Wednesday, 16 January 2019

NEWS: Off Cut, Manchester's short play competition is back again at 53Two.


It’s baack!
The short play competition where the audience decides...

22-25th Jan
53two, Manchester

One of the UK’s most successful platforms for undiscovered writing, acting and directing talent has found a new home in the North. For five years, the Off Cut Festival was one of London’s biggest springboards for many new careers and working relationships, all born in the spirit of collaboration, camaraderie and friendly competition. And always with an emphasis on audience engagement. After all, everything we do is all for your delight.

What happens?
Over the past few weeks, 15 brand new short plays from writers around the country have been rehearsed and reworked by Manchester’s finest up-and-coming directors and actors, ready for performance. They will be shown in three groups of five plays, and the audience will then be asked to vote for their favourite plays. The top two plays from each group will go through to be performed again on the last day of the festival. Here, the audience will be asked to vote on the plays again alongside a panel of industry professionals who will also be selecting their favourite pieces. Judges include Bruntwood Prize Winner and first OFFCUT winner, Anna Jordan; Acting Artistic Director of Oldham Coliseum, Chris Lawson; Casting Director, Joanne Moss and Nickie Miles-Wildin of the Royal Exchange.

Each of these plays will be in the running for these awards:
The Audience Award for Favourite Play
The Audience Award for Favorite Performance
The Panel Award for Writing
The Panel Award for Directing
The Panel Award for Ensemble Acting.

‘OFFCUT fills a hole that has long been empty. It embraces all of the qualities we strive for in independent and fringe theatre and provides the perfect platform to showcase and launch careers alongside celebrating the brilliant spirit and bond that this city has.’
Simon Naylor - Producer
Manchester Actors’ Platform and FOUNDation/53two

The writer, cast and director of the Audience Award for Favourite Play will be invited to either develop the piece into a fully-staged production or work together on a brand new play. All with the support of Manchester Actors’ Platform and all proceeds going towards 53two's FOUNDation programme.


‘I'm absolutely thrilled that Off Cut had found a new home in Manchester. Not only am I immensely proud of the success of the event and the good it has done so many of its participants, as a theatre-goer, I also find the whole thing really, really exciting. Thank you Manchester - and 53Two - for breathing new life into this blast of a festival.’
Daniel Brennan – Creator/Producer
Off Cut

Manchester Actors’ Platform & MAP Productions
The Manchester Actors’ Platform, MAP, was created in 2015 by actor/acting coach Simon Naylor. Designed to benefit adult actors, its focus lies primarily on providing services required at an affordable cost. MAP hoped to bridge the gap between the affordable and the achievable. Simon’s background as an actor means that he has, and still is, experiencing just how tough the industry can be, not just to break into, but to survive in. Combining his 10 years teaching experience at some of the country’s leading drama schools, a rich and varied experience on stage, screen and radio and some reassuring Northern roots, all of the services MAP provide aim to cut out the b*******t. MAP Productions was established in 2016 and launched with a sell-out show of Andrea Dunbar’s ‘Shirley’. Since then they have gone on to produce their own work both in Manchester and across the country, providing paid work for primarily working class actors, in new-writing and re-imagined regional productions. MAP Productions and their work have been nominated for and received both Manchester Theatre Awards and Northern Soul Awards and manage Manchester’s largest independent theatre, 53two.

When 53two was established, we always knew that as part of our commitment to the arts we wanted to give back to the Manchester community. We've been running the arches for 2 years now and it's time to start the return.

53two are now delighted to run 'FOUNDation' - a fund set-aside specifically for emerging artists in Manchester and the North West. We have pledged to give back what we can to artists from across the spectrum. Whether this is in monetary format, production support, provision of venue, sponsor or other, we intend to put the money we can afford to share, back in to what we love.

Group One
22nd Jan – 7:30pm
Home Fires Burning by Kevin Cuffe
Summerland by Brian Coyle
The Fish and the Sea by Jeff Nolan
Born on the Right Side by Maddie Wakeling
Grow by Gemma Langford

Group Two
23rd Jan – 7:30pm
Home by Alexandra Keelan
Best Friends by Lewis Charlesworth
FOMO by Curtis Cole
Here We Are by Anne Price
There's a Fly in My Room by Rachel McMurray

Group Three
24th Jan – 7:30pm
Tortoise by Naomi Westerman
Tremble by Rob Johnston
To Sleep by Stephanie Lacey
Granola by Gemma Whiteley
Click by Chantelle Dusette

25th Jan – 7:30pm
The six plays, chosen by the audience over the previous three nights, are performed again. From them, the winner of the Audience Award for Favourite Play will be developed and fully-staged at 53two.

Tickets are £8 per show
£24 for OFFCUT PASS to all 4 nights
Available at
Unwaged tickets at £2 available every night

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