New opportunity for emerging Scottish Playwrights

Aug 3 2011 | By More

Writer in residence announced for Edinburgh’s Siege Perilous

Caroline Dunford

By Thom Dibdin

Caroline Dunford has been announced as the inaugural writer in residence for  Edinburgh-based theatre production company Siege Perilous. She and the company are to start a new mentoring and development programme for up to six emerging playwrights this Autumn.

A multi-produced playwright of stage and educational work, who was selected to participate in the Scottish Book Trust’s Screen Lab, Dunford is author of How to Survive the Terrible Twos: Diary of a Mother Under Siege as well as the Euphemia Martins series of crime mysteries. She has 15 years experience of running workshops and mentoring. Her Suspicious Minds was staged by Siege Perilous in 2010.

Siege Perilous General Manager Tina Finch said: “We are so pleased that someone of Caroline’s experience has agreed to become our first Writer-in-Residence and that she is so enthusiastic about this new initiative”.

Aiming to help aspiring playwrights develop their writing skills the Playwrights’ Development Programme will open for submission on 12 September 2011. Scotland-based playwrights are invited to submit a single script or work-in-progress which will be used to determine the final selections. At the end of the programme the developed works will be workshopped with the production company and a team of professional actors – with a further possibility that the scripts will go into a full production.

Commenting on the scheme, Dunford said: “there are a number of excellent mentoring programmes available but it is extremely rare to find one that offers such richness of support. Not only does the playwright get direct one-to-one mentoring with me rather than email exchanges, they also get feedback about staging the work and practicalities from an experienced director and producer.”

Siege Perilous say it is committed to running the programme for an initial three-year period subject to evaluations from the first cohort of playwrights as well as funding. The programme will be operated in Edinburgh and will be open for submissions for a 2-week period from 12th September. Any Scotland-based playwright will be eligible to apply. The playwright does not have to have been previously produced, but the work they submit should not have been professionally performed nor used as part of another mentoring scheme. Full details of the programme can be found at

Founded in 2000 and based in Leith, Siege Perilous is a professional theatre production company run by cofounders Artistic Director Andy Corelli and Producer Tina Finch. The company specialises in new writing and is committed to producing quality small-scale theatre in Edinburgh outwith the Fringe. The company offers new writers a platform for their work to be seen and, during a 2-year residency at the GRV (now The Store), staged 8 well-received productions.

Siege Perilous has appeared at Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe five times, completed a UK tour and staged an open air production at Craigcrook Castle in association with the de Marco European Art Foundation. The company regularly mentors new entrants to the industry in roles such as assistant director, stage manager, wardrobe, technical crew and newly graduated actors. It is about to produce a further three productions of Scotland-based new playwrights. It received an Arts and Business Award in 2010.


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