A panel of expert professionals from the television, film and theatre industry are set to arrive in Cambridge in anticipation of A Festival of New Writing on 9 – 11 March, next week. Ten original plays by Cambridge students have been selected from over 50 submissions, to be staged and reviewed by this panel of prolific writers, directors and special guests. Here is your chance to meet a selection of the judges.
Chips Hardy is an alumnus of Downing College, where he studied English. He’s currently a Global Creative Director in advertising, but has written for television, film and theatre, as well as novels and stand-up material. His work includes – amongst other things – a TV drama series called “Gentlemen and Players”, the children’s series “Helping Henry”, a television drama with Maureen Lipman and a British Comedy Award for his work with Dave Allen. He is currently consultant producer and co-writer on the BBC1 and FX drama series “Taboo”, which stars his son Tom Hardy (Olivier and Academy Award nominee).
Originally trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Tanya Ronder has worked on high profile adaptations for the theatre including Liolà by Pirandello and Dara by Shahid Nadeem (National Theatre); Macbett by Eugene Ionesco (RSC); Filumena by Eduardo De Filippo and Blood Wedding by Lorca (Almeida). Table, her first original play, was the inaugural production at the Shed/Temporary Theatre at the National Theatre. Her second, Fuck the Polar Bears, premiered at the Bush Theatre. Ronder is under commission from the National Theatre to create a modern version of Gorky’s Vassa, and is developing a new play with director Rufus Norris, working title The Wedding. She is also developing, along with co-writer Deborah Bruce, an original drama series Big Amy, with the BBC and a new series for Playground Productions, working title The Screw.
Susan was an illustrator before turning to film. She won the Carl Foreman Screenwriting Award, in association with BAFTA, and went to film school in America, gaining experience in script development within the industry in LA. An award-winning short story writer and novelist, Susan’s credits as a screenwriter include Hinterland and A Mind to Kill. She was nominated in the Writer category of the RTS Yorkshire Awards for her episode of Hinterland, and the series went on to win Best Drama at the Welsh BAFTAs in 2016. Susan is currently working on a 3-part true crime drama for TV. She has several features in development, and has directed four short films, including Mother, Mine, which screened at over 80 film festivals and won 16 international awards. As well as writing, Susan has years of experience as a script editor, consultant, mentor and tutor, including lecturing at the Northern Film School, Leeds, where she originally did an MA in Scriptwriting.
After reading English Literature at Sussex University, David trained on the Royal Court Young Writer’s programme, and has since amassed a prolific body of work as a creator and writer of television drama. Not only was he on the core team of writers for Emmerdale 2008-2015, but he has achieved several notable prizes for his writing, including ‘Best Episode’ Digital Spy Audience Award in 2014, and ‘Best Exit Episode’ at the British Soap Awards in 2009. In 2015, he presented the Berlin Literature Festival. Recently, he has moved on to writing political and historical drama, including work for production company Ink Factory London (The Night Manager), and is currently based in Berlin working on three political thrillers for television in the UK and US. His interest in politics also once extended to a job as Tony Blair’s speechwriter – though he’d rather not mention that! David is very pleased to be joining to the festival’s judging panel for the second time.
A Festival of New Writing returns to Downing’s Howard Theatre, Thursday 9th-Saturday 11th March 2017.