INK Festival 2018

INK 2018 was held on 7th & 8th April 2018 at The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk.

INK 2019 will take place at The Cut on 12/13/14th April 2019.


As East Anglia’s premier short play and film new writing festival, we were thrilled in 2018 to introduce new genres to the 2018 Festival, including a new annual ‘Themed Play’ category, which this year was ‘147’.

You can read all about INK 2018 below.

Short Plays are the heart of INK Festival, and in 2018 we had more submissions than ever! Everything from radio plays, to plays on a theme to our very first musical.

The Inkredible Five

Five very short plays about suitcases, by five very famous locals.

Directed by Julia Sowerbutts and Huw Brentnall.

Another Suitcase In Another Hall

by Richard Curtis.

An arrogant theatre director infuriates his leading lady and stage crew by fussing about the props during a rehearsal for Evita.


by Blake Morrison.

An exchange of suitcases goes awry when a spy approaches the wrong stranger in the park.

Life on the List

by Esther Freud.

A phone call out of the blue offers hope to a woman who has spent her adult life waiting for a future.


by Libby Purves.

A pair of sisters find an unexpected memory of their father wrapped up in a suitcase in the attic.


by Steve Waters.

Two immigration officers unzip an epiphany in an abandoned suitcase.

Stage Plays

Cold Call

by Ross Dunsmore, directed by Peter Kavanagh.

A call-centre romance turns unexpectedly sour when Rob can’t explain to his irritated colleague-cum-partner exactly where he was last night.

Fast Food

by James McDermott, directed by Will Isgrove.

Two hook-ups — one in censorious 1967, the other in licentious 2017 — illuminate the rude and skewed art of the gay pick-up, and asks the question what exactly has changed?


by Bill Cashmore, directed by Julia Sowerbutts.

Bill’s last play explores the tragicomic holes left in a woman’s life by the sudden death of her husband. A comedy brimful of caustic wit and subtle insight.

Heart of Winter

by Tim Connor and Lia Buddle, directed by Susan Raasay, musical director Caroline Humphris.

A new and bold one-woman musical about a young teacher, Kate, who struggles to adjust after her first long-term relationship falls apart. A musical first for INK.


by Martha Loader, directed by Amy Wyllie.

Two estranged lovers meet nearly ten years after a traumatic split. It rapidly transpires that neither of them has been entirely honest about letting the other go.

Mr Banana Hammock, Robin of Hood and the Capitalist Xylophone Fondler

by Gavin Milnthorpe, directed by Jane Zarins.

A prospective young employee is introduced to the absurd new world of Fake News. A sharp satire on contemporary office politics.

The Bus Stop

Written and directed by Daniel Allum.

A handsome young American tourist and an amorous local girl catch more than they expect while waiting for the night bus home.

The Girl Who Wasn’t

by Richard Blaine, directed by Jane Zarins.

Two young Londoners go on a drug-fuelled midsummer date. At Christmas, they meet again — for love, friendship, or revenge?

The Kiss

by Millie Martin, directed by James Christopher.

A brief encounter between an MP and a model in a 1960s hotel room turns into a surreal black comedy when his wife makes an unexpected appearance.

The Worst Poker Player in Tipton

by Ethan Dean-Richards, directed by James Christopher.

A desperate card sharp plays the worst hand of his life — or is it his best? — in a pitch black gothic comedy about revenge.

White Girls

by Madeleine Accalia, directed by Peter Broad.

A breath-taking romp through the refugee crisis in Calais as witnessed by two brassy young girls, fresh out of university and bubbling with savvy cheek.

Radio Plays

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

by Christopher Steward, directed by Tim  Bentinck.

Contemporary spoof about the drastic lengths people are prepared to go in order to buy the proverbial 15 trending minutes of fame.


by Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie, directed by Tim Bentinck.

Eric Bloodaxe, the godfather of thrash metal, has to swallow some of his own rock’n’roll medicine when his ex-wife introduces him to her new fiancé. With Helen Atkinson-Wood.

Her Mother’s Voice

with Astrid Ronning.

Astrid Ronning returns to celebrate the comic genius of her mother, Peg Lynch, one of the first ladies of American radio and television. Incorporates original archive clips and materials from Lynch’s ground-breaking shows. Actors joining Astrid include Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jill Freud.

Lost in Translation

by Wally Smith, directed by Richard Blaine.

A diplomatic banquet with alien lizards means entirely different things for the intergalactic participants. A sharp satire on the presumption and pomposity of earthlings.

Sleeping Through

by Griff Scott, directed by Helen Atkinson Wood.

A teacher convicted of indecent assault struggles to fit into normal family life when he’s released back into the community.

The Accident

by Tom Pauk, directed by Richard Blaine.

A call-centre clerk unexpectedly charms a sarcastic customer. Their long-distance friendship is turned upside down by a curious quirk of fate.

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers

by Linda Burgess. Directed by Helen Atkinson Wood.

A landlady is uneasy about the interest of her nosey tenant. A gentle comedy about how the best intentions can be misconstrued.

Plays on a Theme

Each year we invite writers to submit plays focused on a theme – in 2018, it was the number 147.


by Griff Scott, directed by Dugald Bruce Lockhart.

Raymond’s perfect new woman, Model 147, has a couple of small glitches, namely a free will of her own and no off-switch.

Blood Pressure

by Jan Etherington, directed by Dugald Bruce Lockhart.

