The Art of the 100 Word Play

29 February 2012



Can you tell your story in 100 words or less? That’s the challenge set at London’s Royal Court Theatre as part of the Young Writers Festival 2012.

Writers of all ages and experience have asked to contribute a 100-word play which will be displayed in amongst the fabric of the Royal Court Theatre building, on the walls, in the lifts, on toilet doors. For the duration of the Young Writers Festival, the entire building will be overflowing with new short plays.

Plays can be on any subject and in any style. The only rule is that it must be 100 words or fewer (including stage directions).

Over 180 plays have already been submitted, including shorts by Zawe Ashton, Leo Butler, DC Moore, Simon Stephens, Christopher Shinn, as well as Royal Court staff and the general public.

Playwright and Royal Court resident Writers Tutor Leo Butler will explore the art of the 100 word play in a one off workshop on Saturday 3 March.

The Young Writers Festival, which opened this week with Goodbye to All That by Luke Norris is one of the premier showcases of young writing talent from across Britain, launching writers such as Simon Stephens (winner of the 2005 Olivier award for Best Newcomer), Christopher Shinn (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008), Bola Agbaje (winner of the Olivier Award in 2008), Leo Butler, Andrea Dunbar, DC Moore, Michael Wynne and Chloe Moss.

This year’s festival is the biggest in its history, featuring two full productions of new plays, four staged readings, ten short plays and a series of free workshops, talks and ‘afterdark’ late night events in the bar. For more information visit


Plays can be submitted to the Royal Court anytime between 23 February and 10 April

Send your 100 word play to SUBJECT: 100 Word Play.

Post your 100 word play to: Studio- 100 Words, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Hard copies of plays can be deposited in the ‘100 Word drop boxes’ located in the Café Bar and Box Office at the Royal Court Theatre.

Coutts is the Principal Sponsor of the Royal Court Theatre

Coutts is the UK private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Coutts has a long history of supporting the arts going back 200 years, having looked after the financial affairs of many famous clients connected with the arts such as Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens and Chopin. In 1816, Thomas Coutts married Harriot Mellon, a popular actress of her day, and together they became partners of a number of London Theatres, including the Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House. Coutts has even featured in a number of artistic works including The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In the new millennium, this tradition has continued not only through managing the finances of many of today’s top writers, actors and musicians, but also through our arts sponsorship programme and we are delighted to support The Royal Court and its diverse range of ground-breaking performances.

The Young Writers Festival is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and is in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK, with additional support from the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.

The Young Writers Festival developmental workshops with European playwrights have also been supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK.

The Young Writers Festival Development Phase has been supported by John Lyon’s Charity.

For further information please contact Anna Evans in the Royal Court Press Office on
020 7565 5063 or e-mail