INK 2018 took place in April, and while we’re busy preparing for the 2019 Festival and Tour, you can read all about the 2018 Festival 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 – this year, 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.