Oliver Award-winning playwright James Graham and director Thomas Hescott are seeking new and undiscovered writers to collaborate on the uniquely multi-authored, Dickens-inspired play Sketching this autumn at Wilton’s Music Hall (26 September to 27 October 2018, with a press night on 2 October).
Inspired by Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens’ first novel which chronicled all walks of Victorian London Life, Graham and Hescott want to hear from emerging talents – particularly those currently underrepresented in the industry – with exciting and innovative story and character ideas. Successful applicants will receive £1,000 for their story, as well as expenses to attend a masterclass week with professional artists and writers. The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2018.
James Graham said:
“We’re all aware of the growing deficit of opportunities for emerging artists from working class, regional backgrounds. We know there are far too few writers finding stages who are women or people of colour, a mix of nationalities and faiths. We’re looking for a team of writers to contribute strands, to help us work together to interweave them, and collaborate on generating more, together.”
Thomas Hescott added: “You don’t have to have read or seen any Charles Dickens. What you may know, though, is that he wrote BIG STORIES. Life and death. Heroes and villains. High stakes, wants and needs. Who are the modern-day pickpockets, money-lenders, street-sellers and Christmas Ghosts? You don’t have to know the entire plot yet. We just want an exciting ‘proposition’.”
Sketches by Boz (1836) was Charles Dickens’ first novel (published under the pen-name ‘Boz’). The book is a richly varied collection of observations and fantasies about London and the people who inhabited it in the 19th century, in honest and visionary descriptions of everyday life and people
James Graham has enjoyed huge critical success as a playwright and writer for TV and film. Following a sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, his most recent play, Quiz, a provocative new play about Charles Ingram, the man convicted of cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is now running at the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre. In 2017, his play Ink opened to critical acclaim at the Almeida and transferred to the West End in September 2017, where it played in the theatre next door to another of his plays Labour of Love– creating theatre history.
Director Thomas Hescott has previously collaborated with James Graham on Tory Boyz in the West End. He is the co-author of Outings, which toured nationally. He co-wrote and directed The Act for Ovalhouse, which subsequently transferred to the West End. His production of Wolves at the Window transferred from the Arcola Theatre to 59E59, Off-Broadway, and he was named on the BBC’s Hot List of New Talent. He is executive director of Stage Directors UK.