This is the page where information about all the Scriptorium writers can be found. Details are currently being added with writers details in alphabetical order.
Lou Beckett: I got the writing bug at age ten when I published a daily family newspaper; in chronicling the various escapades of my brothers and the family dog Schnauzer, I discovered that telling a story is almost as enjoyable as living it. I studied Drama at university; Ibsen, Frayn, Caryl Churchill and others introduced me to the pleasures of creating new worlds. My most recent play, written with David Elder, is The Parrot, The Poet, and the Philanderer, performed to three full houses at the Cheltenham Heritage Open Days in September 2017. I was a contributing writer to Tapestry, a Scriptorium production in Gloucester Cathedral performed in May 2017. My full-length play Rotten Luck was chosen to be performed as part of Scriptorium’s Art Council project in 2015; in it, a hangman explores the question of the role fate and fortune play in the lives of two prisoners. My work has been featured on Cirencester community radio station, Corinium Radio. A Rose by Any Other Name, included in the US collection ‘365 Plays About Women’, raises the question of who wrote the plays credited to Shakespeare.
Jenny Carr: I grew up in Gloucester, studied Drama in London but spent most of my adult life in York, where I was Head of Drama in a secondary school, doing all the things Heads of Drama do: producing, directing and staying up half the night sewing giant insect costumes and crafting papier-mâché pheasants. And writing. Mainly short plays for Drama Club where everyone gets a line, but also a musical, adaptations of children’s literature and developing part-scripted/part-devised pieces for my students’ projects with local professional companies. I’m freelancing now and looking to develop my skills as widely as I can: leading workshops for and teaching young people, acting and now writing. Last year, I contributed a 10 minute scene to the Scriptorium’s Only in Gloucester project and since them have been scribbling semi-formed ideas and dialogue in the hope of starting something I’ll actually have the nerve to share.
Stephen Connolly: Born in Canada, brought up in Scotland and the Republic of South Africa, I have been writing since 1999, publishing short fiction in various small magazines. My collection ‘Remember My Name and Other Stories’ is available on Amazon and iTunes. Since completing an MA in Scriptwriting at Bath Spa University in 2014 I have been writing scripts for the stage and radio plays for Cirencester’s community radio station Corinium Radio. My monologues have been performed at Stroud Theatre Festival and my play ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ was performed at the New Venture Theatre, Brighton in July 2015. My plays ‘The Gasman Cometh’ and ‘Urbini’ were performed on Salisbury Fringe. I was a lead writer in the Scriptorium ‘Tapestry’ project, performed in Gloucester Cathedral in May 2017. My radio play ‘The Destiny of Shoes’ is due to be recorded by Off the Rock Productions in York in 2018. My influences are David Greig, Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Umberto Eco and Alan Bennett. My long-term goal is to get a commission to write radio drama for the BBC. Current projects include plays about UFO, meteorology, Scott of the Antarctic and a novel about Magic.
David Elder: My passion for creative writing and love of language developed most strongly during my degree course in Modern Languages (German/Spanish). Originally from the Wirral but now based in Cheltenham, I focus mainly on writing plays, poems, biographies and local history books and articles. As a skilled photographer I also enjoy trying to create ‘magic’ through blending text with the right images.
Recent successes with plays have included The Parrot, The Poet, and the Philanderer (co-written with Lou Beckett), which was performed to three full houses at the Cheltenham Heritage Open Days in September 2017, and Scriptorium’s Tapestry (performed at Gloucester Cathedral in May 2017) to which I contributed as one of the lead writers. My local history subjects have so far covered Cheltenham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds. Apart from writing I regularly give talks to local groups and festivals and lead walks inspired by my research. I joined Scriptorium in 2014 to help learn more about the art of playwriting and share knowledge and experience with this inspirational and supportive group of talented writers.
For further information please visit my WEBSITE
Marianne Gaston: I was born in Llangollen and at the age of 11 won a scholarship to a performing arts college, Sheelagh Elliott-Clarke in Liverpool, originally to train as dancer but jete’d sideways and studied drama instead. On leaving, my first professional role was Anne in “The Diary of Anne Frank” (a very long time ago!!). Aged 18 I travelled to Australia for ’12 months’ and didn’t return to the UK till the early 1990’s. During my time away in both Oz and also New Zealand I worked extensively in theatres, TV, and radio across Australasia for almost 25 years. My writing began in 2014 when I wrote a short play “Fred and Bob” which was selected by The Touring Consortium Theatre Co to be given a script in hand performance at the Everyman Theatre. Since then it has won two awards at the NZ Theatre Federation Short Play Festival and it was given a 10 nights run for I am very pleased to have received royalties and a percentage of the box office. I joined Scriptorium in 2014 and under their umbrella wrote “The Diamond Wedding Present” in the ‘Only in Gloucester’ project. I’m currently touring with Rain or Shine Theatre Co with “Shakespeare’s Will’ which I directed. My writing has been put on hold for the last couple of months but I am looking forward to the next exciting season with Jarek and all the talented members of the Group.
