New writers given chance to shine as plays showcased in South Shields

The plays will be performed at The Customs House.
The plays will be performed at The Customs House.

Theatre-goers in South Tyneside are set to enjoy two new plays as competition winners show they are made of the write stuff.

The plays are to be performed at The Customs House, in South Shields, as part of the WRITE Festival 2019.

Danielle Burn won the over-25s category with her play Peggy Pearpot.

Danielle Burn won the over-25s category with her play Peggy Pearpot.

New writers were asked to submit plays at this year’s festival, and the shortlisted entrants had their work performed by professional actors before two winners were chosen.

Danielle Burn won the over-25s category with her play Peggy Pearpot, which is aimed at young children and tackles mental health issues.

Pearl Andrews-Horrigan won the under-25s category with her play Safespace, which is set in a refuge for victims of domestic violence facing funding cuts.

The competition was run by The Customs House in partnership with The Word, National Centre for the Written Word.

I am overjoyed and very grateful to be given this opportunity

Danielle Burn

Fiona Martin, the deputy director for learning and participation at The Customs House, said: “The successful writers were chosen after the judging panel watched 15 minutes of each of the plays, performed by professional actors, who were directed by Gareth Hunter.

“The two plays will be produced during next year’s WRITE Festival and be performed at The Customs House.

“Both of the writers will be mentored by a dramaturge to help them to develop their writing, as part of The Customs House’s commitment to developing talent and new writing.”

Danielle, 28, from Cramlington, Northumberland, said: “I am overjoyed and very grateful to be given this opportunity.

Pearl Andrews-Horrigan won the under-25s category with her play Safespace.

Pearl Andrews-Horrigan won the under-25s category with her play Safespace.

“I am excited to work on my play with The Customs House and The WRITE Festival over the next year to help sculpt and develop it.

“Furthermore, being able to have my script produced and performed at an inspiring venue such as The Customs House really is a dream come true.

“This will be a wonderful learning experience for me and a great boost so early on in my writing career.”

Pearl, 19, who is a first year undergraduate at Newcastle University, said: “Being able to hear extracts of the play read aloud by professional actors really helped me identify areas I want to rewrite and work on further.

“It was also nice to hear bits of other people’s work, which is always interesting.”