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Frank Skinner & Katherine Parkinson to make Edinburgh Fringe Debuts as Playwrights

Alongside senior culture editor for BuzzFeed News, Bim Adewunmi and director Beryl Richards.

Today BBC Arts have announced DEBUT, a unique new initiative for first-time playwrights which will see their plays performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Adewunmi, Parkinson, Richards and Skinner have never written for the stage before and the initiative between BBC Arts and Avalon encourages writers to step out of their comfort zone.

The writers were approached at start of 2018 and invited to submit an hour-long first draft of a play. The shows will be developed and produced ready for the Edinburgh stage in August.


by Beryl Richards

"I just had to see you. I... just y’know... just once. Once. I needed to."

When reunited with the mother who abandoned him at birth, successful surgeon Jordan rejects her. Shortly after his mother’s death, he realizes that he may never know the truth about his origins. Everything changes when a mysterious young woman arrives unexpectedly, sparking Jordan to embark on a journey of discovery, revelation, and redemption.

Richards said "This has been a fantastic opportunity for me, I have loved writing Diamond and relish the chance to see an audience react to my work"

Diamond will be performed at the Underbelly, The Dairy Room, from the 1st-26th August at 4:15pm


by Bim Adewunmi

"If I hadn't come here this evening, when would I have met him?"

Rafi and Ami are about to meet their little sister’s boyfriend for the first time. Out of the blue, their mother arrives. Wura often shows up unannounced, and it’s never been a problem except this time, it is. Why doesn’t she know Brian exists? For this close knit family, this secret has explosive consequences, one that forces the three sisters and their mother to face up to old hurts and unspoken tensions.

Adewunmi said "In my journalism and my essays I’m always seeking out the stories of everyday people, sometimes in unusual situations. The family in Hoard is living just one of those stories — and I’m delighted Avalon and BBC Arts have given me a chance to bring them to life for the stage."

Hoard will be performed at the Underbelly, White Belly from the 1st-26th August at 5:20pm

Nina's Got News

by Frank Skinner

A show about Nina’s truly incredible news, how her ex-boyfriend and her best friend react to it, and whether they can possibly believe her.

Skinner said "This is such a brilliant initiative. Thirty years in comedy and I never knew I was only one encouraging phone call away from writing a play. I put down the receiver and picked up my laptop. Suddenly, I feel like a man of the theatre. I am hankering for a fedora."

Nina’s Got News will be performed at the Pleasance Queen Dome from the 1st-26th August at 2:50pm


by Katherine Parkinson

"Do you even need me here? I think you do. Actually."

In an artist’s studio, three different people sit for a painting. They find themselves in the same chair for very different reasons and years apart from each other, but they are all searching for a connection. Will they find it?

Parkinson said "I would never have thought to try and write a play unless asked to do so, and so I am delighted that the BBC and Avalon did ask! I cannot however be held responsible for the results."

Sitting will be performed at Gilded Balloon, The Dining Room from 1st-26th August at 3:15pm


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