• MonologueSlam London Winners

    We had a rather more intimate experience at Theatre Royal Stratford East this month, in studio format on the stage itself while the beautiful Victorian auditorium gets a well earned makeover. With just 125 tickets up for grabs we were sold out several days before the show, and every seat was taken on the night! The industry panel included Jess Jones, Head of Film & TV at Global Artists, Ben Cogan, Casting Director, Jamie Glover, Actor/Director, Louis Hammond CDG, Casting Associate at the Royal  Court, and award winning playwright Roy William OBE.

    Congratulations to Michael Bunani, who hung onto his Youth Round title and also gave us a little reminder of his dancing prowess while accepting his award. Congratulations too, to runner up Jake Swan-Walters, who showed off his rapping skills – all of these Youth Round performers seem to be multi talented!

    Canadian Alexandra Vincent was awarded the 1 Minute Round trophy, with Annabel Lucy taking home the coveted 3 Minute Round award, with a piece written by 2014’s MonologueSlam UK National Champion, Sam Hevicon. The judges also gave Special Mentions to Defending ChampionLarner Wallace Taylor in the 1 Minute Round and Alexander Stutt in the 3 Minute Round. Alexandra Vincent was chosen as Overall Winner. Michael, Alexandra and Annabel will be invited back to defend their respective titles in August 24th show, with Alexandra as Overall Winner also invited to compete in the National Final on December 15th at Theatre Royal Stratford East in London!

    To see details of all our winners click here.

    The evening was hosted by Holby City star, our very own Chizzy Akudolu, ably supported at his MonologueSlam debut by our new DJ Samuel.

    The next London MonologueSlam is on August 24th and is our special LA Edition where the prize is a trip to LA! Auditions will be on July 25th. If you want to get an audition slot you need to sign up to our mailing list  so you find out straight away when audition slots are available to book!

  • Lee Coan’s WriterSlam Story

    Lee Coan was our WriterSlam winner, receiving a potentially life changing prize of a development commission with ITV. After the excitement of the competition had died down a bit, we talked to him about his WriterSlam experience…

    Where did you hear about WriterSlam?
    I’m not even entirely sure where or when I first heard about WriterSlam. I think it came up in my Twitter feed, or it may have been on the BBC Writers Room opportunities page. Either way, I’m now extremely grateful I came across it somehow!

    What made you decide to enter?
    I read up a bit about TriForce and MonologueSlam, and was extremely impressed. As a new writer I have found the whole “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” thing to be hugely frustrating. I think it’s so great the way that TriForce are trying to give everyone an equal opportunity to get noticed. Also the fact that you didn’t have to pay to enter felt reassuring that it was a genuine competition to try and unearth talent. It’s nice not to feel like you’re entering a contest just to make someone money!

    Have you written for TV before?
    I’ve written five or six different scripts, but nothing that has made it on TV so far. Most of them haven’t even made it beyond my computer to be honest, as I’ve simply been trying to improve myself as a writer.

    Is the script you entered something you’ve been working on for a while or is it a new piece for the competition?
    The script I entered is based on an idea I had for one of the first scripts I ever attempted. Having not looked at it for ages, it became really clear to me what aspects worked and what needed changing. Sadly most of it needed changing, so I pretty much completely rewrote the whole thing for WriterSlam.

    Tell us a bit about your script.
    The story is about a very normal family who are struggling to deal with a terminal illness of a child. I wanted to attempt to write something that could make an audience both laugh and cry (hopefully in the right places). It is a 60 minute episode of a six part drama.

    What was the WriterSlam experience like?
    I was completely blown away by the WriterSlam experience. I did not know what to expect at all. The other writers were such hugely talented people, and it was a complete honour to be able to work through their scripts with them and our mentor for the day Michael. I was extremely nervous on the day of the performance, not so much because I was concerned about winning or not, but because my piece felt really personal, and having it performed it front of people was a completely new experience for me. I can still not quite believe the job the actors did on all five pieces, given the short space of time they had to work with the material. The whole production was so professional, and beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Thank you!

    Were you surprised when you won?
    I was really shocked to make the top 20 initially, and when it came to the final five, I felt 100% sure of who was going to win (it wasn’t me!). Each of the five pieces were so different, and as my script was performed first, I thought it might have been already out of mind when it came to the judging. I think I became a bit of a gibbering wreck when my name was called out as the winner. I am extremely glad I didn’t have to give a thank you speech.

    Are you excited about working with ITV?
    I’m obviously hugely excited about working with ITV. I’ve grown up watching ITV dramas my entire life (as has pretty much the whole country I guess) so am hugely grateful for this opportunity. I only hope I can payback TriForce and WriterSlam by making the most of this opportunity now, so that everybody’s efforts have not been wasted.

  • WriterSlam UK in the Guardian and Broadcast

    We’re very pleased to share coverage of WriterSlam UK in the Guardian Online and in industry magazine Broadcast this week.

    You can read the full Guardian article by Tara Conlan here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jun/11/government-gives-130000-to-scheme-giving-diversity-guidance-to-tv-industry

    And for the Broadcast article, click here

  • WriterSlam UK Winners Announced!

    Last night saw the very first WriterSlam UK take place at Theatre Royal Stratford East!

    We had a great industry turn out supporting some fantastic emerging writing talent, including a judging panel made up of our supporters from ITV, ITV Studios, BBC and Tiger Aspect.

    The ensemble of 9 performers rehearsed all day with director Fraser Ayres, and treated us to impressive performances on all 5 pieces, well done to the whole team. Performers included Beth Mullen, Benjamin Hills and Mitesh Soni (all of whom were found through MonologueSlam UK), as well as Michelle Bonnard, Tahirah Sharif, Michael Begley, Wil Johnson, Kym Vithana and Steven Miller.

    The five finalists were; Caitlin Inness-Edwards with Old Man of the Mountain, Lee Coan with When I’m Not Around, Michael Wiafe with Keep Me Company, Lisa Blackwell with The Returnee and Tom McKay with The Brotherhood.

    We are very proud to announce the winners of each of the fantastic prizes!

    Up and coming screenwriter, Lee Coan, was selected as the winner of the ITV award. Coan will receive a paid development commission from ITV and ITV Studios, with mentoring from an ITV Studios Executive and feedback on the script from Jane Hudson, Head of Drama Series at ITV.

    Other winners on the night include writer Tom Mackay, who won the BBC award and be offered a place on their Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama Workshop. This invitation only workshop is run by the BBC to find new potential new writers for their continuing drama series’, Holby City, Casualty, Doctors and Eastenders.

    The Tiger Aspect award went to budding writer Michael Wiafe, who will be offered a shadowing placement with a writer on one of their top drama series such as Ripper Street.

    Jane Hudson from ITV said: “ITV are delighted to have supported the WriterSlam. It’s given us the opportunity to meet some fantastic new talent and we can’t wait to start working with Lee.”

    Congratulations to all our finalists (and our shortlisted writers), we can’t wait to see you take the next steps in your writing career!

    Keep your eyes peeled on our website for the next WriterSlam UK, planned for this Autumn!

    This scheme is funded by Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Funds.

  • WriterSlam UK Finalists Announced!

    We’re very pleased to be able to announce our five finalists for the very first WriterSlam UK!

    The finalists are:

    Caitlin Innes Edwards

    Lee Coan

    Lisa Blackwell

    Michael Waife

    Tom McKay

    Congratulations to our finalists! All five will now take part in a writing workshop this weekend, and will have extracts of their script performed at the first WriterSlam show on Wednesday 10th June at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

    They will be competing for the following prizes, which will be awarded on the night:

    Winner: the winner will receive a paid development commission from ITV and ITV Studios, with mentoring from an ITV Studios Exec, and feedback from Jane Hudson, Head of Drama Series at ITV.

    Runners Up: there are two runners up prizes from the BBC and Tiger Aspect.

    BBC: the writer selected by the BBC will be offered a place on their Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama Workshop. This invitation only workshop is run by the BBC to find new potential new writers for their continuing drama series’, Holby City, Casualty, Doctors and Eastenders.

    Tiger Aspect: the writer selected by Tiger Aspect will be offered a shadowing placement with a writer on one of their top drama series such as Ripper Street.

    The audience will include an invited industry audience, with judges from all three supporters, as well as representatives from other production companies, agents and directors.

    A limited amount of tickets are also available to the public, so if you want to see some of the best new writing talent out there, book your ticket online now: http://www.stratfordeast.com/writerslam

  • Sophie Petzal’s Story

    As we look forward to our first WriterSlam event, we want to share with you a success story from a pilot writing initiative we ran two year’s ago with the BBC, All Mixed Up. Similar in format to WriterSlam, the event looked for new voices in TV writing. One of the winners was Sophie Petzal, now a successful TV writer. We asked Sophie about her professional journey since All Mixed Up.

