We spoke with Instinct Theatre about thier latest scratch night at The Bread & Roses Theatre, Scratch The Surface, a night focusing on the female playwright and the fantastic work they produce;
WHO ARE INSTINCT THEATRE
We are a female-led company that creates powerful theatre exploring topical issues and current events. It is run by Artistic Director Felicity Huxley-Miners who is also an actor and writer. We produced a range of work from new writing, scratch nights, a West End showcase to workshops and have collaborated with some brilliant organisations and theatre-makers over the two years we’ve been running.
WHAT IS THE ESSENCE BEHIND SCRATCH THE SURFACE, WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?
Scratch the surface is about bringing new people together. This is our third scratch event and we always receive an incredible response when we call out for short plays and extracts. We then pick the pieces, pair the writer with a director, give them a cast then they go away and rehearse the piece ready for the night.
There’s so much brilliant, bold work out there and a new wr iting night is a great way to see a variety of things that you may not go and see ordinarily.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO FOCUS ON FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS AND DO YOU THINK THEY HAVE GROWN IN NUMBERS?
It happened by chance actually. We always get less submissions from female playwrights than men and there has been a lot of talk recently about 50/50 programming and gender parity within the arts. As a female-led company these are massively important issues to us and we want to reflect this within our work.The issue of gender equality is being talked about a lot more, which is great, but there is still a massive amount to do to actually redress the balance. This night was about taking a small practical step in actually doing something about it.
I was aware of some female theatre-makers doing some great work and asked if they wanted to come together in a scratch night. There was such a great response that I thought I should open up the night to anyone who might want to take part and the best idea seemed to be to celebrate female playwrights.
All our call outs and productions have to have bold, interesting female roles in them. This is not a feminist evening, nor an event just about women. The only stipulation was that the pieces must have been written by a woman, so we have pieces about mental health, our society today, the fear of parenthood and many more topics which everyone relates to.
TANYA LORETTA DEE IS HOSTING THE EVENING, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET HER INVOLVED?
I really wanted a spoken word artist to host the night, it’s such a growing art form with online platforms like YouTube launching careers, that again it was a reflection of our society. Tanya is fanstastic and I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring on the night – it’s going to be a surprise for me as well!
YOU HAVE DOME SCRATCH NIGHTS BEFORE, WHAT MAKES THIS OME STAND OUT FROM THE REST, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT, WHY SHOULD WE BUY A TICKET?
This one focuses on the female playwright but it’s still going to be a great, relaxed atmosphere, a low risk evening of new theatre and a great way to network and meet new people in the pub afterwards! I’ve met people at scratch nights that I’ve gone on to work with, one of our pieces has been made into a full length production that’s also showing at the Bread & Roses and all our directors and writers are regularly collaborating and creating new work. If nothing else the evening will be a lot of fun!
FOR MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS HEAD TO: