In our spotlight series this week we take a look at the London based night of short plays – The Miniaturists.
Since 2005, The Miniaturists has been bringing together the best in new short-form plays by established and emerging playwrights, helping to popularise the short play evening format with theatre audiences. These regular events are a celebration of new writing, allowing audiences to discover fresh talent, across writing, directing and performance with the unveiling of five original short plays.
Over the past decade, writers including David Eldridge, Moira Buffini and Nick Payne have written miniature plays and actors and directors including Ned Bennett, Erica Whyman, Rory Kinnear, Raquel Cassidy and Olivia Poulet have helped stage them. Developed, produced and staged all within a short time, these plays quickly become mini productions with fully-realised sound, lighting and costume. Founded by writer Stephen Sharkey andcurated by Will Bourdillon and Declan Feenan (also both playwrights themselves), The Miniaturists presents award-winning playwrights alongside some of the hottest new talent.
Speaking about the last ten years, Stephen Sharkey said “One November Sunday in 2005, Southwark Playhouse kindly let me have the keys to their place. That germ of an idea is now the mighty Miniaturists. The history of the show is peppered with writing and acting and staging of the highest quality. What would we do without it? Here’s to the next ten years.”
This Birthday Bash celebrates the ten years of original work at the heart of this writer-led event and the ongoing success of The Miniaturists in bringing together playwrights, actors and directors who may not otherwise have met.
The writers for Miniaturists 54 will be:
James Fritz is an Olivier-award nominated playwright. His most recent work includes Ross and Rachel (2015) which recently completed a critically-acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Fritz’s debut full length play Four minutes twelve seconds was staged at the Hampstead Theatre in 2014, receiving a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre at the 2015 Olivier awards. Earlier this year, he was selected for the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course.
Stephen Jeffreys is an acclaimed playwright, screen writer and teacher. He has worked as literary associate for the Royal Court and has been awarded Winner of the Sunday Times Playwriting Award and the Evening Standard Award for most promising playwright. His previous work includes The Libertine(1994)¸for which he also wrote the screenplay in 2004.
Owen McCafferty is a Northern Irish playwright, celebrated for his heightened use of language and distinctive style. Praised for his experimental approach, McCafferty’s previous work includes Closing Time (2002) and Scenes from the Big Picture (2003) which was awarded the John Whiting Award, the Meyer Whitworth Award and the Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award for New Playwriting.
Poppy Corbett is a playwright, director and published author. Winner of Masterclass’s inaugural Pitch Your Play, Corbett’s winning play Hatchling (2013) received a full rehearsed reading at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Her work has been performed at venues including Park Theatre, Old Red Lion and Theatre 503 as well as Arcola Theatre (Miniaturists 39).
John O’Donovan is a London-based playwright from Co. Clare, Ireland. A graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, his plays include Haiy Brazil (Southwark Playhouse); Rogue and For Whom the Bell Tolls (Theatre503); The Home Front (Druid Theatre, Galway); Zugunruhe and After Virgil(RADA); The Castle Inn (Clapham Omnibus) and The Starveling (Miniaturists, Arcola). His work has been published in Bare Fiction, Verbal Arts Magazine and Crannóg.
The Miniaturists was founded in 2005 by writer Stephen Sharkey. In its ten year history, The Miniaturists have provided a platform for writers, directors and performers to explore ideas through staging work with a quick turnaround. Curated and produced by Will Bourdillon and Declan Feenan and staged every couple of months, each night sees five writers presenting a new piece of work in Arcola Theatre’s main space. Previous writers for The Miniaturists include David Eldridge, Duncan Macmillan, Moira Buffini and Tassos Stevens.