatre writing. We aim to help them develop their skills, explore their ideas and bring them into contact with professional writers, directors and actors who will have an input into the development of their work. By working with young writers we hope to encourage and nurture the theatre writers of the future, to diversify and extend the stories available to audiences and to offer young writers connections and relationships within the world of professional theatre. The Young Writers Programme included one to one meetings and feedback, group sessions and workshops to bring writers together and discuss work in progress, the opportunity to work with actors and/or directors on the piece and a showcase or platform event to share the work with an audience.


SUBIKA ANWAR Subika is an enthusiastic playwright and has been writing for three years. As a creative writing graduate Subika has gone on to develop her work at Kali (a theatre company in London which presents new writing by South Asian women). As a member of the young writers programme at The Roundhouse in Camden, her work was performed and developed with the help of Nabokov Theatre Company. Subika has more recently tried her hand at acting after appearing in performances at The Curve and The Royal and Derngate Theatre based in her hometown of Northampton and hopes to continue being a part of the stage.

WILL YOU MARRY ME? Will You Marry Me takes a comedic step into family values and traditions within the Pakistani culture.  Infuriated by family pressure to get married and settle down, Sebastian comes up with a radical solution which he thinks will allow him to please his family as well as himself. With a longing to follow his own desires and ambitions he makes the deal. But cold feet on the day of the wedding can only lead to potentially disastrous consequences, where the bride is left asking 'Will You Marry Me? subika_anwar13@hotmail.com 07518 356209


Image credit: Vijay Jethwa


SUNDEEP SINGH MAAN Sundeep Singh Maan has worked as an actor in the Punjabi television serial ʻChunni Teh Sitareʼ - Stars on a Veil and in various theatre productions across the UK alongside working as a model. Influenced heavily by his Indian roots, Sundeep hopes to be able to further enhance the representation of British Asian theatre. Writing has always been a passion that he has followed from childhood, be it from writing and directing plays at school or writing as film critic for Channel4.com. Whilst being part of the TWP scheme, he has also been selected to showcase his work at the Birmingham School of Acting and National Theatre for his upcoming piece, ʻThe Decision of Choice.ʼ

SADA CHIDIAN DA CHAMBA OUR BIRD CAGE A daughter is kept like a bird in a cage until marriage, fed, watered and admired by all until the day comes for her to fly away to another land. Sada Chidian Da Chamba – Our Bird Cage, is a story of three generations, mother, daughter, grandson, bound by love and chained by honor. Based around a traditional Punjabi folk song, the story takes place amidst an orthodox Sikh family where freedom comes at the price of relationships and love is marred by politics. Inspired by true life events, Sada Chidian Da Chamba – Our Bird Cage, is a universal story that crosses manmade boundaries and questions the reality of freedom and forbiddance. sundeepsingh87@yahoo.co.uk 07861 737676


Image credit: Simon Annand


MUFARO MAKUBIKA Mufaro Makubika is a young, new writer based in Nottingham. He is currently part of the Royal Court Theatre始s Invitational Group. His debut work was performed at the Nottingham Playhouse this year, a joint commission by Paines Plough and Nottingham Playhouse.

WALLOWING Malcolm and Harriet have suffered a terrible loss which has changed their lives as they know it forever, but life does not stop even if you have stopped. Follow a couple始s individual journeys on a single day as they seek to reconnect with the world around them, each other and find a way of carrying on. chileshye@yahoo.co.uk


SERINA MEHMI I'm 16, I'm just starting my A levels, and come from Derby. My school wasn't seen as the best, but it's unfair to label a school bad, because I've learnt so much from it and many of the teachers and essentially many of us achieved results to be proud of. However, aside from this, the main thing I've learnt is how important diversity is and how valuable it is to embrace other cultures. My school is made up of a large muslim, caribbean, african, white and indian community along with many other ethnicities and religions. Writing a play has been a whole new experience, but I'm hoping that through this, play writing can seem more accessible to people who wouldn't usually enter that sort of realm. I hope that I can voice the opinions of those who don't usually have a voice or even better, inspire them to want to have a voice themselves.

SEVEN Waiting for the Southbound Piccadilly line tube from Kings Cross, its unknowing passengers – businessmen, tourists, couples, singles and teenagers - continue with their routines.  In the space of a few minutes, ripples are sent through the UK, and the lives of many are changed forever. Seven, a play set on the morning of the 7/7 bombings observes complications of religion, stereotypes, fate, love and change through the conversations of people on a tube platform on an undeniably unusual morning exposing their diverse yet simple lives. sren25@gmail.com 07926 886197


ALICE NICHOLAS Alice Nicholas is an experienced applied theatre practitioner and actor/facilitator who has worked for several theatre in education companies in the Midlands and London throughout her career. Alice currently works full time at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry running their Acting Out programme with young people. Alice has written for stage mostly, her work has been performed at the Hampstead Theatre in London as part of a Start Night event in 2008 and as part of the Daring Pairings Young Writers Festival in October 2009.

