The One Show and Judi Dench announce children’s playwriting competition

Pens at the ready, kids!

Dame Judi Dench

The One Show is running a competition for budding young playwrights, backed by Dame Judi Dench and writer Frank Cottrell Boyce.

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In partnership with The Shakespeare North Playhouse, the BBC One show is giving children aged seven to 16 the chance to to have their play idea brought to life on stage.

The competition, called ‘As You Write It, Your Play on Stage’, opens for entry at 7pm on Thursday 25th June and has the support for legendary British actress Dame Judi Dench.

“It is vital to do something like this during lockdown. It will fire children’s imagination and will spark their interest in going to the theatre,” said the actress, whose developed a passion for Shakespeare at the age of seven. “They don’t have to write a whole play – just an idea, a few characters and some opening line.”

“A good story makes a good play and sometimes that story is told by a very few people and sometimes it’s told by quite a lot. You have to have a good story that will keep people on their toes and make them want to know what happens next,” she added.

The entries will be judged by a panel, including One Show presenter Alex Jones and award winning children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Finalists will be given the opportunity to work with professionals to complete their scripts, with excerpts of the winning plays in each category being shown on The One Show in early 2021 and performed at the new Shakespeare North Playhouse.

“I’m confident that we’ll have a huge response to this competition,” said The One Show’s Alex Jones. “A child’s first trip to the theatre – be it the West End or to see the local panto – is very special and really captures their imagination, as it did for me as a child. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

‘As You Write It, Your Play on Stage’ opens for entry at 7pm on Thursday 25th June. The One Show airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC One.

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