#VPT Tweet Plays’ thrilling return

Oct 4 2013 | By More

Twitter Plays to be staged at Royal Lyceum Edinburgh

A performance at the Best of VPT in June. Photo © Village Pub Theatre

A performance at the Best of VPT in June. Photo © Village Pub Theatre

By Thom Dibdin

The Village Pub Theatre’s infamous Tweet Plays return next week, when any Twitter user has a chance of getting a play performed on the stage of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre.

Inspired by Ian Rankin’s Dark Road, VPT is inviting Twitter users to create crime thriller themed Tweet Plays; 136 characters of suspense, crime, murder and intrigue – plus the hashtag #vpt. A selection will be performed on the Lyceum stage at 7.15pm on Friday 11 October’s evening, before the 7.45pm performance of Dark Road.

The tweeting period for submissions is from this Sunday 6 October until midnight on Wednesday 9 October. The chosen plays will be performed as rehearsed readings, hot off the Twitter-feed.

Caitlin Skinner, VPT’s Artistic Director told Æ: “We’re really excited to bring our tiny Tweet Plays out of the pub and perform them on the beautiful stage at the Lyceum. Artistic Director, Mark Thomson came to see the Tweet Plays during the Leith Festival in June and saw real potential in the idea.

“From there we worked together to come up with a plan to perform them as a curtain-raiser to shows in the season. My favourite ones from the last project were those that quickly established themselves and then surprised us. The plays that can do that and leave room for our imagination and interpretation are the most exciting for us in the rehearsal room and I think for the audience too.”

Advice to those who plan entering is to remember that the sparseness of words allows for the audience to use their imagination – the trick is to make the drama occur in what isn’t said.

It is an opportunity for writers to strip the drama down to the bare essentials. What is surprising is how much drama and intrigue can be packed into plays which feel complete in themselves but also leave the audience thinking and wanting more.

Here’s a Tweet Play from May’s event by David Greig (@DavieGreig)
You awake?
Cold tonight.

Was that a mammoth?
Maybe just wind, trees.

Shirley was funny tonight eh?

And another by George Docherty  (@MrGeostak):
A Tea? B (Silence) A Let me get you something. Please. B (Silence) A I never meant to hurt you. B You did. (Pause) And you did.

Can you do better? Be thrilling and tweet to #vpt…

How to get involved:

  • Tweet using the hashtag #vpt
  • Remember the inspiration! Plays of suspense, crime, murder and intrigue…
  • All plays must be a maximum of one tweet and maximum of four characters (of the play).
  • Plays can include stage directions, dialogue, whatever you want.
  • Tweets must be made between 6pm Sunday 6 October and midnight Wednesday 9 October.
  • Tweets after midnight on the ninth will be ignored!
  • A selection will be chosen and performed prior to the performance of Dark Road on Fri 11th October.
  • Check out the VPT twitter feed @pubtheatre for regular updates and retweets and follow the hashtag #vpt for inspiration.
  • Tweets without the hashtag won’t be seen!
  • Some words of advice from Andrew Eaton-Lewis in the Scotsman: ‘… perhaps that’s the key to creating a good Twitter play – creating a situation where what isn’t said is so tantalising that the full play is not so much what is in the Tweet, more the story you are writing inside your own head.

Æ’s review of May’s event is here: alledinburghtheatre.com


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Comments (4)

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  1. mark gorman says:

    Great initiative Thom

    I have entered!

  2. Lynne Arrol says:

    Thanks for running this inspiring @PubTheatre one tweet microplay event. It’s a great opportunity for playwrights as wellas being fun and a fantastic challenge.

  3. mark gorman says:

    when are winners announced?

  4. Thom Dibdin says:

    Cheers Mark! Congratulations on getting one of yours up there!
    The full list of winners is here (with links to the 46 winning entries)