Talks & Workshops

The 2017 INK Festival will feature a number of talks and workshops. The programme is being continually developed so please keep looking at these pages.

What gets a new play noticed?
A critic’s perspective with Libby Purves

The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!


Libby Purves

Raised Suffolk and various foreign postings. Novelist, most recent Shadow Child. Journalist, columnist for Times since 1985. Contributor to other papers. Former presenter TODAY r4 and Midweek R4 to March 2017.  Chief theatre critic for the Times 2010-13, since then reviewing theatre in

Writing for Radio


The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!

How does radio drama work? How can your own creativity best match what the BBC (or other platforms) are looking for? And how can your ideas take shape on the page?


This is a course aimed for anyone who wants to pitch and write radio drama. What does the workshop include?

  • Understanding the basics of writing for Radio, and the commissioning process.
  • The essentials of the medium
  • Nuts and bolts of radio-scripts, do’s and don’ts of audio-drama.
  • Learning how to concoct and write a pitch.
  • Creating sample proposals

Robin Brooks

Robin Brooks is a dramatist with twenty years experience of writing original plays and adaptations for BBC Radio. Notable works for Radio 4 include a six hour dramatisation of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Last year he wrote two original plays for Radio 3, Drama on 3: Remorse, or the Sorrows of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Present Experiment, about the birth of the Third Programme in 1946.

Fiona McAlpine

Fiona McAlpine is a radio drama producer and director, recently a finalist for Best Drama Producer at the Audio Production Awards 2016. In 2015 she produced eight hours of original drama for BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and Audible. She also freelances as a producer for other Radio Indies.

Allegra Productions

Is an independent production company based in Suffolk, producing radio drama, audio and theatre.

Duration 2 hours

Her Mother’s Voice

The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!

Not a lecture. Writer Astrid Ronning gives us an informal taste of the comedy genius of her mother, Peg Lynch, one of the first ladies of American radio and television, often called “the woman who invented sitcom”.


Peg Lynch started working in a radio station in 1930 at the age of 14.

She died two years ago at the age of 98–still writing, still performing, still telling funny stories, her timing as impeccable as ever. Anecdotes, vintage audio and video, Live performances.

Astrid is joined by actor, Bernard Hill.




Iestyn Edwards One Man Show


The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!

With well over 1,000 acclaimed performances of a one-man show headlining in the west end and touring small venues, Iestyn Edwards gives advice in making your own work, booking dates and doing your own press and PR. Iestyn Edwards will be performing his One Man Show at the INK Festival 2017.


Described by the Liverpool Post as part panto dame, part stand up, part classical ballerina, total hit – has to be the result of a drunken one night stand between Anna Pavlova and Captain Mainwaring, we see the extraordinary character, and the man behind it, who has taken Iestyn from the west end, through the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, to Iraq, Afghanistan and back – just!

Performance & Talk

Saturday 22nd April 2017

Time TBC

Tickets- Festival admittance. 


Iestyn Edwards

From entertaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, concurrently headlining at the Café de Paris, Rah Rah Rooms and the London Hippodrome, private performances for all the senior members of the royal family – with the exception of Prince Charles – the Olivier Award winning show C’est Barbican and two series on Channel 4. Iestyn’s early experience came touring countrywide from age four with my father, Country and Western singer Terry Edwards – and with his mother, Eirwen, who channelled evidence of a cold case murder in Hemel Hempstead and was banned from doing any more of her psychic act.

He trained as a Hammerstein Chanter at Southwark Cathedral, then later at Guildhall and first played Madame Galina during the inaugural Rag Week Revue. He sang two seasons in principal roles with British Youth Opera, gave recitals at Southwark Cathedral, Loseley Hall and the Chelsea Arts Club, and held a singing tutorship at the Guildford School of Acting. After a private performance for Her Majesty in 2005, wires got crossed and he ended up on four tours to Iraq and Afghanistan entertaining for Combined Services Entertainment. Woman’s Hour made him Forces’ Sweetheart and Joanna Lumley played his recording of “Tom Bowling” during her 2006 appearance on Desert Island Discs. The book about his war-zone experiences: My Tutu Went AWOL! is being published by Unbound Books.


‘A rare and perfect synthesis of art and larkiness…the audience howled with laughter, stamped and cheered!’  The Times

‘Irrepressible, tour de force variety!  Totally dominated the proceedings…in a good way.’  The Sun

‘Bravissimo…the jokes are spot on and he is essential viewing.’  Evening Standard

‘The audience howled with laughter, stamped and cheered!’ The Times

‘Read the room perfectly to get belly laughs from us all!’ Team Origin

‘You were the highlight of my wedding. You looked beautiful, your ballet was fantastic and your routine was utterly hysterical. Thank you so very much!’ Lady Antonella von Brasz, wedding for Henry Bonas Events

“LEND ME YOUR EARS” – The craft of Lyric writing by Denis King


The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!

 Award-winning composer and song writer Denis King explains the craft of lyric writing, prompted by comedy writer (and aspiring lyricist) Jan Etherington. During a career that has spanned well over half a century, and having written songs with dozens of lyric writers from Sammy Cahn to Sir John Betjeman, Denis lets us in on the tricks of the trade and shares that magic moment when a song is born—or not.


Denis began his musical career at the age of six as a banjo-playing singer at childrens’ matinees. By the age of thirteen he was part of one of the most successful pop groups of the 50s and 60s, The King Brothers. He got his first break as a TV composer in 1972 with Black Beauty (Ivor Novello Award). To date, he has created themes and incidental music for over two hundred television series including Lovejoy.

For the stage, he composed the music for, among others: Privates On Parade (Ivor Novello for Best Musical – book and lyrics Peter Nichols); A Saint She Ain’t (with Dick Vosburgh); Stepping Out – The Musical (with Richard Harris and Mary Stewart-David); Bashville (with Benny Green); Treasure Island and Worzel Gummidge (with Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall); Wind In The Willows (with Willis Hall); and Orvin – Champion Of Champions, Whenever, Awaking Beauty (with Alan Ayckbourn).

His memoir, KEY CHANGES, is available from Amazon (also in Kindle format); from Kobo, iTunes iBookstores and other epub formats; and as an audio book, narrated and musically scored by the author, from Audible and iTunes

Adaptation Workshop with Shirley Day

The festival weekend has been and gone! Watch this space for information about INK Festival 2018!

Adaptation provides writers with tried-and-tested format: the story works, so where can you take it? Theatre to film? Short story to theatre? Real life to novel? the combinations are limitless.


Shirley Day, writer in residence at The Cut, adapted Thea Smilley’s Role Play from last years Ink festival. The film has gone on to win a festival award. Shirley was also selected for the BFI Adapt to Film scheme, to adapt her own award winning novel into a feature.   Working between disciplines is an exciting way of working collaboratively, exploring new ideas or finding out what your own story really means.

In this workshops Shirley will talk about:


  • Finding stories
  • Copyright and etiquette
  • Knowing which medium to adapt your story to.
  • Finding the narrative spine.
  • Methodology
  • When is your story, not an adaptation. Does it matter?