Press: Winner of SCrIBE 2017 announced

September 28, 2017

The winner of the 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition has been announced. Darrel Bristow-Bovey will have his play, Priest With Balloons presented by the Imbewu Trust for a professional run at a Cape Town Theatre next year. The announcement was made at an event following a series of staged readings of the top three finalists’ scripts. The other two were Two Lovers by Ter Hollmann and Gardening and Other Distractions by Juliette Rose-Innes.


Produced by the Imbewu Trust and now celebrating its sixth year, SCrIBE is a national competition which provides the opportunity for playwrights to develop their work, including all finalists having the invaluable opportunity to engage in feedback sessions with audience members at staged readings of their scripts.


“I'm a first-time and somewhat insecure theatre writer, and being part of such a generous, encouraging and creatively stimulating process is one of the greatest gifts I have received in my life, both professionally and personally,” says Bristow-Bovey.


The story of Priest with Balloons: In a tiny, impoverished fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa, in the grip of a drought that is causing the fabric of the community to unravel, the local reverend of the church hatches an unusual plan to unite and inspire his congregation. But the reverend is locked in conflict with his brother, a television actor visiting from Johannesburg, and with Xolisa, the politically conscientised daughter of his domestic worker, and finally with himself, and his own faith, and his belief in his own place in the New South Africa.


Darrel Bristow-Bovey is a columnist for a number of newspapers, websites and magazines. He is also a travel writer, screenwriter and public speaker and has published five books, including I Moved Your Cheese, which was translated into seven languages around the world, and SuperZero, which won the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for Youth Literature. His most recent book is One Midlife Crisis and Speedo. He was a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Literature and lives in Sea Point, Cape Town in a house that is 131 years old.

Criteria for the SCrIBE competition included that scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. The scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old. The Imbewu Trust and judges were again looking for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories.  The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.


“It is encouraging that we received such a diverse range of entries,” says Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust. “The readings of the finalists this week once again proved to be engaging and constructive.”


Speaking at the event, co-founder Paul Griffiths said SCrIBE’s achievements to date included presenting four productions; SCrIBBLERS Dream writing workshops in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth and staged readings of thirty finalists’ plays including the benefit of post show discussions.


Previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings and some on to further professional runs. Other finalists from previous years have included acclaimed theatre makers and writers such as Joanna Evans, Menzi Mkhwane, Eliot Moleba and Gabriella Pinto, as well as rising new voices.


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