STILL MISSED ʻStill Missedʼ captures a moment in time on an estate in Leicester in 2010 several years after a tragic event has polluted every vein of the community. “She didnʼt belong to you”. This play invites its audience to witness the repercussions of this event and the lives of those it affected most intimately; asking where does the responsibility lie when an innocent life is lost? alice_louise_nicholas@yahoo.co.uk 07525 357234


BENJAMIN NORRIS Ben's interest in theatre began as an actor - training with Youth Music Theatre, the National Youth Theatre, and Frantic Assembly - but quickly expanded to include devising, writing and directing. Square One is his first full-length play, following Seaside, a one-act piece submitted in application for the TWP's Young Writers' Programme. Born in Nottingham, where he recently finished A-Level study, Ben is now taking time to travel and concentrate on writing and running.

SQUARE ONE At the pinnacle of their illustrious careers, the five most powerful men on the planet are forced to make what they consider to be an unavoidable decision. It is a decision that directly affects the entire world, the consequences of which are impossible to comprehend. In a claustrophobic melting-pot of egos, where the political very quickly becomes the personal, pants are as important as policies, and the currency of these men's lives changes beyond recognition. ben_nozza@hotmail.co.uk


LOUISE SINGLETON Louise Singleton was born in Nottingham and has recently graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree in Drama. She started writing two years ago and has currently written two thirty-minute plays, Locked and Circled. Locked was produced and well received by Loughborough Student Unionʼs Stage Society in February 2010 within a showcase event that Louise also organised. Her experience in theatre includes a variety of acting and production roles including the direction of Christopher Bondʼs Sweeney Todd in 2009.

STAKES AND LADDERS Just another day at the office, taking notes, filing, photocopying… and eliminating your bossʼs competition by any means necessary. How far would you go to keep your job to support your family, raise your child and support that overbearing wife? Would you be able to stay true to who you are? Or get swallowed up in this relentless business world? louise.singleton@ntlworld.com www.twitter.com/LouSWriter


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Brick walls inside, singing bollards outside and plenty of glass: Curve is a building that wants to bring the outside in and display what始s inside to those without. Six writers have traversed the public spaces of Curve, picking out nooks and crannies and responding to the twinned experiences of the observer and the observed. Come and witness performances of dramatic texts that illuminate and enliven the unique edges of Curve: edges of performance spaces; edges of public spaces; edges of social spaces; edges of private spaces. Come and discover Curve with persistence of vision.

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Meet the nihilists at Curve始s Cafe bar for a mobius strip of a walking Ollie thinks latecomers will not be permitted to enter the theatre, tour that pauses now and then to witness some strange goings on... but Roxanne offers a quiet bar for the unpunctual. Yvonne knows Hugh muses on the utility of signs and the intimacy of the public a pair that might be waiting a long time for Waiting for Godot and space, whilst Sam thinks there始s something fishy about Directive 123 Will wonders about curvaceous buildings. to book your place on the zoetrope, go to twp2009.wordpress.com/projects/persistence-of-vision/


written by Hugh Dichmont, Samuel Illingworth, Yvonne Lake, Will Morris, Ollie Smith and Roxanne Wells with intrepid guide Nick Walker

Meet the writers and see the process at www.persistentvision.posterous.com


THANKS TO... CROSSOVERS AND YOUNG WRITERS MENTORS Our mentors have done a sterling job this year. Thanks to Nayla Ahmed, Ola Animashawun, Daniel Buckroyd, Clare Duffy, Arzhang Pezhman, Esther Richardson, Peter Rumney, Kully Thiarai, Nick Walker and Amanda Whittington. DIRECTORS AND MOMENTUM STAFF Momentum festival comes together as the work of many. Thanks to directors Adel AlSalloum, Poonam Brah, Daniel Buckroyd, Kate Chapman, Giles Croft, Pete Meakin, Arzhang Pezhman, and Tom Wright. Thanks to sound designer Adam McCreedy, TWP interns Gareth Morgan and Beth Shouler, our designers Katapult and the staff at Curve, who have been very accommodating. REGIONAL THEATRES Our programme is supported year-round by theatres with a commitment to new writing. Thanks to Curve, Derby LIVE, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham Playhouse and Royal & Derngate. THE PERFORMERS ...who admirably breathe life into the words on the page. GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND


Momentum 2010