Aspiring young playwright wins help from London theatre company

A student at Bedford Modern School has won a place on a new scheme for aspiring playwrights.

Year 13 pupil Will Smith has been accepted on to the Quarry Theatre Project which will involve taking part in professional playwriting workshops.

The project is a joint scheme between Papatango, an award-winning London based theatre company whose previous playwrights have gone on to win BAFTAs, and Bedford’s new Quarry Theatre.

Will was accepted after submitting a scene from an original piece which he has given the working title Quitting My job.

Under the guidance of Papatango’s artistic director and founder George Turvey and producer Chris Foxon, the project will close with a rehearsed reading of two of the scripts in the summer complete with professional actors.

Shelly Leather, Bedford Modern School’s head of speech and drama, said: “Will had been writing a script to perform at our senior speech and drama showcase in February and when we mentioned this competition to him he jumped at the chance to enter.

“This is a superb opportunity for him to learn from Papatango, a prestigious organisation who are renowned for discovering and launching some of the best new talent in playwriting. To be accepted on to this scheme whilst still at school is a real indication of Will’s aptitude and is an exciting start to a possible career in creative writing.”

Will, who hopes to study English and creative writing at university, said: “I submitted my work after some great advice and encouragement from my teachers at school, particularly Mr Roberts in the English department who kindly advised me how to shape the play after my first draft.

“I’ve been writing for two years now and am interested in pursuing writing as a career so this is a really a great opportunity for me to develop my skills.”