    How did you find out the All Mixed Up competition?

    I used to trawl the BBC writersroom competition page regularly for things I could enter. I was at university at the time, on a screenwriting course, so I was always writing, and always searching for places to send stuff I’d written. It didn’t matter whether it was any good or not, (most of it wasn’t) I just wanted to get some practice at and experience of the relentless tsunami of rejection and feelings of inadequacy that are the staple diet in most writer’s careers.

    Luckily for me, All Mixed Up was a joyous exception. I found the competition on the BBC Writersroom website, summer holidays at the end of my first year at University.

    Had you written much before the competition?

    I’d been writing in one sense or another, for years. I was always writing stories, stupid short YouTube films, or little plays for fun or for school etc. But when I wrote for All Mixed Up, I had just enrolled on the screenwriting BA at Bournemouth University, so I had a couple of rubbish short films and half-baked scripts here and there, but – thinking back on it – I think my All Mixed Up script (The God Committee) was the first proper ‘pilot’ script I’d ever written. I’ve never actually thought about that before… It sounds horrifyingly presumptuous! I’m not sure, were I starting out now, I’d have the guts to send out the first proper thing I’d ever written. But ‘now’ me is pretty lucky that ‘then’ me was so charmingly ignorant/blaze about the potential for humiliation and failure. ‘Now’ me is probably much more of a wimp…
    How did you find the process and the event itself?

    On the run up to the event, we were given notes on how to improve/adapt the scripts for the space in which they were to be performed – The Soho Upstairs, I think – and that process was lovely. I’ve always liked notes and I’ve always loved working with great note-givers and ideas people. So, given I was so inexperienced, working with the likes of the Triforce team, and Michael Jacobs at BBC Comedy was an absolute joy, a huge learning curve and in general just an unforgettable experience. Those situations can make or break you, I think, particularly when you are just starting out, so to be pushed so hard and yet feel so protected and encouraged and not at all like a big fat fraud, does a huge credit to the teams involved in setting the thing up.

    The performance and ‘judgment’ day itself was terrifying. My heart was in my mouth the whole time. I remember having to give myself a time out in the bathroom for ten minutes on the day because I thought I was going to pass out I was so nervous! Haha!

    All in all – the process was detailed, exciting, writer-orientated and above all, hugely enjoyable. I felt very looked after, which can be rare in these big competitions, and it’s a quality to be celebrated in those that do it.

    What happened as a direct result of the competition?

    My script was optioned to BBC Comedy for 6 months. I wrangled my way onto the writing team of a Ragdoll (Rosie and Jim, the Tellytubbies) show for a new CBeebies show called Abney and Teal. I’m not sure anything I did was ever used – it was my first gig, and I had no clue what I was doing – but I got that just by emailing the Ragdoll teammate, off the back of All Mixed Up, writing a little excerpt for them and meeting with them.

    It was also Michael Jacobs’ recommendation that got me my fantastic Agent, Fay Davies at the Agency. So that was a direct result of the competition, and to this date, the most important result for my career, probably.

    I always think of competitions as spotlights. They give you a brief moment of attention and interest, and it’s up to you as to how you make the most of it. You can’t win something or do well in something, then sit back and wait for the milk and honey, you do really have to hustle. Competitions make it easier for you to get into rooms with people, or get read by people, but they don’t guarantee any success beyond that. All Mixed Up was an enormous springboard for me, and could not have been possible without the dedication and genuine interest of the people behind it, in myself and the other writers they supported through the process.

    And what’s happened in your career since taking part in All Mixed Up?

    Oh wow, I’ll try to be brief!

    At the end of my second year at University, I got onto the BBC Production Traineeship. Through that I got involved with CBBC Drama, where I worked as a Development Assistant before being invited onto Wolfblood s2 as Assistant Script Editor, under Producer Foz Allan and Script Editor Jonathan Wolfman. Around that same time, I won the Peter Ustinov Scriptwriting Competition. So when Wolfblood got wind of that, they very kindly offered me the chance to write the online prequel (a ten min Iplayer webisode) for WBS2. Once WBS2 concluded, I wanted to take a few months out to concentrate on writing some new spec scripts, but I was then offered two episodes of a new CBBC series Hetty Feather, based on the books by Jaqueline Wilson, and two episodes of Wolfblood season 3. I’d gone from ‘I want to give this a go’ to writing four episodes of television in a couple of months…

    So from then on, including those four, I’ve written an episode of dumping ground, Dangermouse, and two episodes of new Irish police show Red Rock. Last year, Foz Allan (a recurring theme! He’s a real champion) and Charlie Higson brought me on to ITV’s new big budget fantasy drama Jekyll and Hyde, which is just shooting now.

