Present : Tense / Seven


22 June 2008 Southwark Playhouse


The return of the toughest creative challenge in town. A group of playwrights, directors, poets and musicians have just one week to respond to the most important news story of the moment.

Stop Press: After long discussions and three rounds of voting, the group decided that the most important news story of the moment was the effects of spiralling oil prices - expounded in this article from Saturday's Daily Express: Just three days to anarchy: How quickly would the country grind to a halt if fuel ran out?

Running Order The Mechanism by Phil Porter directed by Vicky Jones starring Matti Hughton, Alice Selwyn and Gary Shelford

Dear Street Cleaner by Inua Ellams

Only The Closed Eyes Are Saved by Jack Ladenburg

Oil Heart Mother by Adriano Shaplin directed by Elizabeth Freestone starring Kait Davis, Simon Kane and Jonjo O'Neill

In the Interval: Photography by Ludovic Des Cognets

Such A Wonderful Man To Be At The Beck And Call Of by Jack Ladenburg

See you Tomorrow by Sarah May and The Mayhem Company directed by Ben May starring Anthony Adjeckum, Nicholas Ako, Edirin Eruesegbefe, Mia Korell, Jade Lewis, Benjamin May, Laura Misch, Pascale Morrison Derbyrshire, Ardilson Mutshipayi, Raeesha Saleems and Alex Simpson

Friends I Come To You With The Most Wonderful Opportunity by Joe Dunthorne

Puffin by Tom Morton Smith directed by Lisa Spirling starring Philip Arditti, Donna Berlin, Chris Gilling and Tim Samuels

Biogs Ludovic des Cognets (photographer) Coming from France to the UK in 2003 to study, Ludovic moved to London in 2005 after graduating from DeMonfort University in Graphic Design. Since then, he has been working as a freelance photographer, designer and filmmaker for various theatre and dance companies, including the National Theatre, Oval House, Laban and Teet Kask. He regularly collaborates with emerging dance artists such as Jasmiina Sipilä and Sonja Jokiniemi.

Joe Dunthorne (performance poet) Joe Dunthorne's debut novel, Submarine, is published by Penguin/Hamish Hamilton. It was shortlisted for the Wodehouse Bollinger prize for comic fiction. He is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at UEA, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown Prize. His poetry has been published widely and featured on Channel 4 and BBC Radio 3.

Inua Ellams (performance poet) Inua is a Word & Graphic Artist currently residing in London. Born in Nigeria, '84, he quickly fell in love with visual art and worked solely in this field until he started writing in '02. Constantly striving to merge the disciplines, his work in both fields is known for its unashamed beauty and attention to detail. Inua's first book titled Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales was published in '05, a stunning collection of "short stories disguised as long poems". To date, he has worked in a wide variety of venues, from the Queen Elizabeth Hall to The Tate Modern to Theatres: The Albany, The Stratford Theatre Royal, festivals: Glastonbury to Latitude, to the BBC's Politics show and distinguished street corners in between. With a style rooted in a boundless love for rhythm and language, and as influenced by classic literature as it is Hip Hop, by John Keats and MosDef, Inua straddles the divide between generations resulting in poetic works where the traditions of story telling, of Griots, of Myths and legends are remixed with modern language and movement. //

Elizabeth Freestone (director) Elizabeth trained at Rose Bruford College and at the National Theatre Studio. She is directing The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes by Adriano Shaplin for the Royal Shakespeare Company in their 2008 season and other recent productions include Romeo and Juliet (Globe), Three Sisters (Welsh College of Music and Drama, Sherman Theatre Cardiff); The Water Harvest (Theatre 503); Skellig (tour); Six Characters Looking For An Author (Central School of Music and Drama); Lock The Gates (Lyric Hammersmith); Left on Church Street (Bridewell) and The Comedy of Errors (RSC). She was Associate Director on The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the National Theatre and was Staff Director on Market Boy (National Theatre) and Speaking Like Magpies, A New Way to Please You and Believe What You Will (RSC). She was Assistant Director on Loyal Women (Royal Court) and Sunday Father (Hampstead). Earlier this year she completed her second attachment at the National Theatre Studio.

Jack Ladenburg (musician) Jack is a London based singer/songwriter and photographer. He has been performing around London's acoustic venues for the last four years. Later this summer, he'll be recording an album in Manchester's Charlie Jones studios.

