UWE student's play 'Air Guitar' wins top prize

Issue date: 08 July 2005


UWE student’s play ‘Air Guitar’ wins top prize

Pete Kesterton, a student studying for an MA Media (Screenwriting) at the University of the West of England, has won first prize in the 2005 South West Scriptwriters competition for his play ‘Air Guitar’

‘Air Guitar’, will be given a script-in-hand performance as part of the New Writing Festival at the Tobacco Factory on Saturday 23 July.

Pete describes his play, “When Mike visits his eccentric brother with the intention of healing the rift between them, he begins to suspect that Ed is up to something sinister. Is his brother just a harmless eccentric, or a dangerous fanatic, and if so, how much is Mike himself to blame?”

Pete said that the opportunity of a showcase at the Tobacco Factory is important as there is always the chance that the play might get picked up. He said, “I’m optimistic that a proper showing might result from this and it’s good affirmation that my writing is getting some recognition. The South West Scriptwriters is an invaluable group because I get to see other people’s work which helps guide me about what does and doesn’t work in terms of the technical challenges like sustaining interest and character building. Feedback from other writers, many of whom are very experienced, is extremely useful.”

A Time Based Media graduate of 1999, Kevin Cattell, won second prize with "Resting". His play will be performed on Friday 22 July.

Kevin’s play ‘Resting’ is about a fantasist who has a very mundane office job and who starts to pretend to be someone else to boost his popularity in order to find love and a relationship. He takes the pretence too far so that when he finds love he has to decide who he should be – himself or his fantasy character. Kevin said, “The play is a black comedy with shades of farce thrown in.”

Kevin also finds the South West Script writing group useful. “It’s good to listen to work by other writers and helps me to think creatively. Through criticising work by other writers it helps me to learn how to improve my work.”

Eileen Elsey, Principal Lecturer in Screenwriting, said “The South West Scriptwriters event at the Tobacco Factory is a very popular and important platform for the regions writers. I’m proud that two people connected with the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design have had their work recognised. Pete is currently on the MA Screenwriting course and I’ve seen his work grow in depth and impact during the course. Kevin’s development during his time as an undergraduate was impressive and I’m happy to see him continuing to improve through his contact with the South West Screenwriters group.”

Southwest Scriptwriters’ artistic director, Tim Massey – who works as a part-time library assistant in the Bolland Library at UWE’s Frenchay Campus – leads the group’s regular scriptwriting workshop meetings at the Bristol Old Vic. “Peter and Kevin are both long standing members of Southwest Scriptwriters, and make very useful and interesting contributions to our discussions,” he said. “It’s great to be giving their writing some exposure at this year’s New Writing Festival.”

Full details of Southwest Scriptwriters’ 2005 New Writing Festival are available at www.southwest-scriptwriters.co.uk/festival/2005.

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