Papatango Theatre Company Launches Series Of Initiatives In Response To Theatre Closures

George Turvey and Chris Foxon
George Turvey and Chris Foxon

Papatango Theatre Company announces a series of initiatives to encourage creativity and facilitate the enjoyment of new writing in the face of theatre closures across the country. These initiatives include open commissions for monologues through Isolated But Open Commissions, the free circulation of 60 new play texts via the Paptango Mobile Library, and free advice on Arts Council applications.

The initiatives come while the future of Papatango’s West End premiere, the transfer of their acclaimed 2019 production of Samuel Bailey’s Shook to Trafalgar Studios which is scheduled to run from 8 April – 9 May, is uncertain. Despite this, Artistic Director George Turvey and Executive Director Chris Foxon today said, “Papatango’s motto is All You Need Is A Story. That is true now more than ever, and we feel an obligation to put all the resources we can into supporting artists and audiences who may be facing even more challenging circumstances. We are working on more initiatives to be announced in the coming days. We know how hard it is to be creative when things are so uncertain and so stressful. These informal, open commissions, alongside the Mobile Library scheme, are intended to inspire people to tell their stories and enable everyone to enjoy fresh new writing, even if getting to a theatre is no longer possible. We can’t wait to read, cast and watch them.”

Isolated But Open Commissions will commission ten five minute monologues, and then cast ten actors to self-film those monologues – each playwright and actor will be paid £100. Papatango will then share these films online for free, so that everyone, wherever they may be, can enjoy new writing. The deadline for submissions is 31 March at midnight. To share a monologue, please visit www.papatango.co.uk/submit-a-monologue

To continue the work of their physical bookshop, which in normal circumstances helps fund their free playwriting workshops in state schools, Papatango have introduced the free Papatango Mobile Library. Using the hashtag #PTLibrary, twenty people were chosen on a first-come-first-served basis to receive a package of three plays on the understanding that once these have been read, the recipients will use the hashtag to find a new person to send them on to, and so on. This puts 60 plays into circulation for free. If anyone has any issues meeting the costs of the P&P required to post the books on, Papatango will help.

Papatango also reiterate their commitment to offering free advice to creatives, with their fortnightly 1:1 advice service continuing as usual. The confidential one-to-one live chats take place every other Thursday (10am-12pm) at papatango.co.uk/career-facilitation-service. Executive Director Chris Foxon also announced an open offer to help advise on Arts Council applications, for those who are seeking the support and refocused grant programmes that ACE are offering.

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