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Richard Curtis and Shappi Khorsandi boost line-up for Suffolk's INK Festival 2019

PUBLISHED: 19:06 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 29 March 2019

Richard Curtis who will be taking part in a Q&A session at the 2019 INK Festival in Halesworth talking about his career and the filming of his latest comedy Yesterday which took place in Suffolk. Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan

Richard Curtis who will be taking part in a Q&A session at the 2019 INK Festival in Halesworth talking about his career and the filming of his latest comedy Yesterday which took place in Suffolk. Photo: PA/Andrew Milligan

Who else is in the line-up for the three-day short play event in Halesworth?

Shapppi Khorsandi who is writing a short play and performing a stand-up show at this year's INK Festival Photo:Heathcliff O'MalleyShapppi Khorsandi who is writing a short play and performing a stand-up show at this year's INK Festival Photo:Heathcliff O'Malley

Star names and upcoming talent are set to rub shoulders at Ink Festival in Halesworth next month.

The festival (April 12 to 14) provides a platform for local writers and actors to make their mark on the entertainment industry and, based at Halesworth Cut arts centre, has had high profile support from Esther Freud, broadcaster Libby Purves, director and screenwriter Richard Curtis and actors Bernard Hill, Helen Atkinson Wood and Jill Freud.

This year’s programme showcases more than 40 brand new short plays, staged and performed by 40 professional actors and directors, making it one of the largest producing festivals in the UK. All writers selected for the festival have an East Anglian connection.

After the sell-out success of last year, in 2019 INK has been expanded to include a third day with performances taking place in additional new locations, including The MR King showroom and The Museum.

Actors in rehearsal for the 2019 INK Festival in Halesworth Photo: INKActors in rehearsal for the 2019 INK Festival in Halesworth Photo: INK

Four well known writers have each written a five-minute script around a common theme: this year it is Wellington Boots. Scarlett Curtis, Paul Heiney, Shappi Khorsandi and Greg Mosse will all have their plays performed at the festival.

In addition to staged plays there will be radio plays and rehearsed readings as well as one off events.

Performance poet Luke Wright will be on stage providing his take on the world, and comedian Shappi Khorsandi, (Mock the Week, Just A Minute, Have I Got News for You, QI and I’m a Celebrity) will be bringing her stand-up act on Saturday, April 13.

On the Sunday night (April 14) festival supporter Richard Curtis will show a trailer of his new film – Yesterday and talk about its filming in Suffolk, including scenes shot in Halesworth Thoroughfare.

Suffolk-based writer Scarlet Curtis who is submitting a short play for the 2019 INK Festival Photo: INKSuffolk-based writer Scarlet Curtis who is submitting a short play for the 2019 INK Festival Photo: INK

Speaking after last year’s festival, where his short play Another Suitcase in Another Hall premiered, Richard said: “Loved the Ink Festival. Short, brilliant plays in the coolest venue.”

Workshops will also be given by Greg Mosse, Simon Nelson and Robin Brooks, and many more leading theatrical professionals will give talks including casting director Rachel Freck who’s work includes The Office and Little Dorrit.

This year there is also a musical, Lady Of Jazz, by Greg Mosse with musical arrangement by John Gleadall and Tony Pegler, and a Halesworth Museum Special, Reasonable Doubt, by Greg Hanson.

Lady of Jazz is described as a brilliant evocation of 1920s New Orleans and the gripping story of Honey Grey, lead singer in her Daddy’s band, while Reasonable Doubt tells the true story of John Ducker, the last man to be publicly hanged in Suffolk, based on new evidence that suggests a tragic miscarriage of justice.

Julia Sowerbutts, artistic director of the Ink Festival in rehearsal. Picture: MARTIN SMITHJulia Sowerbutts, artistic director of the Ink Festival in rehearsal. Picture: MARTIN SMITH

Julia Sowerbutts, INK’s artistic director, says: “We have received over 300 submissions of new short plays for stage and radio, a huge increase on last year – 2019 is going to be a wonderful festival of such contrasting work – a showcase of the incredible talent here in Eastern England.”