Vicky Jones (director) Vicky is co-artistic of Drywrite. Directing credits include: Saturday Night (White Bear), The Freedom of the City (Finborough Theatre), Zoo (Arcola Theatre Festival), A Bedroom (Lyric Hammersmith Studio), The Blind Bird (Gate Theatre, Directors Festival), Broken (Hen and Chickens), Airswimming, Laundry (Etcetera). Readings directed include Angel Meadow, Let's Get It On (Bush Theatre), Hatch (Liverpool Everyman), Highfliers, Colder Than Here (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court). As Assistant Director: Piano/Forte, The One With The Oven, Rampage, I Remember the Royal Court (Royal Court Theatre), See How They Run (National Tour and Duchess Theatre), Rafta Rafta (National Tour) Meeting Myself Coming Back (Soho Theatre), Habitats, The Flu Season (Gate Theatre), Big Voices (New Writing Festival 2004, RSC), How Love Is Spelt (Summer Play Festival 2005, Off-Broadway) and Journey's End (New Ambassadors Theatre). Training includes the Channel 4 Royal Court Theatre Directors Course, the National Theatre Studio Directors Course and the Gate Theatre Trainee Director's Course. Vicky works as a director and tutor for the Royal Court Young Writers Programme.

The Mayhem Company

Tom Morton-Smith (playwright) Tom's debut play, Salt Meets Wound, opened at Theatre503 in May 2007. His play The Hygiene Hypothesis was produced by Sincera Productions for the Latitude Festival in July 2007. He returns to the Latitude Festival this year with his play Uncertainty. He's had short plays and readings at the Royal Court, Shakespeare's Globe, the Hampstead Theatre, the Soho Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, and the Liverpool Everyman. He was writer-in-residence for Paines Plough 2007-2008.

Phil Porter (playwright) Phil's plays include: The Cracks In My Skin (Manchester Royal Exchange, winner of a Bruntwood award), The Flying Machine (Unicorn Theatre), Stealing Sweets And Punching People (Theatre 503 and Off-Broadway), Smashed Eggs (Pentabus Theatre, winner of the Arts Council Children's Award) and Isolated Children In Far Away Places (Manchester Royal Exchange). Adaptations: Starseeker (Northampton Theatre Royal). Translations: The Stonewatcher (National Theatre). Book & Lyrics: Pinocchio (Royal Opera House), Hansel And Gretel (Northampton Theatre Royal). Phil is currently under commission to Birmingham Rep, Pentabus Theatre, Unicorn Theatre and W11 Opera.

Adriano Shaplin (playwright) Adriano is the artistic director of the Riot Group, an ensemble he founded in 1997. He is the author of eight plays for the company, including Wreck the Airline Barrier, Victory at the Dirt Palace, Pugilist Specialist, and Switch Triptych and is a four-time recipient of the Scotsman Fringe First Award for new writing. His plays have been performed by the Riot Group at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Riverside Studios (London), Soho Theatre (London), Arches (Glasgow), The Culture Project at 45 Bleecker St (NYC), Ohio Theater, Magic Theater (San Francisco), Walker Arts Center, Flynn Theater, and Theatre Der Welt 2005 (Stuttgart) and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. His plays are published in the United Kingdom by Oberon Books and have been performed in translation in Greece, Austria, Brazil, Italy, and India. In 2004 he joined Pig Iron Theater Company to create Hell Meets Henry Halfway, an adaptation of the work of Witold Gombrowicz, which received an OBIE award that year for Outstanding Production. In 2006 he became the first International Playwright-in-Residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His first play for the RSC, Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes, opens in December 2008 in London. He is the recipient of a Sloan Foundation Grant and is currently under commission from Playwright's Horizons, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Theatre and the Riot Group.

Lisa Spirling (director) Lisa trained at Royal Holloway University of London, LAMDA and the National Theatre Studio. As director: Idiots of Ants (Pleasance, Edinburgh), Beowulf (Storm on the Lawn, Theatre Royal Bath), Blood Wedding and Six Characters in Search of an Author (the Year Out Drama Company), Can't Stand Me Now (Royal Court, reading), Beauty and The Beast (Jacksons Lane), Driving Ms Daisy, The Hate Plays (Box Clever), 1001 Nights Now (British Museum), This Is Your Captain Speaking (Pentameters Theatre), Sixteen Sonorous Stones (Bridewell Theatre), The Vagina Monologues (The Pleasance, London), The Lying Kind and Oleanna (LAMDA), No One Move (Barons Court Theatre), Gas & Air and New York Threesome (Edinburgh Fringe and The Pleasance, London). As Assistant Director: The Daughter (The Wedding Collective), 1001 Nights Now (Northern Stage, Regional Tour); 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic); The Little Tempest (NT Education).

Southwark Playhouse Shipwright Yard, London, SE1 2TF. (nearest tube: London Bridge) Sunday 22 June 2008 - 8pm - £10 Tickets: Ticketweb, or from the venue on 0844 847 1656