NEWS - 2013 / 2014 / 2015

Short play at the New Diorama for Climate Change action evening 2Degrees - 12/15


The last show of the year was a short play I wrote for an evening of talks and performances to coincide with the Paris talks. It got me working with director Peter Bradley (who's long been on the list of people I want to make plays with) and involved pouring black syrup all over some lego. It was bloody great - and the actors Tom Gordon and Maisie Turpie were just brilliant. My favourite moment of the night was when the woman who had come from WWF to talk said I'd captured what it was like to be in the Arctic. Highest possible praise.


Huge thanks to Nathan Wood and Vicky Album for organising the evening.


Soon I'll be barreling into Christmas and new year, but 2015 has been fairly incredible. There's been a few milestones: getting an agent, getting my first job on a TV show and winning The Sitcom Mission 2015. Next year looks like it's going to be amazing and already there are some really exciting events lined up. Sadly I can't say what they are yet, but when things are signed and out in the open I'll post here. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to everyone.


Blue Sky Thinking WINS - 10/15


I'm delighted and stunned with this outcome. I can't thank Declan and Simon enough for their support running this contest. The script had a brilliant reading with some wonderful actors. Thank you Andy Caley, Richard David-Caine, Caroline Lazarus, Chandrika Chevli and Dave Seymour - and of course Declan and Simon themselves who stepped up to the plate. And to everyone in the audience who came and lent their laughter.


I'll keep you posted if anyone picks up the script. But now it's time for a drink!


Blue Sky Thinking in The Sitcom Mission 2015 finals - 10/15


I'm a finalist for The Sitcom Mission this year with my new comedy. This is a huge honour, and I'm sharing the stage at the New Diorama with three other brilliant writers. It's being judged by Ben Boyer (Sky), Tilusha Ghelani (BBC) and Saski Schuster (ITV), and I'm very excited to hear what they think of it.


It's been quite  process with the Sitcom Mission organisers. They've offered astute notes, done practice readthroughs in a pub and have asked for three different rewrites from me. Each has improved and honed the script, and I am totally indebted to the work Simon and Declan have put in, which has really kicked the episode into shape. To any writer reading this, I would highly recommend applying to this contest in 2016. They really nurture and develop your script during the process, and, win or lose, as a writer I have already gotten loads out of it.


The final is at 4pm on the 15th October at the New Diorama. If you'd like to come, drop me an email.


Back in the PAGE Finals with Nightclub Nanny - 09/15

I'm delighted to be in the finals of the PAGE International Screenwriting Contest once again. With around 6200 entries I'm totally stunned to have jumped the many hurdles of their selection process, but the results will be announced on October 15th, and I shall be keeping fingers firmly crossed!


Update: It didn't win! That's two PAGE finalist accolades now. One day I'll crack it!


Longlisted for the Old Vic 12 - 09/15


Some theatre news! I'm on the playwright longlist for the Old Vic 12's scheme. They pick three writers, three directors, three producers and then a set designer, composer and costume designer who they commission for work. I have to go in soon to chat to somebody about my idea, after which a shortlist will be drawn up.


Looking down the longlist it's a bit of a who's who of London new writing, so I am honoured to be on it. There's also a huge amount of Theatre Renegade writers from our Courting Drama evenings, which is lovely to see. Best of luck to everyone.


Shortlisted for the BBC Writersroom Comedy Pool - 08/15


I've been interviewed for a new scheme with BBC Writersroom where they take a group of new comedy writers and mentor them for six months. It sounds like an absolsute dream, and hopefully I'll be selected to take part in it. I sent them Nightclub Nanny, and amazingly they've only interviewed 25 of the 2100 who sent scripts. I'm very grateful to have even gotten this far, and really hope to go on what seems like a fantastic scheme.


Update: Sadly I wasn't selected. But you can look at the talented bunch who were here. Best of luck to them all!


​Writing on the Cartoon Network's The Amazing World of Gumball - 04/15


Finally I have a chance to get paid to spend time in a room with James Hamilton! The two of us are delighted to be joining the team at the Amazing World of Gumball, and thrilled to be working with some incredibly talented comedy writers. We're writing on series 5, which will be shown in 2016. Keep a look out for the show!


