‘Pen to Performance’ is at the core of INK and The INK Festival, it is also the title of our creative writing project.

Young People:


This exciting initiative is to help encourage the uncking of the creative ideas of students from Year 4 to Year 13, working with a professional storyteller and an experienced playwright through two unique workshops. A group of professional actors return to the school to perform a rehearsed reading of the scripts submitted by the participating students, and gives feedback.

Ultimately, our hope is that the project will inspire more young people to submit short play scripts to The INK Festival, and looking beyond that, we hope to strengthen INKs relationships with teachers and students, and inspire a future generation of creative writers.

The ‘Pen to Performance Project’ in schools is based on Untold Tales from the Marina Theatre Lowestoft/Making Waves initiative and is funded thanks to Suffolk Coastal District Council.


Below is the article that Elise wrote in the school newspaper after INK visited her school.

INK: Pen to Performance Project

Last term Alde Valley Academy welcomed INK, with the Pen to Performance Project to encourage our students to write and create scripts.

They ran workshops with a story teller, and scriptwriter. Our students were encouraged to write and submit scripts, with the possibility of having them performed in April 2019 at the INK Festival at The Cut, Halesworth.

On the 20th November 2018 INK returned to Alde Valley with a group of actors to perform the students’ scripts.Students Emilee, Ching-Yee, Connie, Abi and Mollie all created wonderful and intelligent scripts which the actors performed. The students found the experience overwhelming to see their scripts being performed by professional actors.

We had the delight of meeting Henry Merriam, Joe Sowerbutts, Zoe Wells, Adrienne Grant who performed the 5 plays directed by Jane Zarins – Associate Director. One of the actors commented “The students interacted amazingly with the project and they are very intelligent students who are very willing to try script writing.”

Ms Smith concluded that, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work alongside professionals and to learn new skills regarding the crafting of plot and character. These skills will prove invaluable as the students approach their GCSE English exams.”

Elise Scammell.


We are delighted that Pink Wellingtons by Abi Kemp aged 14, has been selected to be performed at this years INK Festival, she joins the line up of INKredible writers – Scarlett Curtis, Greg Mosse, Paul Heiney and Shappi Khorsandi.


Golden Age Project:

Extending the ‘Pen to Performance Project’ in schools, writer and creative writing teacher James McDermott has designed a series of writing workshops for older people that, with the help of INK, he will deliver in residential homes and senior citizens clubs across Norfolk and Suffolk.Participants will share stories from their lives and be guided through how they might turn these into dramatic pieces of creative writing. This will help participants to become more demonstrative about their lives, keep their memories active and to generate stories for new plays. Those taking part will be gently lead through techniques to help them write dialogue, create characters and structure scripts, either to work independently, in small groups or in conjunction with James. Ultimately they will be coached through the process of the writing of a short play. This opportunity will allow older writers to learn new skills, helping to keep their minds active, and to work with new people, which will help abate loneliness.

INK: From Pen to Performance: Golden Age Project  – 25th February 2019 – The Wellbeing Day Care Centre

This week saw the culmination of the first phase of INK’s Golden Age Project at the Wellbeing Day Centre in Oulton Broad.  The playwright James McDermott initiated this project as a way of enabling older people to explore stories from their lives and to engage with the creative writing process.  James and fellow-writer Griff Scott have been working with the Centre’s customers over the past few weeks to explore stories from different times in their lives using photographs, storytelling and songs.  These workshops led onto James and Griff taking inspiration from the stories turning them into short monologues.  These monologues were brought to life by professional actors, Clare Hawes, Joe Sowerbutts and Tessa Wojtzcak along with INK Artistic Director, Julia Sowerbutts in a celebratory performance event to which family members and friends were invited.  This performance gave audience members a poignant insight into the experiences of living with older age and dementia.  It also gave participants, family members and carers the chance to see memories and characters come alive in an engaging and thoughtful performance.  INK will be continuing its Golden Age project with various groups of older people in our local area.  If you are interested to take part, please get in touch with us.


Community Theatre:

Community Theatre Groups have been invited to take up a challenge! Participating local theatre groups have been allocated, one of two new, exciting, short scripts, Boomer Busters by Andy Durham and The Quiz by Huw Brentnall. The groups will rehearse and produce the short play themselves, then perform the piece at The Cut, Halesworth, on 24th February 2019, alongside the other groups. This special weekend will be a joint celebration of local amateur talent and INK. The group deemed to have produced the best play, will be scheduled to perform it at The INK Festival 2019 – alongside the plays performed by professional actors – and have the support of one of INK’s professional directors.


We are delighted to announce after a wonderful day in The Alan Bates Theatre at The Cut on 24th February 2019  –  the winners, who performed Boomer Busters by Andy Durham are WLOG – Waveney Light Opera Group who will perform at INK Festival 2019.