Championing New Voices in British Theatre - Submissions for Critical Mass 2016 Now Open

Posted on 24 June 2016

Following the world premiere of Liz Mytton’s Red Snapper earlier this year, we’re excited to announce the return of our new writing programme, Critical Mass, running from September – December 2016.

Critical Mass was first launched at the Royal Court Theatre in 2004 with the express intention of building a ‘critical mass’ of playwrights from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The programme is open to ages 18+ and will run for 10 weeks every Tuesday at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from September.

Over the past seven years there have been four courses, and three public script in hand showcase events under the banner of The New Black Showcase. The most recent programme in 2013 was over-subscribed, with potential participants travelling to Coventry each week from as far afield as Brighton, Reading and Manchester (with enquiries from the US and the Caribbean).

Previous participants of Critical Mass have gone on to have their work performed at the Belgrade Theatre by a company of professional actors. Spring 2016 famously saw the first full professional production to come from Critical Mass premiere in B2 when Red Snapper by Liz Mytton was produced at the Belgrade Theatre starring BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated actress Cathy Tyson.

Applications for this year’s Critical Mass programme are now open.

Commenting on her experience of Critical Mass, writer Liz Mytton said, ‘Taking part in Critical Mass was crucial to my development as a writer and I so value the opportunity that it gave me focus and take my self seriously. In the case of my debut play Red Snapper, the characters always felt alive to me and their stories were very clear in my head, but the actual construction of the overall play was a much more complex affair. To hear my script brought to life by a company of professional actresses and to have the opportunity to work with a Dramaturg and Director has been absolutely invaluable for me. I feel the final play is so much stronger for their creative input and I’m so grateful to Critical Mass for given me the opportunity to take my play-writing career to the next level’.

There are 20 places available which will be allocated to the writers who submit the best work. The programme will run from September to December 2016 on Tuesday evenings.

How To Apply:

Those interested in applying for the 2016 Critical Mass programme should submit up to 10 pages of writing intended for performance. This may be an extract from something you have already written or something completely new. The deadline for all submissions is 11am on Monday 1st August 2016.

Please address your application with the subject line: ‘Critical Mass Submission – FAO C&E’.

Applicants are requested to send two copies, ideally word processed. To submit your application, email or post to:

*Critical Mass Submission – FAO C&E
Belgrade Theatre,
Belgrade Square,
CV1 1GS*

Applications can also be handed in via the Belgrade Theatre Box Office in person.

Please note, the deadline for all submissions is 11am on Monday 1st August 2016.

Good Luck!