Signed by Blake Friedmann Literary Associates - 03/15


Wonderful news - I'm now represented by Ellen Gallagher and Daniel Nixon at Blake Friedmann.


Ellen will be looking after me for television and film work, whereas Dan will helm the theatre side of my writing. I'm delighted to be working with them, and looking forward to starting a new chapter as a represented writer.


Hector vs The Future - Episodes 1 and 2 recorded at the Old Red Lion - 02/15


James Hamilton and mine's podcast sitcom is having the first two episodes recorded at Old Red Lion on February 9th.


This is a really exciting project for me - first time I've cowritten something, and the first time writing in this medium. The episodes will be performed by the members of Casual Violence, with two roles being taken by Tash and Bob from the fantastic and multi-award winning Kill the Beast. I've just come back from a table read, and it is looking great. So come down and watch it get recorded live - it should be something special!


Red Jungle Fowl at the Et Cetera Theatre - 01/15


We're bringing Red Jungle Fowl to London. After a smashing Edinburgh we've decided to do the show for three more nights at a theatre I've spent more time in than I care to admit over the last two years (we did some workshops for RJF there too, as well as every single Casual Violence rehearsal ever).


If you missed it in Edinburgh now is your chance - but it's only a fifty seater, so book early.


Waifu part of Courting Drama at the Southwark Playhouse - 01/15


After curating the evenings for years I've finally decided to put my own show on as part of the evening. It's a new play about what happens when the consequence free online world collides with the offline, and most of it takes place on 4chan. It's a new idea I'm really excited about, and this Courting Drama looks like it'll be cracking, with Hassan Abdulrazzak, Grae Cleugh, Nick Cheesman and Ben Weatherill on the ticket too it'll be a high quality night.


I'm also super excited to be working with Rebecca Hill, who spent her 2014 winning a Fringe First for Travesti and being resident director at the Almeida Theatre. I'm really pleased to be working on this play with her, and excited to see what she does with it. 


Jessica Edwards to direct Star-Crossed reading at the Arcola - 01/15


I'm really pleased to say that Jessica Edwards is fitting in directing my reading alongside her other job as associate director on Charles III. I'm really excited to be working with her, and to have some time with that play at the Arcola. It's on in January so come along.


Interviewed for the Channel 4 Screenwriters Course - 12/14

This is another one of those mental statistics. 1300 applicants. 28 interviews. 12 places.

I sent Nightclub Nanny to them, and that’s the script that’s doing me all the favours this year. It got me a lovely interview at Channel 4, which is the swankiest of buildings I’ve been to this year (Since BAFTA Rocliffe I’ve been in a few TV offices now, and this one was most like an episode of Black Mirror. Kind of appropriate really).

Even though I didn’t get a place I am hugely appreciative of Philip Shelley for interviewing me. And he even remember Star-Crossed, which I sent him last bloody year as my application (didn’t get interviewed last year). That man has a good memory.

Very grateful to have gotten so far, and I do know some of the people who were accepted. They are definitely further along than me as writers, so I find it hard to be disappointed. Just happy to be considered.

I’ll certainly be applying next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have done enough to get in.


Selected for the Arcola's Playwrought Scheme - 11/14

Star-crossed is being read at the Arcola in January. 

As part of their Playwrought programme the Arcola asked for a play that’s never been performed, and Star-Crossed fits that bill! I’m incredibly excited to finally be able to show it in a public setting, and the Arcola is a theatre I’ve always loved.

You can buy tickets here, and look at the rest of the week, with some writers I am very humbled to be in the same programme as.

http://www.arcolatheatre.com/production/arcola/playwrought-3


Star-Crossed Longlisted for the Theatre 503 Playwriting Award - 11/14

This may become the year of the longlist/shortlist. Star-Crossed was in the top 160 of 1600 submissions, so I am very pleased to have gotten so far. I was also asked to submit to the 503Five scheme.

Even though neither of these resulted in a win I’m very happy that a theatre I like so much has taken a vague interest in me. They’re putting on my short The Story as part of their Rapid Write Responses too, so at least I get to watch something of mine on their stage on the 23rd and 24th November.


