Category Archives: Crash Test

Aberystwyth writers share new work

playpen boz grodenScriptography Productions is back with Crash Test at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wednesday 30th September.

Following their successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival run with Catrin Fflur Huw’s play To Kill a Machine which explores the story of Alan Turing’s treatment by the government and society for his sexuality, Scriptography Productions is back supporting writing and writers in Ceredigion. The company performed to sell out shows, received a string of 5* reviews, were nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and are currently in talks for a UK and world tour of the play.

Crash Test is a scratch night which offers writers and performers the chance to share work in development with a supportive audience. It includes work from Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group along with several other writing groups and individuals from Aberystwyth. Previous scratch nights have included comedy sketches, cabaret, plays, short film scripts, storytelling, poetry, performance art and stand-up comedy. The evening has an open slot in which individuals are welcome to present any form of text based work.

Image Gan By Keith Morris

Image Gan By Keith Morris

The evening is hosted by performance artist, writer and stand-up comedian James Baker who recently performed his own one man show, You have to be mad to work here and it doesn’t even help, at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Crash Test will feature some special guests invited to inspire writers about different ways to create work. First is Cardiff based writer, performer Jemma Llewellyn who will be performing some work in development and then answering questions about working from autobiographical material. Also appearing will be Rick Yale who recently appeared as The Betray in To Kill a Machine who will be performing a piece written especially for him by Catrin Fflur Huws. In addition Joanna Bond will be along to share some work and talk about her current project Singing the Line into Existence which will be shared at Ceredigion Museum on 3rd October.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Producer Sandra Bendelow said, “It’s great to be back at the beginning….. To Kill a Machine has been an incredible success but without groups like Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group and nights like Crash Test we don’t get to the end product of amazing plays like To Kill a Machine. This is what the company is about, nurturing writers and helping them get the confidence as beginners to get those first few pages performed and then helping them work through and test work until they get better. But most of all I would recommend audiences just come along to Crash Test, we have some great local performers who get to really show their skills and we have lots of fun. It is very informal, very supportive.”

If you are interested in participating as either writer or performer then contact


Crash Test Wednesday 4th March

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????We are holding a very special Crash Test on Wednesday 4th March at the newly re-opened Brynamlwg. We are very pleased that some of the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Writing for Performance Group have been selected to take part in the Dirty Aberystwyth with Dirty Protest Theatre. The writers wanted to test out the work so we thought we might as well have a Crash Test and throw in some other work in progress, some poets and some short stories. We are also very pleased that some of the Chinwag poets will be coming along to join in the evening ahead of their evening on 11th March at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The evening starts at 8PM. We look forward to seeing you for this very special edition of Crash Test.

Crash Test scratch night

Scriptography Productions is very pleased to be hosting the latest Crash Test scratch night at Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar on Thursday 25th September 7.45PM

Crash Test scratch night offers a perfectly informal and fun environment which encourages writers new to writing for performance and more experienced writers to share work in its earliest stages of development. As well as providing an opportunity for Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group to stage work at this bi-monthly event, Crash Test has also begun to attract writers from other areas such as comedy,  performance poetry and spoken word.

There is an Open part of the evening which is open to anyone to share their writing or performance.

The evening will be MC’d by James Baker with his usual incomparable and indescribable mix of comedy, writing, performance and occasionally dance!

If you are interested in taking part in this or future scratch nights contact or pop along and say hello.


Crash Test scratch night Thursday 27th March

crash test posterW

Crash Test is the most informal of our informal events which has found the perfect home at Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar. It may be a little walk from the centre of town, invariably a wind swept walk too however worth it for the lovely views of the Marina and the living-room like feeling of the intimate, welcoming space of the Boat Club Bar.

Writer and performers are encouraged to share work in development, sometimes in the earliest stages of development. The idea is to take a slight step up from reading it round the table at the monthly Writing for Performance Group meetings – to give it an airing and see how an audience responds to it.

Crash Test is a good name for it – it is about throwing things out there and seeing what crashes and what delights. Though it’s used as a testing ground for the Writing for Performance Group we’ve managed to encourage a few people from other writing groups to test out work sometimes performed by themselves, sometimes performed by others.

This is a chance for writers to get used to sharing their work – something that can hinder and hold back so many writers from getting their work out there. It is open to all – if it has words in it we can Crash Test it.

There is an Open part of the evening so please do feel free to come along and join in.

Dramau, comedi, gair lafar, rhannu stori, cabaret, drama radio, sgriptiau, sgetsys ac…..unrhywbeth sydd yn cynnwys geiriau!

Beth ydy noson scratsh? Cyfle i rannu gwaith ar ei ganol yn anffurfiol o flaen cynulleidfa. Cyfle i gynulleidfa weld gwaith mewn datblygiad a chyfle i ‘sgwennwyr rannu a phrofi eu gwaith a derbyn adborth a barn.

Thursday 27th March 7.30PM at Aberystwyth Boat Club bar – for more information contact


March – it’s a little busy!

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????March is going to be a very busy month at Scriptography Productions. First we kick off with Grave Men Near Death at Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th March), then straight into Response Time: Journeys at the Gas Gallery (Sunday 16th March) and then we see the month out with a Crash Test scratch night on 27th March.

Grave Men Near Death is a new play by Terry Bailey, who runs the MA Screenwriting course at Aberystwyth University. The play was developed as part of Playpen, an Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s  Writing for Performance Group project, short plays on any subject. Grave Men Near Death was a perfect short play and when Terry admitted he had ideas for other scenes and characters I have to admit I was sceptical. Plays are the length they need to be because – that’s it. When writers ask me about play length I always say it will be the length it needs to be. Let’s face it we’ve all sat through plays that needed a good edit or plays that felt empty as though there were some missing scenes drifting around somewhere in the ether.

