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by Kevan Ogden 

Something has gone wrong with Sheila Cartmell. Suspended from the school where she works for attacking a pupil, she has begun “writing” letters that can never be read.  

 Sheila’s husband and daughter attempt to restore her to her old life but it’s an attempt that is doomed to failure for Sheila has already come to realise that behind the life she has found herself living, there is the life she ought to have lived.

 Family ties begin to unravel, minds begin to examine themselves and grief slowly realises it can only be relieved by revenge. 


Many congratulations to Kevan Ogden, who is the winner of the biennial New Writing North/People’s Play Award for his play, Ersatz. The play is a gripping small-cast drama (2m, 3f) about a family coming to terms with the consequences of violent crime.

As winner of the competition, which is jointly run by New Writing North and the People’s Theatre, Kevan gets a £2,000 cash prize as well as seeing his play produced in our Studio auditorium for a five-night run from 20th to 24th November. 

Over 40 entries were received for the competition, the best of which reflected the high standards of dramatic writing and the thriving theatre culture in the North East of England. We were greatly pleased to see the diversity of genres in the scripts submitted, ranging from whimsical and quirky comedies, through historical costume dramas, to gritty, hard-hitting urban tragedies.

We would also like to acknowledge the particular quality of writing in the three other plays that made it onto the shortlist: "Crest of a Wave" by Lewis Cuthbert; "The Great Outdoors" by Chris Neville-Smith; and "What Do You See in the Sea?" by David Williams.


Production photos by Jim Mohan

Kay Jessica Chapman
Belinda Penny Middleton
Sheila Eileen Davidson
Phil Pete McAndrew
Callum Sam Hinton
Alison Stephanie Maule
Crystal Kate Smith
Production Team  
Director Maggie Watson
Assistant Director Rhiannon Wilson
Stage Manager Marina Cornish
Assistant Stage Manager Caroline Bavin
Sound Mike Cornish
Lights Karen Dales, Dave Bailey, Lisa Harrison, Liam Scarth, Paddy Hepplewhite



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