Hi my name is Craig Lewis and I am 33 years of age. I consider myself a creative with experience in song writing as well as screenplays and play writing. Writing in either field is a genuine passion and I feel fulfilled when I am working! My work to date is a four part mini web series called ‘Don’t Mirror my Past’ which was released at the beginning of 2015, I have also recently finished writing my first feature film called ‘Bitter Turn’ which I am hoping to put into production this year. I have also written for 13 studio projects regarding music which include 4 full length Independent rap albums 4 EP’s and 5 mix CD’s. I started out writing short plays for a youth church in 2002 and continued to develop my writing craft from then on. My long term goal is to be an established screen writer in the British film industry. I am open minded and feel that with good research I could create a story from any genre in screen play as well as Theatre. My main passion is drama, my influences are John Singleton, Ashley Walters and Simon Pegg. My short-term goals are to work with Scriptorium and gain more experience in writing for theatre.
Cristina Neacsu: I have recently joined Scriptorium, after being introduced to it by Marianne Gaston, a wonderful actor and playwright. I have always wanted to be able to put on paper all the stories that I have in my head. I am at the beginning of developing this skill and I really appreciate and take consideration of the advice and discussed techniques and ideas. I have been born and raised in Romania and I think that my Eastern European background combined with the British influence will bring some spice and interesting perspectives to my writing. I have been acting in the last six years and my hope is that this background will help me create strong characters and interesting twists in the stories I write.
Carol Sheppard: I grew up in a haunted house on a farm in deepest Gloucestershire. My passion for reading and writing began from a very early age and I filled exercise book after exercise book with my stories and poems. Several decades later I am still writing, mostly writing for stage and screen and a smattering of poetry. I also write a weekly column in The Citizen newspaper entitled “Sheppard’s Watch”. I came runner up in the International Screenwriters Festival in 2008 with my short film script “Grey” and have had some small successes with other play extracts, poetry and a monologue performed in Hawaii. I published my own poetry collection based on my love of nature and the Forest of Dean entitled “Trails through the Forest” in 2014. My play “The Drop of a Pin” was performed in July 2015 as part of the Scriptorium’s ‘Only in Gloucester’ project and then toured Gloucestershire in 2016, then going on for a two week run as Chain Reaction in Havelock Theatre in New Zealand. My short film “Enough to make you cry” was filmed in 2018. I am also working on a collaborative prose poetry play for voices which is to be performed at the Forest of Dean Festival of Words. Scriptorium is a fantastic group to be part of, with funded projects, advice, practical workshops and exercises and being able to work and collaborate with other talented writers and actors.
Rhona Smith: I joined Scriptorium just over a year ago with no previous playwriting experience but a great deal of enthusiasm. I enjoy contemporary plays that challenge and excite. In my writing I want to explore current issues and ideas through the whole spectrum of performing arts, believing that by exploiting all the possibilities of live performance, theatre will continue to be relevant in a multi-media age. But my emphasis will always be on the script and performers rather than sets, props or special effects. I love every aspect of writing: the research, working with themes and layers, creating characters, wrestling with plot, blocking out scenes and writing dialogue. Equally, I relish working with the producer, director, company and crew whose tenacity, skill and courage never cease to amaze me. My first play, ‘As Sure As God’s in Gloucester,’ about a soldier with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder trying to adapt to civilian life, was chosen to be performed last year as part of the Scriptorium’s Arts Council project ‘Only in Gloucester’. Following that, it had a successful mini tour at Blackfriars in Gloucester and then at the Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol. Since then I’ve have been invited to extend the play for possible further performances by Ignite Theatre.
Andrew Thorn: I write novels for young adults and run writing workshops for primary and secondary schools around the Gloucester area. I started out as a theatre writer, director and performer, having trained at Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance where I graduated with a BA in community theatre arts and a post grad in theatre studies. I’ve written plays, teachers’ packs and educational CD-ROMs for schools. I moved into writing novels a few years ago. My first novel, Killjoy, won the Kinglake Unpublished Author competition for thrillers. My second, Gravelight, took second place in the 2010 YouWriteOn Children’s Book of the Year chart, before being re-titled The Young Book of the Dead. Oh, and I’ve also taught residential drama and video summer schools in London, done a tour as composer and musical director for Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre, and been physical theatre artist-in-residence at Alton Towers. For the past twenty-three years I’ve worked with Jarek Adams creating innovative theatre for schools across the UK. In that time we have worked with over half a million children! We’ve also written and presented dozens of plays for museums and heritage venues such as the Natural History Museum, Warwick Castle and the RNLI.
Louise Walters: For as long as I can remember I have loved reading, theatre and writing. Secretly I have always wanted to do creative writing and plays. I consider myself to be at the very beginning of developing and exploring the skills that playwrights need. Joining the Scriptorium has been a great opportunity. I really value and treasure all the inspiration, encouragement and support from all the members and Jarek. I feel quite proud to have participated in the project last year”Only in Gloucester” which gave me a big push to experience writing a 10 minute play and see a rehearsed reading by talented actors. I am probably still very much developing a style in my writing but previous advice was to only write something that YOU can write. In other words your own interests and experiences is a good starting point. I don’t always feel confident enough to share my draft work with the group but having the opportunity to work on projects together with Jarek and the Scriptorium members will help to nurture that confidence and develop my playwriting skills. It is very exciting to be part of a growing Arts scene in Gloucester that is encouraging local talent.