A nationwide callout for applications opens today for the Royal Court Theatre's 'Plays from ur notes app'

Published on Wed 30 Aug 2023

The Royal Court Theatre today opens applications for Plays from ur notes app, a nationwide callout for writers aged 18 – 27 to submit writing that either currently lives, or could live, in the notes app on a phone. It is an invitation for ideas not yet fully formed, that writers are excited about.

The writers selected to take part in this project will receive £250 to develop their notes app pages into a 5-minute piece for a public sharing in December 2023 with the support of the Royal Court. This sharing is an experimental space to hear work aloud and explore ideas with an audience.

All of the writers will then be invited to join a writers group that focuses on developing work for stage in the new year.

Screenshots from notes apps aren’t just for celebrities apologising. The notes app is the home of imagination: stories you want to tell, shopping lists, things that made you smile, drafts of tricky texts so the other person can’t see you typing, passwords you never remember, things you wish you’d said in arguments… The list is endless. It’s a space just for you, to create, to play, to write.

Through a similar programme run from 2015 – 2016, the Royal Court met writers who have since gone on to have their work programmed there, including Jasmine-Lee Jones (seven methods of killing kylie jenner) and Tom Fowler (Hope has a Happy Meal). 

Tom Fowler said,  “In 2016 I was working on a theatre bar and, despite wanting to be a playwright, I hadn’t done any real writing in two years.  A friend of mine told me about the Open Court call out and, four hours before the 12pm deadline, I made myself write a five minute play and submitted it at 11:58.  I am very, VERY glad I did this.

Through participating in Open Court I gained my first proper experience of drafting and redrafting a play in response to creative notes, I had a play staged at a professional theatre for the first time and I was allocated a professional playwright as a mentor.  It was one of the most exciting and affirming experiences of my life.

Since then I’ve been invited to participate in a number of Royal Court projects and, most recently, the Royal Court staged my play Hope has a Happy Meal.

Participating in Open Court was not only an invaluable experience in itself but it started a relationship between myself and the Royal Court which has been genuinely life changing.”

Applications will close on Wednesday 20 September 2023. Details on how to apply and what support is available for the application writing process can be found on the Royal Court’s website.

See here for the full press release.