    I’m also writing on a new show with Big Light and Rai, about the Medici Family, and writing two episodes of Wolfblood s4. I now have stuff of my own in development too, with ITV, and Big Talk and Red Planet.

    It’s all happened incredibly quickly… And I’m always very wary that it could all unravel just as quickly. I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing (don’t tell any of my employers, I mean, this is just between us right!?!?) but whatever it is – I love it, and want to keep doing it, better, and better, every time. So that means, a load of work, a load of stress, and a load of late nights. I have very little time off these days, haha. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    What I have achieved though, I owe entirely to the individuals who have pushed me and supported me throughout, people like the guys at Triforce, BBC Comedy, CBBC, the Agency… Without them all, I would be…probably still wasting as much time as I currently do, procrastinating and tweeting too much, but I wouldn’t have the makings of a half-decent career and a set of wonderful, talented colleagues… So that alone has got to be worth celebrating.

    And if the rug does get pulled tomorrow, I can say I had a pretty epic couple of years!

  • Shortlist Announced for WriterSlam UK!

    We received over 1000 submissions for the first WriterSlam UK and were pleased to see a huge range of ideas and a very high standard of writing across the board.

    It was incredibly difficult to decide, but our dedicated team of readers waded through all the entries and finally 20 were selected to go forward to the shortlist.

    ITV and ITV Studios will now decide the final five writers who will go through to the show.

    Everyone who entered should have received an email to let them know if they had been successful or not, so please feel email us at [email protected] if you haven’t heard anything – although do check your junk mail first!

    The final event on Wednesday 10th June is open to the public, and you can buy tickets on the Theatre Royal Stratford East website: http://www.stratfordeast.com/writerslam

    The shortlisted writers are:

    Abigail Rolling
    Alyson Dutemple and Hannah Berry George
    Anji Loman Field
    Caitlin Innes Edwards
    Chantelle Dusette
    Chris Woodley
    David Lemon
    Foster Marks
    Gavin Cutter
    Judy Upton
    Katrina Smith-Jackson
    Lee Coan
    Lisa Blackwell
    Manjit Singh
    Michael Ashton
    Michael Wiafe
    Sam Benjamin
    Sam Parker
    Sumerah Srivastav
    Tom McKay

  • Submissions Open for WriterSlam!

    Are you a writer trying to get into writing for TV? Our new platform for writers is supported by ITV, ITV Studios, BBC and Tiger Aspect and is a writing competition with a difference.

    We’re look for ideas for original drama series. But you don’t have to submit an entire script – we believe that not everyone has the free time to sit down and write an entire script, even if they’re the next Steven Moffatt. So we’re asking writers to submit a synopsis of their series and 10-15 pages of an episode.

    In collaboration with our lead supporter, ITV and ITV Studios, we’ll be choosing 5 finalists who will have their work performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 10th June in front of an industry panel.

    The top prize is a development commission with ITV and ITV Studios! Followed by two runners up prizes from BBC and Tiger Aspect. The BBC are offering a place on the BBC’s Introduction to Continuing Drama Workshop, an invitation only workshop for writers interested in writing for hit BBC shows like Doctors, Holby City and Eastenders, with Tiger Aspect offering a shadowing opportunity for a writer with a writing team on one of their prime time dramas such as Ripper Street or Peaky Blinders.

    Check out the WriterSlam page for full submission guidelines – and remember, the closing date is 22nd May, so get writing!

  • Announcing TriForce Productions!

    We are very proud to announce the launch of our new production company! We’ll be promoting diversity and inclusivity in the TV industry by sourcing creative talent from our increasing network of talent and our well-established development initiatives.

    Supported by Red Planet Pictures, TriForce Productions will focus on creating quality, mainstream content, showcasing new voices and emerging talent to the broadest audience.

