Shortlist Announced For Inaugural Heretic Voices Monologue Competition

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Shortlist Announced For Inaugural Heretic Voices Monologue CompetitionHeretic Productions today announced the shortlist for Heretic Voices, a new nationwide competition to find the best new writing in monologue form. In their first year they have received an unprecedented 1,136 applications. The 9 shortlisted pieces are Cameraman by Jon Barton, Dogwalker by Alison Carr, Woman Caught Unaware by Annie Fox, Dean Mcbride by Sonya Hale, A Hundred Words For Snow by Tatty Hennessy, Party Politics by Lorna Martin, Three Mothers In Search Of A Son by Henry Martin, Vacation by Dan Pick and Lost Crystals by Anni Swinburn.

The monologues will now be judged by a panel including Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington, award-winning playwright and actor Lolita Chakrabarti, BAFTA Award-winning actor Monica Dolan and literary agent Mel Kenyon. The four winners will be revealed on Monday November 27 and they will receive a full production in the main space at the Arcola Theatre from 9th-13th January 2018 with experienced actors and directors.

Applicants could enter any monologue between 15 and 45 minutes in length, written in English, and both experienced writers for the stage and new writers could apply. The shortlisted productions are diverse in subject and situation, from a Croydon council estate to the Arctic Circle and from a children's birthday party to a refugee's flight from their home country.

Artistic Director of Heretic Productions, Max Gill, said today "Narrowing a long list of brilliant work to just nine plays was a fantastic challenge and we are thrilled to announce our shortlist. The writers come from many different walks of life but they are united by an exceptional talent and I do not envy the panel in choosing the final plays for production. Whichever plays are eventually chosen, we know the work we present will be very special indeed. We can't wait to share it."

The shortlist in full is:


A journalist searches for the unknown male frozen in a photo that marks a terrible event. As his investigation proceeds, the life of the photo begins to overtake his own.


A supply teacher's world is upturned after she makes a grisly discovery while walking her dog.

Woman Caught Unaware

After a lifetime of studying women artists, a university professor is alarmed to find the world's gaze directed at her.

Dean Mcbride

Dean is ten and is growing up on a bleak Croydon estate. When one day he finds a bird on his doorstep, he begins a journey on which he is forced to confront all that he has lost.

A Hundred Words For Snow

When Rory's travel-hungry father dies suddenly in an accident, she knows he needs her help to make one last expedition. So Rory sets off on a mission to get Dad's ashes to the North Pole - before Mum finds out they've gone.

Party Politics

A mother's love knows no bounds. An over-invested mum will do anything to ensure her daughter gets an invitation to little Bo's birthday party...

Three Mothers In Search Of A Son

Love, longing, and loss impel a mother as she attempts to find her son at three moments throughout her life.


When Larner and Simon tell the kids they're going on holiday, they can't believe it. It's going to be the trip of a lifetime.

Lost Crystals

A housing estate, Yorkshire. Marilyn is desperate for her runaway daughter to be found, while Bronwen and her son Jimmy speculate on who may know the whereabouts of the missing girl, Crystal.

Notes to editors

Jon Barton is a London-based writer whose credits include Oedipus (Almeida), Serious Heroes (Old Vic), and Red Riding Hood & the Wolf (Little Angel Theatre). He is currently on attachment at HighTide Festival Theatre.

Alison Carr's credits include Hush (Paines Plough/RWCMD/Gate Theatre), Remains (troublehouse theatre/Octagon Theatre), Fat Alice (Traverse Theatre/Oran Mor/Aberdeen Performing Arts), and Can Cause Death starring Olivier Award-winning actor David Bradley (FTP, National Theatre, Northern Stage & Latitude Festival).

Annie Fox trained as an actor in New York and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Her monologue Woman Caught Unaware and her short play Special Measures are her first two dramatic works.

Sonya Hale is a playwright whose plays have been performed at The Southbank Centre, Latitude Festival, E15 University and in prisons and treatment centres. She has worked with Synergy Theatre Project, Clean Break and The Outside Edge Theatre Company. Her first play Glory Whispers was performed at Theatre 503.

Tatty Hennessy is a graduate of the Royal Court and Lyric Young Writer's Programmes. Her previous work includes an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen commissioned by Theatre N16 and All That Lives, developed in association with Ovalhouse.

Lorna Martin is an award-winning journalist and author of critically acclaimed comic memoir Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which has been translated into 13 languages. This is her first play and was written as part of the Scottish Playwrights' Studio Mentoring Programme.

Henry Martin's plays include The Last Sign of Life (PlayWROUGHT Festival, Arcola; LabFest, Theatre 503), The Cost of Your Forgetting (Fishamble), The Voice from the Wood (Roundhouse), After Circles (Underbelly) and Sleight of Hand. His books include Yappo and Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon.

Dan Pick is a writer and director and the artistic director of Kuleshov, a new writing company. His first full length play Jelly Beans premiered at Theatre503 in 2016 and went to the Pleasance Courtyard at Edinburgh Festival in 2017. Other short plays have been performed at Vault Festival, the Arcola and Tristan Bates Theatre.

Anni Swinburn is a writer and former social worker, and was recently runner-up in the Sheffield Novel Slam. She has written a series of 9 monologues, a play and is currently working on a novel.

Heretic Productions is run by Artistic Directors Max Gill and Jordan Waller and Producer Ellie Keel. Its previous production was an adaptation of Schnitzler's La Ronde, directed by Gill, which ran at the Bunker Theatre in early 2017. The company works across stage and screen with a number of short film productions also in development.

Arcola Theatre

Aroola Theatre is one of London's leading off-West End theatres. Locally engaged and internationally minded, Arcola stages a diverse programme of plays, operas and musicals. World-class productions from major artists appear alongside cutting-edge work from the most exciting emerging companies. Arcola delivers one of London's most extensive community engagement programmes, creating over 11,000 opportunities every year. By providing research and development space to diverse artists, Arcola champions theatre that's more engaging and representative. Its pioneering environmental initiatives are internationally renowned, and aim to make Arcola the world's first carbon-neutral theatre.

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