Young Writers Festival

The Charlton Arms, 1 – 4 July at 7.30pm, 5 July at 11.30am, 2pm, 5pm and 7.30pm

‘Theatre company Pentabus skilfully shatters any image of sleepy, bucolic England’ The Arts Desk
‘Their dedication to rural communities and to young and old writers alike is truly inspiring’
Cara Squires - young writer

A collection of eight brand new plays, our Young Writers Festival showcases the freshest and most exciting new stories from local young writers. Each of the eight plays have been written by a talented young writer, culminating in an exciting and challenging collection of new work. From splintering friendships on the verge of trying to make sense of the world; a haunting ghost story; a disjointed love tale told through dreams; a fight against crippling fuel poverty; the anxieties of adolescent sexuality . . . these plays represent the beautiful and daring voices of a new generation of young writers from Shropshire.

The plays are:

Vultures by Rory Boar

Blake and Vera tell stories in the market square. It’s a ritual they’ve done since they were small. But as they come to the end of school days and futures and university dawn on the horizon, they must desperately come to terms that their stories might now be coming to an end. A play about friendship, stories and the imagination.

The Mushroom by Jade Edwards

Jenny’s in love. She lives with her boyfriend. She dreams of travelling the world and escaping the town she grew up in. The only problem is she lives with her boyfriend’s Mum too, who has a sinister intention to keep her son where he is at any cost.

Odd Jobs by Jack Purkis

Tom and Dan need a bit of cash. When an old man offers them a job clearing out his cluttered house, it seems like a pretty straightforward job to the boys - until some unusual objects start showing up, and a budgie. A comedy about friendship and finding work.

How To Find Love In Three Easy Dreams by David Scotswood

Benji keeps dreaming about a girl he’s never met. He’s convinced she’s real. But finding her proves a little more complicated than first thought, especially with the help of his unreliable friend Locke. A surreal comedy about love and friendship.

Happy by Cara Squires

A group of friends are approaching the end of the school year. With exams, deadlines and their futures to worry about thinking about themselves seems to get lost along the way. A play about love and what it means to be truly happy in who you are.



The Pit by Nat Vaughan

A brother and sister in a rural town are desperate for some money. With no jobs around and even less hope of finding one they turn to dangerous ways of getting by, only to become lost in a world of shady characters and difficult choices.

Windy Old Fossils by Tom Wentworth

An elderly couple huddle in their Shropshire cottage with nothing but the winter wind for company. As the weather gets colder, their electricity keeps blacking out and they begin to go to desperate lengths to keep warm. A play about age, energy and isolation.

Sea Breeze by Michael Wild

A man at the end of his life looks back at a trip he took to the seaside. The clear air, rolling waves and strolls down the promenade seemed like a simple pleasure. But walking past a shop window he sees a doll with no eyes, and his quiet seaside retreat turns into something altogether more sinister. A ghost story.


Pentabus Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone said: I couldn’t be prouder to be presenting these 8 new plays by 8 new writers in our Young Writers Festival, a fitting way for us to celebrate the company’s 40th year at the forefront of producing excellent new theatre. These playwrights have written about unemployment and ghosts, isolation and sexuality, love and ambition. Their plays demonstrate a force of rural energy hungry to explore the things that are really going on in the countryside. The plays are funny, daring and bold; must-see new theatre.’

Curator of Young Writers Festival and professional playwright Simon Longman said: To have the opportunity to curate and act as a tutor to this group of writers has been exciting. The eight writers have some of the most amazing imaginations I’ve encountered and to have worked with them in developing their plays has been truly inspiring. These plays represent a culmination of a project full of bravery from writers who have written about what the world means to them. It’s been a pleasure to spend time in their creative company.’

The writers have also written short audio plays in response to particular places in Ludlow. The Stories From The Street audio adventure will run through the duration of the festival consisting of 8 short pieces for audiences to listen to through headphones whilst walking around the town. They include the tale of a dragon slayer by Ludford Bridge, the Ludlow cannon telling his story and an exploration of faith by St Laurence’s church.

Pentabus Theatre Company’s Young Writers Programme is an annual programme open to any young person wanting to write for theatre. The programme offers a series of workshops with professional playwrights, actors, directors, producers and designers to allow young people a creative outlet for their stories and writing.


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on

Read More from Pete White