A number of projects have come out of the Scriptorium where writers have collaborated to create pieces of theatre in addition to the ones we create as a company.
The Parrot, the Poet and the Philanderer
Written by Lou Beckett and David Elder, both Scriptorium members, the play had three full houses at the Cheltenham Heritage Open Days in September 2017. The story focuses on Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Barrett and Alfred Tennyson, three world-famous English writers who all spent time in Cheltenham during the middle of the 19th century; their true stories include scandal, competition for an important literary prize and a fight for women’s higher education. Can a young woman change not only the lives of the three authors but the story of Cheltenham as well?
The Drop of a Pin by Carol Sheppard
This hour long play was performed as part of Scriptorium’s Only in Gloucester Festival by Brick Door Theatre Company and then toured nine venues across Gloucestershire with Small Spaces Theatre Company. This is the story of the Crabbe family, a poor family who work for the pin factory in Westgate Street in Gloucester in the 1850s. John, the father is a proud man and struggles to keep a roof over his family’s head and food on the table. Martha, his wife is a strong woman and a strict mother to their only daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a headstrong young lady with big dreams and doesn’t see her future employed as an outworker for the pin factory for the rest of her life. With John ill from the dust in his lungs and Martha’s hands stiff with arthritis the family is worried for their future until one evening there is a commotion outside in the street and they rescue a stranger in the city. The man, the mysterious Mr Blackshaw persuades them to let him stay and Martha agrees thinking that the extra money will come in handy. But then mysterious deaths start occurring. With Mr Blackshaw’s late night walks and blood on his shirt suspicions arise. Who is the culprit and are the Crabbe’s hiding a murderer in the house?
The production then had a two week run in Spring 2017 at Havelock Theatre, South Island, New Zealand as “Chain Reaction”.