Pipeline opens for new work


The next SIX could be waiting to be uncovered as Lighthouse partners with Dorset Scriptwriters to launch Pipeline, an evening of new writing for the stage, in the new year.

Across three evenings in the Sherling Studio, actors will perform new and developing work, script in hand, giving writers a valuable opportunity to hear their words out loud in a professional theatre setting. 

“This is absolutely key for any work – you can’t just write it and then suddenly it goes on stage,” says writer-director Ed Viney. 

“That’s the whole thing about writing for performance – the words need to be read aloud and there aren’t really opportunities like this at this scale. The great thing about what Lighthouse is doing with Pipeline is offering an opportunity in a theatre that gives a boost to the work.  

“It’s about empowering writers. There may be something in a story and it may not be right yet, but here’s a platform where you can explore the idea and get a bit of feedback and just hear it.” 

Dorset Scriptwriters are inviting writers to submit scripts for possible selection for the events on 31 January, 27 March and 29 May. The evenings are free to attend, although it’s essential to book a ticket. Audience members will be invited to pay what they can to contribute towards covering expenses for the actors. 

“It’s a curated evening of scripts in development that have some connection, either through the work or the writers, to Lighthouse. They don’t need to be about Poole or Dorset, but they have to feel homegrown in that they could be seen at Lighthouse in a few years’ time. 

“The point about pay what you can is that good, competent actors can lift a script and there are good, competent people around Dorset and they want to support the work. There’s a lot of goodwill given in the arts so asking the audience to make a contribution if they can helps make the project more sustainable and recognises that this is what people train for. It’s work and that needs to be acknowledged.” 

Above all, Pipeline offers a different kind of cultural experience at Lighthouse. Scripts will not be the polished, finished articles, but the evenings will offer fascinating insights into the evolution of new work. 

“For a start, you’re sat much closer to the actors, so it’s very different to sitting in Row J in the Theatre, and it’s not just talkie-talkie theatre – we have a couple of musicals coming through, and a couple of plays with music. SIX is a wonderful show and it started life at Edinburgh Fringe, but for every SIX there are a thousand fringe shows that didn’t become SIX. 

“Audiences might see the start of something inspiring at Pipeline and for scriptwriters it’s all about the stuff that you can’t do on your own. You have to do a lot of hard graft on your own, but you can’t have actors on tap and in a theatre context with a little bit of tech, nothing fancy, some lights and sound, Pipeline is that step that is so valuable – learning how to write space and to acknowledge what actors do.” 

For more information and to submit a script for consideration, please email dorsetscriptwriters@gmail.com. 

:: Tickets for Pipeline can be booked now at www.lighthousepoole.co.uk 

:: Dorset Scriptwriters meet on the last Wednesday of the month in rotation at Lighthouse, Dorchester Corn Exchange; Bridport Arts Centre, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis; Mowlem, Swanage.