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International Playwriting Festival at Croydon

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOR TWO days – November 18 and November 19, 2006 – new plays from all over the world are brought to life at the Warehouse Theatre’s annual International Playwriting Festival, now in its 21st year.

There will be excerpts from five plays selected by the IPF panel of judges from over 600 submitted. The festival will also present the best in new Italian writing in association with Extra Candoni, and new Greek playwriting in association with Theatro Ena in Cyprus.

Local talent will also be honoured with contributions from the Warehouse Writers Workshop and the BRIT school.

November 18 at 5pm:

The Soprano Frog by Michael Richards (IPF Snapshot).

For politician Sir David Matthews there is one golden rule: never answer a question you haven’t rehearsed. Democracy comes at a heavy price as he forces the Lip Valley dam on the citizens of Bop Tam. But as the people begin to protest, and the bullets begin to fly David finds himself between a dam and a soprano frog.

Our Secret Gardens by Felix Thomas (presented in collaboration with the BRIT school).

An exact examination of what goes on behind the closed doors of wealthy leafy suburban homes, the gardens people privately nurture and the deepest, profound desires that they never share.

The Cliff Witch and the Sea by Hannah Ashwell (IPF Selection).

In the isolated existence of a rural island community, Mea’s loneliness causes her to embrace the stories passed on by her grandmother: tales of the Cliff Witch and the secrets only the sea can hold. Her mother, Nene attempts to conceal the pains of their past. But Mea won’t stay a child forever and Nene fears she will lose her to the mainland.

November 18 at 7.30pm:

Western Woman by Rita Maffei – presented in English (in association with Extra Candoni, Italy).

A western woman embarks on a journey to a foreign land and once there, finds herself forced to confront her fears – the fears of every westerner: the inability to face and come to terms with that which is different, that from which we hide.

The idea for the play was born beneath a mosquito net on the banks of the Sabarmati River in India. First produced in Italy in 2005 and performed by Rita Maffei and actress/dancer Mallika Sarabhai, this piece then returned to its point of origin with a tour of India.

Fish Boy by Jane Elson (Warehouse Writers’ Workshop).

A runaway boy, Fish, befriends Sonia, a middle-aged shelf stacker, bored with life, bored with the routine. Can Fish’s love of bubble wrap remind Sonia how to appreciate the simpler things in life?

Death and Taxes by Mary Stewart-David and Beverly Hunt
(IPF Selection).

At heart, Doctor Luke Russell is a song and dance man with a talent for patter and jokes, anything to diffuse the inner bleakness caused by the suffering of his patients. Jenna is Luke’s patient; an accountant who hates doctors, hospitals and show business in equal measure. Most of all she hates the thought of dying before the end of the financial year…...

November 19 at 5pm:

Beyond the Good and the Bad (PER’ AP’ TO KALO KAI TO KAKO) from the novel by Nikos Nikolaides, adapted by Irena Damidou and presented in English & Greek (in association with Theatro Ena, Cyprus).

Set in 1920’s Nicosia, this is a fascinating tale of the life and hopes of two sisters over many years, exploring the darkness that lurks beneath when dreams are unfilled.

Taking time out from the run at Theatro Ena in Nicosia, the performance here will be presented in both Greek and English.

November 19 at 7.30pm:

My Love For You Will Last A Day Or Two by Paul Sayer (Warehouse Writers Workshop).

1925 and wealthy socialite Clarissa has the world at her feet and two dashing suitors. In this complicated love triangle will Clarissa get her man?

The Swordfish, then the Concubine by Kee Thuan Chye (IPF Snapshot)

Concubine Haslina is on trial, accused of associating with a fundamentalist sect and the attempted murder of the Royal Consort, Tun Dara. As she pleads her innocence the judge must decide whether she is the victim of a conspiracy.

The Kid in the Cupboard by Maude Laflamme (Warehouse Writers’ Workshop).

Following an afternoon party and just before an early night, a young couple consider the joys of parenthood. Then they discover a child in their cupboard…

Mother Russia by Alex Evans (IPF Selection).

Ewa is the proud mother of Yuri, an AWOL soldier wanted by the military police. But when Yuri’s memory is restored and he makes the decision to return to Chechnya, Ewa is forced to follow, through fear of losing him again. But when she meets a Chechnyan mother who is desperate to get to Moscow, Ewa discovers her experiences of loss are not unique.

Festival Pass: £20 (interval food included)
Day Pass: £12 (interval food included)
Individual Sessions :£5

For more information call the box office on 020 8680 4060 or visit the website.