Sussex Playwrights 83rd AGM March 4th 2018
Welcome and Apologies – none noted
2017 Minutes available here
Corrections – no corrections
Matters arising – none
Motions – none received or raised
Chair and Secretary’s report 2017 – 2018
It’s been a great second year as Chair & Secretary of Sussex Playwrights.
Over 11 meetings
- Members and friends have reported back on their involvement in last year’s Hove Grown, Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Festivals and many other writing and production successes.
- We’ve held several impromptu scratch nights where writers brought their scripts along to workshop, interesting discussions too
We’ve had some big hits too
- We held a well attended Writers’ Night, where four works in progress and finished work were given performed readings followed by lively discussion
- A performance by Ross Gurney-Randall and Doug Devaney of an extract from ‘Ross and Doug Present Scenes From The Life And Death Of Lord Haw Haw’
- A terrific reading of the new play ‘The Engagement’ by James Alexander Allen, described by Simon Jenner as ‘the finest SPC production of a rehearsed reading I’ve seen … ‘‘The Engagement’ is about to be presented at the Rialto Theatre as part of the Hove Grown festival of new drama. Directed by Secretary Thomas Everchild.
And we’re looking to host more writers’ events like these over the next year.
Our guest speakers have included
- Kelly Mikulla of the Sussex Film Office.
- Brighton & Hove’s award-winning independent film writer and director Howard J Ford
- Our Brighton Festival-time event featured the playwright, screenwriter and novelist William Nicholson [Shadowlands / Gladiator / Les Miserables] in conversation on writing for stage, page and screen.
We were delighted to announce
- our new honorary President – William Nicholson [Gladiator]
- our new honorary Vice President – Judy Upton
- Most recent Constance Cox prize playwriting competition saw a rehearsed performed reading of the first prize winner,‘The Teaswell Incident’ by John Dutton, before an audience upstairs – this was recorded and is currently being edited as a full audio production by Simon Moorhead of TBC Audio
- The runners up will also have recorded readings.
- Our July meeting saw our first Summer Party – we announced the winners of the 2016-17 Constance Cox playwriting competition
- Christmas Party featured a fiendish quiz, spooky storytelling and music from Jo Crocker
Our network develops
Over the last year we’ve welcomed many visitors and new members to our meetings.
Our social media following continues to grow online– at the time of writing
- Sussex Playwrights Facebook Page 391 likes
- @playwrightsclub Twitter 984 followers
Local links growing too:
- with the Brighton and Sussex Equity Branch – a lovely thank you for promoting their events
- with Brighton Actors Networking Group, Shooting People Brighton
- with theatre and audio drama producers Simon Moorhead of TBC Audio, Brighton Theatre of the Air and Brighton Radio Playtime
- Sussex Playwrights Reviews:
We began a new venture – reviewing shows in the city under the Sussex Playwrights Reviews banner. We started during the Fringe, so far reviewed 14 productions and will continue with more reviews of new theatre, audio and film drama in future.
So we’re really joining the dots in the city. It’s been a fun, productive and incredibly rewarding second year as Chair.
Philippa Hammond – Chair
Thomas Everchild – Secretary
Treasurer Jerry Attwood presented the accounts for the year. Sussex Playwrights currently holds £4,345.00.
Thomas will liaise with Jerry re establishing a Pay Pal account.
Jerry and Thomas discussed the current membership and funds situation.
From now on the membership will go up to £15.00.
This will allow any member to submit two scripts to any competition.
Any non member who submits a script to a competition will pay a £15.00 fee which will make them an automatic Sussex Playwrights member and entitle them to receive all club news and free entry to all events.
At present we are not charging yearly fees to existing members.
We are still considering reinstating the yearly fee, in order to boost club funds to support future events and projects.
Visitors will be able to buy tickets online as well as on the door – the visitors’ fee will increase to £3 per meeting, to include drinks, play-readings, discussions and special events.
Actors booked to read at Sussex Playwrights-produced rehearsed and performed readings and recordings will receive an expenses payment – amount to be decided.
Chair – Philippa Hammond: proposed Thomas Everchild, seconded Murray Hecht – re-elected
Vice Chair – Robert Cohen: proposed Simon Jenner, seconded Murray Hecht – re-elected
Secretary – Thomas Everchild: proposed Simon Jenner, seconded Christine Foster – re-elected
Treasurer – Simon Moorhead: proposed Thomas Everchild, seconded Sorcha Brooks – elected [note as Simon has been otherwise engaged over the year, the role is being looked after by Keith Holman, son of Sussex Playwright the late Olive Holman]
Committee members – Judy Upton and Simon Jenner: proposed Philippa Hammond, seconded Thomas Everchild – re-elected
Thank you to former Committee Members John Dutton and Cherie Cherchie, who did not stand in this year’s election.
Jerry Attwood, the outgoing Treasurer, has served Sussex Playwright in various capacities – as Treasurer, Chair and Membership Secretary – for nine years, and is a long standing member of the club. A special thank you to Jerry for all he’s done for the club, from Philippa, Robert, Thomas and all the committee and members.
Simon Jenner said that the reading of ‘The Engagement’ had been a watershed, a wonderful production with a huge response – exciting theatre at Sussex Playwrights.
Simon Jenner also mentioned our relationship with the New Venture Theatre, where we have met for many years. In the past, SPC and NVT have collaborated and he asked that anyone with NVT connections start to reconnect with a view to future work together.
Simon Moorhead noted that the NVT are only using their varied theatre facilities over six days during the upcoming Brighton Fringe month.
After the AGM
We enjoyed and discussed performed readings of three short plays, by Peter Gardiner and Dave Patchett.