Tickets, available here, are £25 for a day or £60 for three days.

INK Festival: The Plays

The INK Festival, staged at the Halesworth Cut, has been promoting local playwrights for the past five years.The INK Festival, staged at the Halesworth Cut, has been promoting local playwrights for the past five years.

THE INKredibles Platform

A series short plays about Wellington Boots…

The Boot on the Other Foot, by Paul Heiney

An elderly pig farmer and his grumpy carer have little respect, and less time, for the other’s point of view.

Nina’s Not Okay, by Shappi Khorsandi

A night out on the tiles with 17-year-old Nina is fuelled by something far more potent than drink.

Wellington, by Scarlett Curtis

Three quirky women — granny, mum and daughter — cram onto the sofa to watch THE royal wedding on television.

Wellington Boots, by Greg Mosse

A slippery financial advisor sets out his tempting stall for a seemingly keen investor.

Pink Wellingtons, by Abi Kemp (14years)

Why shouldn’t a bright pink pair of wellies brighten a grey world?

Short Plays

After Prospero, by Martha Loader

Brexit parable set some 400 years after The Tempest. A storm is about to break over Prospero’s flooded island home. Squabbling sisters, Ariel and Miranda, are re-united for their father’s wake.

Mixed Up, by James McDermott

A comedy drama about music, mix tapes and feeling mixed up.

That’s Great! by Shaun Kitchener

Rory is desperate to go out with Jake. His flatmate Harry is desperate to help him. So why does the plan go so desperately wrong?

The Sound Guy, by Corin Child

A clumsy sound technician is having a serious problem with his microphone plugs at a rally organised by right-wing patriots.

A Selfish Boy, by Christopher Reason

Double-edged confession set in a 1970s living room. The play travels back and forth in time to illuminate the secrets of a mother and son.

Whore, written and directed by Dan Allum

A Roma Gypsy kidnapped by a sex-trafficking gang finds an unlikely ally in the most lonely of places. Tough and topical.

Dog On A Beach, by John R Goodman

Three dogs meet on a beach. They chase the waves, sniff the breeze, and discuss philosophy. As you do if you’re a dog.

Love In Winter, by Jon Canter

David forces himself to read his famous sister-in-law’s 632 page romantic novel in a desperate quest to please his wife.

Love Me Tinder, by James McDermott

Two young women who surf their mobile phones might find something more than sex if they weren’t quite so scared of intimacy.

Amygdala, by Katie Smith

A failure to conceive acts like poison on a young couple who must choose whether to stay together or go their separate ways.

Invisible Irene, by Jackie Carreira

Irene can barely squeeze into her old clothes yet she feels as if she’s physically disappearing. A trick of the light or is life passing her by?

The Ties That Bind Us, by Andrew Crook

Chalk and cheese sisters are failing to bond on a hill climbing adventure when one of them unexpectedly bumps into Elvis.

Themed Plays

Perspective, by Andy Powrie

A pair of unhappily married tour guides air their differences to the unsuspecting public as they ‘critique’ several iconic masterpieces.

The Other Moon, by Ruth Furness

Laura is struggling to deal with her elderly mother. The last thing she needs is a sick brother wandering around in the middle of the night.

The Ties That Bind Us, by Andrew Crook

Chalk and cheese sisters are failing to bond on a hill climbing adventure when one of them unexpectedly bumps into Elvis.

Hanging Around, by Michael Barry

While a couple of tramps are waiting for Godot to turn up elsewhere the man himself is stuck in a rural bookmaker’s shop trying to place a winning bet.

Lust In Space, by Jan Etherington

A mission by newly-wedded astronauts to conceive the first space baby comes unstuck when someone unexpected pops up at the lunar station.

Together Or Never, by I Taylor

Garage band Moon are on the point of imploding because Matt’s opportunistic girlfriend Olivia has decided to go out with Neil. Is this really the end of the road?

Naked Truth, by Wally Smith

Brian has a propensity to drop his trousers at public events. A habit that initiates a diplomatic crisis when President Trump visits the UK.

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