The Power Plays Festival

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Top creatives join The POWER PLAYS Writing Festival in Blackpool this Spring

Leading playwrights, writers and theatre makers will light a creative spark for new playwriting across the region as the official line-up is announced for the innovative POWER PLAYS Festival, which launches on Friday 22 March at Blackpool’s newest theatre, The Old Electric.

Internationally acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time); renowned theatre maker and academic Dr Andy Smith (Citizens’ Assembly); award-winning playwright Nick Wood (Warrior Square, A Girl With A Book); literary manager, critic and dramaturg Dr Frank Peschier; National Theatre dramaturg Stewart Pringle, and top screenwriter and performance artist Krishna Isthna (Sex Education) are just a few of the illustrious industry names who will hold a whole host of workshops and talks at The Old Electric throughout a four-month long festival of artistic activity from April to July 2024.

The aim of the festival is to support new writing for the stage explore original perspectives on the region. It will establish The OE as Blackpool’s home of new writing and it will host 48 exciting events which will all connect with new writing. The literary festival line-up will also include visiting artist Q&As, thrilling new live productions, a pioneering primary schools programme, peer to peer projects and keynote masterclass sessions.

The multi-layered engagement programme also includes a supported visit to Blastfest at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster; a practical Wild Writing session exploring ways to start writing without being limited by expectations of form, or needing to finish; a Reimagining Gothic Horror workshop; opportunities for neurodivergent writers who want different techniques to create material; fascinating Artist Q+As; an interactive spoken word event; pre and post-show talks, plus a National Theatre supported Primary Schools programme with local Year 5 pupils who will see their words brought to life by professional actors onstage.

The project is supported by Arts Council England and a host of regional and national partners.There will also be a playwriting competition launched in May as part of the festival, which will invite writers to submit scripts showcasing themes that have resonance to Blackpool to a panel of professional readers, building to a performance of the winning script in July 2024 and a tour of the production in 2025.

Further Information:

The Old Electric, Springfield Road, Blackpool, FY1 1QW