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Local playwrights to see works performed at the Garrick as part of the 2017 Lichfield Festival after winning competition

Local playwrights will see their work performed as part of the Lichfield Festival after winning the Garrick300 competition.

Rory Payne and Ellie Galvin won with their piece Paradise, while Kiersten Leslie’s Moving Pictures was also victorious.

Kiersten Leslie, Rory Payne and Ellie Galvin

Kiersten Leslie, Rory Payne and Ellie Galvin

The works will now be given a staged reading with professional characters at the Garrick on July 14.

The four month competition was designed to find original, unperformed and unproduced work.

Tim Ford, the Lichfield Garrick’s artistic director, said: “The level of entries was incredibly high and there is such a breadth of playwrights, not just in Lichfield, but across the country who are writing great work.

“The variety of entrants who wrote their copy around the themes of Risk and Innovation led to some very interesting reads, some exploring the darker side of politics in the current climate.

“All the submissions were entered without the authors name on to make the judging impartial. I was pleased to find out that one of the winners – Rory and Ellie – are local to Lichfield.”

The duo wrote the work collaboratively via email after just one conversation about the storyline at the outset.

Rory Payne, who is from Lichfield, said: “Paradise explores themes of the Post-Truth, Brexit, Trump Era. We describe it as Hunger Games meets Frankenstein meets 1984.

“Our play challenges the audience to reflect upon current social values and to question the future – what happens when we take it too far?

“Both Ellie’s and my ‘innovative’ writing technique fits very well with both the theme of the competition and the futuristic setting of the play itself.”

The competition is part of the Lichfield Garrick’s celebration of David Garrick’s 300th anniversary.

Kiersten, originally from New Zealand and who now lives in Stafford added: “Moving Pictures was inspired by a newspaper article, passed on to me by a family member about a 1930s British film that was made by the Empire Marketing Board or one of its affiliates.

“This play is about a fictional member of the film-making team and how, after approaching the project with high hopes, he deals with colossal failure.”

Tickets for the staged reading at 8pm on July 14 are £10 and can be booked online or by calling the Box Office on 01543 412121.

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