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TalkFest in the Borders

TalkFest in the Borders was a mini-festival in Galashiels from Thursday 25 - Saturday 27 January 2018. A packed programme of readings by Borders playwrights and practical workshops for aspiring writers meant there was something for everyone.

Wednesday 24 January


Place and Space

Online Webinar 
International Webinar

" The Climate of Writing for Place and Space"

Join Scotland's Jules Horne and Canada's Reneltta Arluk for an international webinar where they will take a look at different perspectives on creating theatre based on location and environment. How do your surroundings influence your writing? How is your community's culture reflected in your art?

The first installment of part of Playwrights' Guild, Canada's webinar series 2018.

Thursday 25 January


Rehearsed Readings

We kick off TalkFest in the Borders with an evening of scenes from plays created as part of the Scottish Borders Playwriting Programme.

This evening is an exciting opportunity to hear a wide range of work from emerging playwrights in the Borders.

Playwrights: Thomas ClarkCampbell HutchesonKirsty JoblingAnita JohnJohn McEwenLaura McIntyreRobert Sproul-CranSarahjane Swan & Roger Simian 

Directed by Stasi Schaeffer and Alasdair Hunter and performed script-in-hand by professional actors.

Friday 26 January

Double Bill

Rehearsed Reading

What Lies Beneath?  by Tom Murray

A fascinating insight into the script development process with this opportunity hear a new script currently being developed by Selkirk playwright Tom Murray. Be among the first to hear an extract of this brand new play, commissioned by Borders-based Firebrand Theatre Company.

Presented by Firebrand Theatre Company. Scenes will be performed script-in-hand by professional actors.
Rehearsed Reading

Brace Position by Rona Munro

A rare opportunity to hear this play, first produced in 2003.

Sister and brother Maggie and Mark board a flight from Los Angeles to Glasgow, and quickly find it is ill-fated in more ways than one. While she battles her fear of flying, he wrestles with guilt at having lost touch with his family in Scotland after settling in California. A seeming standard family drama, turns out to have a poignant and politically pertinent undertow.

Performed script-in-hand by professional actors.

Saturday 27 January


In Your Own Words

11am - 1pm

In this practical playwriting workshop, Morna Young (Lost at Sea - Eden Court, Netting - A Play, A Pie and A Pint) will share her experiences of capturing real voices on the page. Using individual exercises and group activities, Morna will provide advice on bringing life to your dialogue and narrative voice, as well as exploring her process of working with verbatim texts.

This session is suitable for emerging writers from beginner level and beyond, whether you write in prose, poetry or for the stage.


Writing for Performance: An Introduction

2 - 4pm

Join playwright and theatre maker Martin O'Connor (Togail Nàisean/Building a Nation - National Theatre of Scotland, Theology - The Arches) in a practical workshop to give you a taste of playwriting in a safe, supportive and fun environment.

This whistle-stop, nuts and bolts workshop will give you an insight into some of the techniques used by playwrights. The workshop is an opportunity for people who have never considered writing for performance, to immerse themselves in the joys and challenges of playwriting for the very first time.

Oliver Emanuel

What Is Said And What Is Not Said

4.30 - 6.30pm

What is the secret to keeping an audience enthralled? What techniques do writers use to build tension in their scripts?

Join playwright Oliver Emanuel (Flight - Edinburgh International Festival, The 306 Trilogy - National Theatre of Scotland) for a fascinating workshop on dramatic tension, text and subtext, exploring how to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. 

This workshop is suitable for writers with some previous experience.

Handfast by Jules Horne

Rehearsed Reading

A fantastic opportunity to hear the new play by Selkirk playwright Jules Horne, as a work-in-progress reading, before it opens at the Byre Theatre in June. This will be the first time the play has been heard by an audience.

Telling the story of the day leading up to Mona and Geoff's wedding, the play centres round three couples: Mona and Geoff - off their meds for the day to ensure they are "completely themselves" when they join hands. Marina -  who's organised the day, decorating, cake baking and getting her husband Neil to sort the PA. Sarah - officiating in her first ceremony as a humanist celebrant worried that her husband Mark is so distant these days.

Presented by Nutshell Theatre. Performed script-in-hand by professional actors.

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