An overworked young doctor gets the fright of her life when a 147-year-old corpse in A&E starts talking back.

The Bogeyman

by Wally Smith, directed by Dugald Bruce Lockhart.

A box of discarded possessions left behind by a loner who lived at number 147 The Crescent reveals an unusual story.


BBC New Comedy Writing Workshop

Saturday April 7th 3.30-5.30 pm
Thanks to BBC support, this event is free. THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED.
At the INK Festival for the first time.
BBC New Comedy is an exciting mission to find the best new, untapped and previously unknown comedy writing/performing talent. Once a month there’s a radio show of this best new talent on BBC Norfolk and Suffolk.
Come, learn, laugh and write something funny with us.  The workshop will be led by multi-award winning comic Tim FitzHigham.

Writing for Radio, with Robin Brooks

Saturday April 7th 10.00am-12.00pm
A course suitable for all ages and abilities: an introduction to how radio drama works, from the commissioning process at the BBC, through structure and style of radio script writing, through to the nuts and bolts of radio production
For tickets and more information:

 Writing for Television, with Dan Allum

Sunday April 8th 10.00am-12.00pm
This highly practical course is aimed at writers of all ages and experience and will not only cover essentials like the anatomy of structure, building dynamic action and writing strong dialogue, it will also explain how ‘selling’documents such as script proposals, story outlines and pitching treatments are created. The tutor will also aim to tailor the session to fit the individual requirements of the participants as far as possible.
For tickets and more information:


Blake Morrison

Sunday April 8th 
Included in Weekend and Sunday Festival tickets.
Writing for Stage and Page
Until commissioned by this year’s Festival, Blake Morrison had never written an original play. But over the years he has adapted eight plays for Barrie Rutter’s theatre company Northern Broadsides; collaborated with the composer Gavin Bryars on two operas and several song cycles; and seen his memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? made into a film (with Jim Broadbent, Colin Firth and Juliet Stephenson) and his novel The Last Weekend become a three-part television drama. In this talk he reflects on the differences between writing for the stage and writing for the page – and on the challenges he faced in composing his latest book, The Executor (published last month), a novel with poems.

Performance Poetry

Luke Wright
Poet Laureate

Sunday April 8th
Included in Weekend and Sunday Festival tickets.
There’s a new Poet Laureate due to be announced in 2019, but our new INK patron doesn’t fancy his chances. Luke casts a light on a rogue’s gallery of previous laureates and presents a new batch of his blistering poems: an alternative state-of-the-nation address, searching for things that can unite our fractured society.


Rosy Carrick

Saturday April 7th
Included in Weekend and Saturday Festival tickets.
One of the best poets on the circuit today, Rosy will perform pieces from her forthcoming collection of new work which features the dark arts of trainspotting and lust.

John Osborne
Circled in the Radio Times

Saturday April 7th
Included in Weekend and Saturday Festival tickets.
A beautiful piece of story telling that evolves from old copies of the Radio Times. Osborne pieces together a person’s life from the viewing habits of the reader, and charts how television has changed lives.


Andy Bennett

Saturday April 7th
Included in Weekend and Sunday Festival tickets.
A terrific rumble through the history of Norwich Castle from 1067, delivered in ‘rhyme royal’ – a rhysming stanza form introduced to English poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer – by one of East Anglia’s hot young bards.


Roderick Smith
Scenes from a Brummie Iliad

Sunday April 8th
Included in Weekend and Sunday Festival tickets.
Homer’s classic war story is given a Midlands vernacular twist in this striking solo performance piece by the charismatic Smith.


Tom Corbett
After The War

Included in Weekend tickets.
A son and father search for peace in the shadow of a war which has scarred them both. But can some wounds really heal? A rehearsed reading of a powerful poetic drama.



We showed 10 films at INK 2018.

Huw Brentnall
Nicholas McCarthy

Born without a right hand, Nicholas McCarthy became on of the most respected disabled musicians born in the UK. This short documentary explores the world of the one-handed piano and Nicholas’ place in it


Huw Brentnall
A Rum Do

When a burglar puts his back out during a job, he becomes trapped in a strange flat. When one of the tenants comes home, things go from bad…

Paul Nash
Perception is All

An intense loner watches over the city, believing the world will end unless he stays conscious and constantly perceiving his surroundings. He stays awake the only way he knows.


Michael Beddoes
The Date

After being set up on a blind date, Maddie experiences a night she’ll never forget. One that will make her access her feelings, insecurities and pre-judgements.


Alex Hermon

Amnesiac is a short thriller that follows a young man searching for the answer to his girlfriend’s disappearance.

Ellie Glendining
The One You Were Born In

A disabled teenager living in a rural village with her alcoholic mother makes a profound connection that allows hr to start to explore her previously repressed sexuality


Richard Morris
Made in Southwark

William Shakespeare gets into trouble with his wife when she finds out that he’s been writing his will. A spoof ‘docusoap’ made with hand puppets.


Josh Trett
Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?

Based on a true story. With Christmas two days around the corner, a young couple, enjoying a night of festivities, stumble across a stranger struggling to embrace the season.

Hannah Evans

If you had the chance to speak to your past self, what would you say?


Mark Hannant
Proper Milk

The intimate portrait tells the story of Fiona Provan and her small herd of jersey cows on the ‘highest welfare dairy in the land.’