    Tony Jordan MD, Red Planet Pictures, says; “I have followed the TCN’s work over the years and have always seen them as a driven company, genuinely invested in the development of talent and in changing the face of our industry for the better. The issue with diversity in the industry is not a lack of talent, just a lack of avenues for that talent to be reached. The TCN are opening up those avenues. We are delighted to provide creative backing to TriForce Productions, to help broadcasters access that talent and engage their audiences with programming that better reflects our contemporary culture.”

    We aim to find new ways to approach the commissioning process by actively engaging with broadcasters to offer the solution to them achieving and surpassing the new diversity targets recently set; in front of and behind the camera. With an eye on developing content across a range of genres for UK and US broadcasters, we are already in talks with key channels about a number of projects with the aim of bringing a diversity of experience – not just a change in palette.

    TriForce has over 10 years experience working with a wide range of talent, helping bridge the gap between emerging creatives and the people in the industry with the power to move their careers forward. TriForce Productions will pull together all the branches of our talent development work perfectly and enable us to fully achieve our aim of offering tangible outcomes for our network. While there are other companies out there with a focus on diversity, we are the only company with a ready-made pool of diverse talent to draw from.

    WriterSlam

    Drawing on the success of MonologueSlam, we are also launching a new initiative for writers called WriterSlam. Similar in format to the actors’ platform, with a live event showcasing new writers’ work, we’re proud to be working with the BBC and ITV on the first of these events to find new television voices.

    We’ll be offering the winners career development prizes with leading broadcasters to launch their TV writing career. Submissions will open at the beginning of May, with the event itself taking place at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 10 June.

    If you’re a writer looking to break into TV, make sure you sign up to our mailing list using the sign up box in the footer!

    Click here to read the full press release

    Guardian Article

    Broadcast Article

  • TFSFF in the Press

    Check out Fraser Ayres article in the Huffington Post about the TriForce Short Film Festival 2014 – make sure you’check back here for details about the launch of TFSFF 2015 soon!

    Click here to read the full article.

     

  • MonologueSlam London Winners – April 2015!

    We had a packed house last night for the latest edition of MonologueSlam UK at our home, Theatre Royal Stratford East. Hosted by the wonderful Chizzy Akudolu, the  industry panel included Madani Younis, Artistic Director – The Bush Theatre, agents Nina Lee from Nina Lee Management and Bill Petrie from The BWH Agency, as well as casting directors Jane Davies, Nicci Topping and Sonia Allam.

    Congratulations to Michael Bunani, who took the Youth Round title and showed off his dancing skills! In the 1 Minute Round,  Larner Wallace Taylor was proclaimed the winner with a Special Mention going to Shaun Cowlishaw.  We were treated to an all guns blazing performance from comedy troupe Shoot From the Hip with audience participation and a Question Game battle, taking on the TriForce team. The special mention for the 3 Minute Round was awarded to Kimberly Har-Simpson who had travelled all the way from Manchester for the show. The winning spot went to four time champion Beth Mullen, who now has a MonologueSlam UK trophy in every room! Beth was also named overall winner which means she goes through to the national final of MonologueSlam UK in London on 14th December, for the chance to win a year’s free membership to Spotlight, not to mention the title of MonologueSlam UK Champion of 2015! Michael, Shaun and Beth will all be invited back to the next London MonologueSlam in the June to defend their titles.

    To see details of all our winners and the full line up, click here.

    We were also very lucky to have the wonderful Rene Byrd entertaining the audience with her beautiful voice in the 2nd half!

    If you are interested in auditioning for the next MonologueSlam you need to sign up to our mailing list for advance notification of auditions – good luck!

  • MonologueSlam UK Success Stories – Sam Cole

    Another MonologueSlam UK success story!

    Sam Cole took part in the November 2014 MonologueSlam at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. As a result of the show he was signed to Mouthpiece Management. He’s now performing in”Back Down” by Polar Bear and it’s his professional debut!

    The show opened at the REP and you can catch him at The Roundhouse in Camden from 16th – 24th May. You can get tickets here: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2015/the-last-word-2015/back-down/

    “Sam Cole surprises the audience with his portrayal of the cheeky and short-fused Tommy, whose role is to antagonise his friends as often as he can. Sam is a young actor, yet showcases a maturity in his acting ability that equalises the other two. Tommy seems to have been written for Sam, as he played it most naturally. His speech delivery was the most real, sincere and riveting.”

    Congratulations Sam!