Writing day on Big Talk show Brotherhood - 08/14

Very exciting news. I get to go into Big Talk to spend a day sat around a table with five other writers working on “punching up” an episode of Brotherhood. I wasn’t aware of this term before, but it’s when you sit down and collaborate to add gags to scenes. Massive thanks to Paddy and Paul, the writers, and Sam, the producer, for allowing me in. It’ll be my first TV experience, so I am very excited. And hoping I have some funnies up my sleeve.


Highly Commended for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase 2014 - 09/14

I had to keep this one under my hat for a fair while, but the excellent news is that my sitcom Nightclub Nanny has been highly commended by the BAFTA Rocliffe Contest.

400ish people entered, and I got down to the last nine. There are some winners - they get to go to New York. But as a Highly Commended i get to go over to BAFTA in a few weeks, meet the organisers, and have a day of workshops with industry people. Then a networking night to swan around and try and network. Also, they will help push my script out, hopefully get me some TV meetings and generally look after me.

I am hugely grateful to have this opportunity, and whilst it would have been nice to win I’m finding it hard to be disappointed. Thank you BAFTA Rocliffe!


Red Jungle Fowl gets Five Star Review in Edinburgh - 08/14

Wonderful news just as we’re starting our fringe run. Red Jungle Fowl has been given a five star review from Platform and it’s very complimentary of, well, everyone. Here it is:

★★★★★ RED JUNGLE FOWL

Ambition is key for success. If a film, play, or other form of culture is ambitious, then even if it doesn’t fully succeed, it will still be admirable. Red Jungle Fowl, the comedy play from Tea for Ten Theatre Company is highly ambitious – four actors playing nearly thirty roles between them, and delivers a stinging satirical bite.

Taking place in Brazil during the World Cup in summer 2014, the play is told through the eyes of a teacher who takes a group of students from Britain out to the favelas of Sao Paulo, for a ‘cultural exchange’ by teaching young Brazilian kids Shakespeare acting skills. Three teachers, 8 shown students and a collection of other characters all feature.

First of all, it’s an incredibly smart piece of work, taking the notion of the many school trips abroad that are happening in more and more establishments these days, and putting a spin on it to get a comic scenario playing out, one that has dark and light edges. It incorporates several themes into it’s narrative – predominantly the kind of ‘Lad’ culture you get from shows like The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat, with the four male student characters committing to that style of behaviour. You also get the theme of responsibility and a sense of morals, all of which are stuffed into the script and given a satire treatment – and pulls it off solidly throughout.

The cast are the most impressive aspect of the play, playing over thirty characters which require a tack-change of less than three seconds can hardly be seen as a walk in the park. Once scene will have the four male students trying to decide how to get laid, and then the scene shifting to the teachers attempting to interest some Brazilians in Shakespeare. The characters all have different body languages and personas, and the cast change around at lightning speed, flinging themselves between roles and settling into each within a heartbeat.

The cast’s efforts would be somewhat futile if the script didn’t match up to their abilities, and it does that and then some. The dialogue is razor sharp with lots of zip-zang-boom interplay between it’s characters, plenty of nudges to the audience (cheekily, not intrusively) and develops a seriously slick satirical edge.

The ending of the play may polarise some audience members as it is left ambiguous, with a few threads left hanging. Frustrating for some, yet the admirable thing is that it doesn’t force an opinion on its audience and doesn’t tell them specifically what to think or make from this story – think what you want to think about it. And even up to this ending it manages to blend the dark with the light humour exceptionally well, and adds in a few subtle messages about the scenario, but never enforces you to take it in a certain way. A really impressive and edgy piece of comedy.

Red Jungle Fowl is showing at Just the Tonic @ The Caves in Edinburgh until 24th August.

Ellis Whitehouse

​​
Red Jungle Fowl at the Edinburgh Festival - 1st to 24th August 2014

I’ll be back at the Edinburgh Fringe this year in the same venue as Poets’ Corner was in 2009 - with a new show. It’s about a group of giddy youths attempting to take Shakespeare workshops to Brazil in World Cup month as an attempt to help favela youth. It’s a comedy, directed by Poets’ Corner director Tom Birch and you can get tickets here. If you’re in Edinburgh come along!


Kettle of Fish is a PAGE 2013 Finalist - 10/13

So I didn’t win but my debut sitcom script Kettle of Fish was a finalist (5800 entries) in this year’s PAGE international Screenwriting Contest. Proud of that.