The WriterSlam Drama Edition 2016 was an absolutely incredible event last night held at a new venue for us, the Studio in the stylish St. James Theatre, Victoria. We launched straight in with a powerful first piece, Lost Queens by Onyinye Egenti and Adele Oni. Our wonderful host Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City) had a chat with the audience after this and it was fantastic to see what a range of talented people were in the crowd too! There were writers, directors and producers on top of other industry ninjas and on the judging panel was Oliver Kent (Executive Producer, Casualty and Holby City), Lizzie Gray (Executive Producer, Sky Drama) and our own Fraser Ayres, actor, writer, co-founder of the TCN, also director of the WriterSlam actors.
The second and third pieces were strong also, with Bandit Country written by Conor McGinnity, followed by Looked After by Keith Saha. Our DJ for the evening was the lovely DJ Kellz who kept the party feel throughout with some great tracks.
In the second part of the show we had the two final pieces, Greenhouse, a great high-concept script by Emily Mazzeo and a marvellous piece by Katrina Smith-Jackson, Tilbury Rush.
While the judges deliberated the audience were treated to actress and singer Buckso Dhillon-Wharley’s silky voice performing songs like Etta James’ At Last so beautifully that even the writers’ frayed nerves had to have been soothed.
The had come to decide on the winners and the writers most certainly made it a difficult job, so much so that Oliver Kent decided that the runners up prize of a place on the invite-only BBC’s Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama course would be instead given for the writers of two of the pieces. This course is for writer’s hoping to write for the BBC’s award winning continuing dramas; Holby City, Casualty, Doctors and Eastenders. As the winning pieces were Looked After and Lost Queens, however, the prize was in fact given to three writers, Keith Saha for the former and Onyinye Egenti and Adele Oni for the latter!
The first place winner of WriterSlam 2016 was awarded to Katrina Smith-Jackson and she wins a paid development commission from TriForce Productions, culminating in a Sky Drama table read in spring 2017, complete with an industry audience!
It was an inspiring event, congratulations to all the writers and our thanks to the brilliant WriterSlam 2016 ensemble, Jack Hickey, Jayne Wisener, Karen Bryson, Michael Salami, Niamh McGrady, Robert Boulter, Savannah Steyn and Steve Toussaint.
The next WriterSlam will be a comedy edition in spring/summer 2017, with the next Drama Edition returning autumn/winter 2017.
TriForce Productions comedy panel show Sorry, I Didn’t Know is available to view here until 3rd December: SIDK. Remember to tell us your thoughts using #SIDK and tagging @TriForceEvents on Twitter so we don’t miss it!