Wellspring Writers New Work

Plays written and developed in the course of Wellspring 2023-2024

 Wellspring Showcase at Soho Theatre.

Actor: Philip Arditti

Wellspring Writers blog

Meet the Wellspring 2023 – 2024 cohort of playwrights, find out more about their interests, passions and stories they want to bring on stage. Blogs are published here.

The second round of Wellspring, our professional development programme for London-based disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent playwrights, was completed in spring 2024, following a presentation of rehearsed readings of excerpts from new plays developed by the eight Writers, with mentoring support from the programme’s delivery partners.

We were so proud to support the writing of new, exciting stories from this year’s fantastic cohort:

Ellie Dunn, Emma Dawson, Mohit Mathur, Jesse Stone, Sophia Wai Yee Ginsburg, Yaz Nin, A.L. and Em Prendergast.

Their words about the Wellspring experience have filled us with utter joy:

“I felt empowered, visible and educated.  Thank you thank you thank you! Life changing.”

“I feel so much more confident in pitching myself and approaching theatres now.”

“Really excited and thinking about pushing the limits of the relatively traditional theatre that I write.”

“A new group of friends that face similar challenges and experiences.”

Their scripts are all plays to be shown on stage in full in future, so if you are a producer, programmer, literary manager or just curious to get a glimpse into new work, read on and get in touch!

The Wellspring Plays

Rehearsed reading: Record Shop in Outer Space

Actors: Vinnie Heaven, Katie Erich

Record Shop in Outer Space

by Ellie Dunn

When the record shop in outer space is falling apart under Delilah’s watch, in drops Prudence, a grumpy Victorian who’s unprepared for the constant threat of alien invasion. Together the two women navigate time travel, lava monsters and an annoying saxophone player while trying to save the world.

Rehearsed reading: Leila-Dawn

Actors: Katie Erich, Sally Cheng

Leila-Dawn

by Emma Dawson

An ethereal drama about two sisters gathering at their Mum’s house for their annual New Year’s Eve wishing ceremony. But as the women relinquish the final light of the year and move towards the darkness of midnight, who is missing? And what is their story?

Rehearsed reading: This is Pushkar This Side

Actor: Hiran Abeysekera

This is Pushkar This Side

by Mohit Mathur

Pushkar, a seasoned call centre worker, becomes fixated on immigrating to the UK. Resorting to scams to fund his dream, he’s ultimately deceived upon arrival. The play explores the immigrant experience, social media’s influence, and the sacrifices made in pursuit of distant dreams, questioning what truly lies beyond our aspirations.

Rehearsed reading: how to be a dom when you can’t get out of bed

Actors: Vinnie Heaven, Philip Arditti, Hiran Abeysekera. BSL Interpreter/Performer: Anna Kitson

how to be a dom when you can’t get out of bed

by Jesse Stone

A reality-bending comedy drama about queer disabled sex and relationships, coming to terms with disability as a transmasculine person, and finding power and community in a world that wasn’t made for you.

Rehearsed reading: The Most Famous Lesbian in Asia

Actors: Katie Erich, Sally Cheng

The Most Famous Lesbian in Asia

by Sophia Wai Yee Ginsburg

When her billionaire father offers a dowry to any man who will marry her, Lina is forced to reckon with her father’s inability to accept her interracial queer relationship, and figure out what happens when you can’t be yourself in the place that feels the most like home.

Rehearsed reading: Curve

Actor: Philip Arditti

Curve

by Yaz Nin

Curve is a monologue from Haluk, a Turkish man who travels from his shop on Green Lanes to Chelsea to have a meal in a restaurant with his future English son-in-law. The meal and distance from his home triggers memories and musings on class, grief, migration, child hood and parenting.

Rehearsed reading: Sister Play

Actors: Vinnie Heaven, Sally Cheng

Sister Play

by A.L.

A work in progress following two sisters as they find their voices and navigate parental mental illness. It’s a tender, heartfelt, quiet play about giving and receiving support as a young person.

Rehearsed reading: I Hear You

Actor: Katie Erich

I Hear You

by Em Prendergast

A love letter to both the Working Class and Deaf community, both of which have been instrumental in shaping how I navigate the world. The show is an exploration of identity politics with the aim to open up conversation about language, class and access / inability to access disability support – all whilst (hopefully) making you chuckle.

Showcase Credits

Indiana Lown-Collins

Director: Indiana Lown-Collins

Composer and Sound Designer: Oliver Vibrans

Stage Manager: Elaine Yeung

BSL Interpreters / Performers: Erin Hutching, Anna Kitson

Filmmaker / Photographer: Stephen Rudder

Assistant Filmmaker / Photographer: Jess Lee

Cast: Hiran Abeysekera, Philip Arditti, Sally Cheng, Katie Erich, Vinnie Heaven

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to have delivered Wellspring in partnership with theatres acclaimed for championing new writing, Bush Theatre, Paines Plough, Soho Theatre, and Theatre503, with support from fellow theatre professionals and peers: Camden People’s TheatreOrange Tree Theatre and BOLD Elephant.

Special thanks to Steve Harper and Lauretta Barrow at Theatre503, Daniel Bailey at Bush Theatre, Katie Posner, Charlotte Bennett and Debo Adebayo at Paines Plough, David Luff at Soho Theatre.

With thanks to Deirdre O’ Halloran and Gillian Greer.

Wellspring has been funded by City Bridge Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund supported by players of The National Lottery.

Black letters on white that read 'Bush Theatre'

     Black letters on white read Paines Plough

     Black text on white reads 'Soho Theatre'

     Theatre503 logo.

City Bridge Foundation logo. Five horizontal straight lines representing the five bridges they own and a squiggly line representing the River Thames.
Logo of the National Lottery Community Fund. Left: crossed fingers in black and white with a smiley face formed across the folded fingers and the inside of the palm. Next to it, the words 'Community Fund' written in magenta and black respectively.