The Writers' Room

A one-act play by Michael Shannon

Directed by Richard Lavery 

First performed at Pop-Up Pick 'n' Mix in Belfast, The Writers' Room toured from Belfast to London in 2011, the first of Accidental's shows to tour outside of Northern Ireland.

Once a week, four very different writers meet up to rip apart each others work. Kirk can't quit setting his stories in space. Sweet M.T.'s one-woman show is missing a good monologue. Ryan hasn't the guts to confront life on or off the page. And Beth is desperately searching for an ending.

Today when they arrive for their meeting a script is sitting on the table waiting for them. It's called 'The Writers' Room'. It's about four writers, has a dead body and not many pages left.

This unusual play bristles with one-liners and snarky put-downs, keeping tension and momentum throughout as it plays with the conventions of crime fiction.

2011 Summer Tour

Running Time: 40 Minutes

Pop-Up Pick 'n' Mix  17th - 19th June

Brian Friel Theatre, Belfast

London Festival Fringe  18th - 22nd July

Phoenix Artists Club, London

Camden Fringe  9th - 13th August

John Gielgud Theatre, RADA, London

Belfast Fringe  21st - 22nd October

Baby Grand, Grand Opera House, Belfast

Photography by Richard Lavery

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Aisling Groves-McKeown   MARY-TERESE

After finishing her studies in Mathematics and Spanish at the University of St Andrews, Aisling returned to Northern Ireland and completed a pilot intensive performer training post graduate programme at Queen’s University Belfast. During this time, Aisling performed in How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen (Brian Friel Theatre), as part of Young at Art’s Belfast Children’s Festival and We Are Not Afraid (Brian Friel Theatre), an original piece create after working with Forced Entertainment.

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Katy Charlotte Campalani   BETH

Katy studied law at Oxford and is currently a City based solicitor in London. Following training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Short Course) and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (Short Course) and the Lyric Theatre Drama Studio, she has appeared in the Lives of Spaces (Lyric Studio, Ormeau Baths Gallery), A Vampire Story (Lyric Studio) and Dead On, a short movie made with the New York Ghetto Film School. Katy is also reprising her role as Beth from the rehearsed reading of The Writers’ Room.


Dan Leith   RYAN

Dan graduated in 2007 with a BA in English & Film from Queen's University Belfast, and then again in 2008 with an MA in Creative Writing. A member of the Lyric Studio since 2010 he has been acting and writing ever since. His theatre company Drunken Wolfe Productions will be premiering his self-penned show Sick Thoughts Sofa Boy in late August at the Crescent Arts Centre. Dan has previously worked with Accidental on Confession by Darran McCann and in the rehearsed reading of Some Kind of Stranger by William Patterson. 

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Matt Faris   KIRK

Matthew trained at the Courtyard Theatre, London. His theatre work has included Macbeth (Courtyard Theatre), Othello (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), The Plummeting Old Woman (Edinburgh Festival), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), Antigone (Prime Cut Productions), Incident at Vichy (Crescent Arts Centre). Television and film work has included The Truth about Tom, Dick and Harry, BBC Blast Series, and CRASH Services internet campaign. This is Matt's first time working with Accidental Theatre. 

Creative Team

Writer Michael Shannon

Michael graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2009 with a Masters in Creative Writing. Part of Tinderbox Theatre Company’s Fireworks Young Playwright Scheme 2008 he has gone on to write for the stage with Spark Opera Company, online with BBC Blast: Backstage and RTE Storyland's Free House and, mainly, for his own amusement.  

Director Richard Lavery

Currently living, working and studying in London, Richard is undertaking a MFA in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck College, London. He graduated with a BA (Hons.) in Drama from Queen’s, during which he began directing. Richard has been Artistic Director of Accidental since it was founded in 2008. And for Accidental has directed amongst others: Confession by Darran McCann and DEATH (on a shoestring) by Dave Kinghan. As well as four of the rehearsed readings Accidental staged in 2010. 

Dramaturg Emily DeDakis

Emily was born in the U.S.A. in 1981. She earned a PhD in creative writing at Queen’s University, where she now teaches. Emily’s writing has appeared in The Yellow Nib, The Vacuum, Ulster Tatler, and on 2SER (107.3 FM Sydney). Emily is the Literary Manager and Dramaturg of Accidental Theatre and also works as a freelance editor. Recently she has produced Fast & Loose, a 24-hour theatre project for Accidental Theatre and in 2010 directed the rehearsed reading of The Kitchen, the Bedroom and the Grave by Donal O’Hagan. 

Designer Rachel Szmukler

Rachel is a set and costume designer who recently completed the Motley Theatre Design Course in London. Beginning as an artist, she graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with 1st class honours in Fine Art in 2007; then worked as a practicing artist in Glasgow, exhibiting her work widely throughout Scotland. Originally a painter, her work evolved into sculptural constructions and installations, leading to an interest in designing for performance. Productions include costumes for short film Strays (NFTS), set and costumes for Olly’s Prison (Cock Tavern Theatre), Winter Tales (Firstborn Theatre Company) and Handel’s Semele (Hampstead Garden Opera). 

Lighting Designer Jacqueline O’Hagan

After graduating from Queen’s University with a degree in Drama and English, Jacqueline has worked as assistant stage manager, stage manager, technical stage manager and general crew for companies such as Prime Cut Productions, GBL Productions, Maiden Voyage Dance Company and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Jacqueline worked previously as Lighting Designer on Accidental’s DEATH (on a shoestring) by Dave Kinghan at the 2009 Pick ‘n’ Mix. 

Sound Designer Martin Byrne

Martin Byrne, recently completed his Music Technology Degree at Queen’s University Belfast and has since been working as an audio producer and sound artist for film, animation and theatre. He has recently taken on the ambitious task of recording and uploading an original piece of music, everyday, throughout 2011! The songs can be heard for free at: Martin also performs as a solo artist, using his voice, laptop and Kaoss Pad. He has played all over Ireland and the UK, sharing stages with Chris Corsano (Bjork tour drummer), Scroobius Pip vs Dan Le Sac, Telepathe, Katatonia and Alter of Plagues to name a few. Martin plays in the bands Hexxed and Fragile Human Organs. This is the first time Martin has worked with Accidental.

Belfast Stage Manager Ciara McCafferty

Ciara is a final year student at Queen's University. Previous stage manager credits include: Please Patricia (BFT), Green Room's production of Faustus, Fast and Loose IV, C21's Irish premiere of Not a Game for Boys (Feile an Phobail 2010) and Keynote, a series of site-specific musical concerts staged around the Queen's University Campus. This is the first time Ciara has worked with Accidental 

London Stage Manager Georgia Pavelkova

Georgia Pavelkova is an alumni of Goldsmiths, University of London, graduating with First Class Honours in Drama and Theatre Arts. She has provided stage management and technical support for a number of fringe productions in London venues such as The Kings Head, Landor Theatre and Proud Galleries. Georgia is an avid theatre technician currently working within London. This is the first time she has worked with Accidental.