In March, the Sherman launched the New Welsh Playwrights Programme to find the best of new writing from Welsh or Wales based artists. The Sherman was inundated with submissions and 14 scripts were chosen to be a part of the programme. The 14 playwrights are currently taking part in weekly sessions that will help develop their skills in writing for theatre, led by playwright Brad Birch (Royal Court, Sherman Cymru, Soho Theatre). The playwrights will be sharing their thoughts on the process. Here, Branwen Davies describes the first session.
First session. Arrive. There’s a buzz in the foyer. An audience for a show in the studio. Rehearsals full swing in the main house. The Sherman Theatre definitely feels an enticing and welcoming space not just for an audience but also for practitioners and writers alike to get involved and to be nurtured.
Writing’s a lonely business. Simply having the opportunity to talk, discuss, laugh, question and share experiences with other writers is invaluable. Brad provides a great balance between writing exercises to fire inspiration, engaging discussions on what theatre can be and sharing his own experiences and what he’s picked up along the way having worked with mentors such as Simon Stephens and Leo Butler. It was pretty impossible not to leave fired up and excited about the possibilities of what could be explored and created over the coming weeks.