I read the new version of Grave Men Near Death  sceptical and expecting to see a fifteen minute play dragged out. But it wasn’t, interestingly the original play was there largely intact but around it were wonderful new scenes and characters which added more depth and layers, it had the heart it started with but it had got bigger and better.

As I watched a rehearsal the other day, and did what I always do – watch the writer watching their play – I was as always thrilled to see his delight in watching his work come to life. In a time when we’re constantly being told that new writing is dead, that new writing isn’t worth supporting or prioritising and in a time when there are so few companies in Wales producing work with a new piece of writing at it’s heart – I can’t help but wonder why companies wouldn’t want such an amazing experience of bringing new work by a writer to life, I can assure everyone bringing a new play into the world is magical.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Next up will be Response Time, our 48 hour challenge project to produce performed responses to art, space and environment at the Gas Gallery. This time we will be responding to the Sculpture Cymru Journeys: Responses to Place and Barbara Matthews exhibition Hidden Depths. The Response Time project gives a space for writers, artists and performance makers from many different disciplines to play. No better way to describe it really. We spend 48 hours playing – with ideas, working processes, collaborating and then we open the doors and let the audience join in the game. The audience can stand back and watch or they can even join in sometimes. We don’t insist that words are involved – that would be silly! But I do delight when words are included and also when a performance artist is inspired to express herself with words or when a physical performer decides to write a piece or when a writer decides to collaborate with a physical performer and explore a new working process. I’ve always been a little confused by the need to define new writing and new work – and seriously why has so many hours been lost to debating. Also I don’t understand why so many organisations insist on establishing rules for work to be developed – this way, or that way. Or the hours spent defining and analysing what is right or wrong in creative work. Surely every piece is different, surely every piece should be developed the way it needs to be.  At Response Time there are no rules – it is a space to play, to have fun, to enjoy.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Then finally for this month anyway – Crash Test – a scratch night for work in development – Thursday 27th March. A very informal environment perfectly suited to the living-room like feeling at the Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar. Again there are no rules – if it involves words then I’m happy for it to be shared. This about testing work out with an audience, about writers hearing their words beyond reading them aloud to themselves (I am still constantly astonished by the number of writers who don’t do that). Crash Test is a good name for it – it is about throwing things out there and seeing what crashes and what delights. It’s used as a testing ground for the Writing for Performance Group but also by other writers to test out work sometimes performed by themselves, sometimes performed by others. We provide performers if needed. It is a chance for writers to get used to sharing their work – something that can hinder and hold back so many writers from getting their work out there. It is open to all, again I am not interested in defining things – spoken work, poetry, plays, storytelling, stand-up – if it has words in it we can Crash Test it.

So that’s my March – please do come along and see what we get up to. None of these things are possible without audiences. None of us are writing for ourselves, we are all writing because we want an audience to hear our work, and be engaged by it and be excited by it – no matter how it is created, no matter what style it is created in, no matter what discipline or platform so please do come along and see work in it’s many different forms and most importantly have fun following us on our journey as writers and creators.

Sandra Bendelow

Crash Test, Thursday 23rd January, Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar

Crash Test January WCrash Test returns on Thursday 23rd January at Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar with it’s usual mix of plays, performance text, storytelling and comedy.

Crash Test has now been taking place for over two years, it has moved around a little from the RAFA club to Boulders Cafe, Borth and now has found a home at Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar. It is a pub-based evening because it aims for an informal and fun sharing of work in development. We aim to make new and inexperienced writers feel comfortable to share their words. It is not a stage – it’s the bit before the stage. We want the writers to feel as though they’re sharing their work with friends in their living room – though the friends are people they have only just met that night and the living room has a bar in the corner.

We also want the audience to feel the excitement and fun of being involved in the very early stages of work. It’s always text-based work – well almost always. There are no rules for inclusion or exclusion – if someone asks to show work and it has words in it then they can be included. Though we’ve also had a few things which didn’t have words!

The heart of the Crash Test night is Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group. Though the group do have showcases of script-in-hand work in development which take place regularly at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The Crash Test night allows beginners to try out their plays in front of an audience at a much earlier stage of development – it also allows writers with a little more experience to test out work. In essence it allows writers to play, to make mistakes, to test.

We’re very proud of Crash Test – previous evenings have seen Julie Grady Thomas perform stand-up for the first time, James Baker saw a play he’d written be performed in front of an audience for the very first time. Lots of first times.

This Thursday we have more firsts with writers sharing work for the very first time with an audience. We’ll have new pieces from more experienced writers. To be honest we usually don’t really know what we’ll have until the night. That’s the fun of it.

We have an open slot too so if you fancy turning up and giving it a go then feel free.

Come along to Aberystwyth Boat Club Bar on Thursday 23rd January at 7.30PM. It’s £5 admission and £3 concessions. And it’s free for participants.

Crash Test Scratch Night Thursday 31st October

CrashTOct2013 CROPPEDOn Thursday 31st October 7.30PM – at the Boat Club, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2BX – Scriptography Productions will be hosting another Crash Test scratch night of work in development.  Bringing you the usual mixture of new writing, performance, comedy and community theatre in a friendly, informal and supportive environment.

What is a scratch night? A scratch night is a sharing of work-in-progress. It offers the chance to share in the development process of performance and offers those sharing work to test out their work with an audience.

If you are interested in ‘scratching’ work-in-progress at this or a future Crash Test contact

Images of previous Crash Test nights are available at here