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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 23:32 GMT 00:32 UK
Theatre fans write online play
Eurostar
What, no West End? Eurostar scenario wins out
Theatre fans are to be given the chance to write an original one-act West End play together - over the internet.

The aim is to create the largest workshop collaboration for an original UK play throughout September and October.

Whatsonstage.com launched its interactive play on Monday, with users invited to send in their ideas for dialogue, plot and character development.

A project committee will discuss the ideas each week, and the best will be turned into a weekly online instalment by professional playwright Sara Clifford.

The interactive play is a collaboration with the Soho Theatre and Writers's Centre in London, which will eventually stage the production.

Eurostar

It will be given a one-off performance at the Soho Theatre on 12 November as part of the venue's new writing festival.

Clifford has worked with the Young Vic and Soho Theatre. She is writing her first screenplay, Dancing Girls.

Fans have already chosen the starting point for the play - London and its theatreland disappear, upsetting passengers on a London-bound Eurostar, an idea contributed by Rebecca Brodeur.

She beat two other shortlisted offerings: David Christopher's theme of a group of staff waiting to be made redundant, and Sue Malin's scenario about a group of people who apply for the latest reality TV show.

Paul Sirett, literary manager of the Soho Theatre, said the project had made a strong start.

'Innovative'

"I was extremely impressed with the calibre of the ideas submitted in the preparatory stages. They have been very much on a par with those of commissioned playwrights," he said.

"We're always looking for new ways to discover and work with writers - so what better place to look than theatre audiences.

"At the same time, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to develop work for the stage."

Terri Paddock, editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, said: "Our users often complain about the lack of new writing on stage today.

"Audiences are not passive - they have very strong views about what they like and don't like and they have a lot to contribute."

See also:

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