One act plays

2019 Festival of New Irish PlaysThis competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. The scripts are now with the judges and the winner will be announced by the end of this month.

We have chosen the theme of “Breaking Away” for next year’s festival.

Leaving commonwealth

We are looking for plays that explore the theme of ‘breaking away’ with reference to the lives and experience of the Irish in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This experience can be contemporary or historical, serious or comic.



WalkingGroupNorthernIrelandAll the plays will be judged anonymously so everyone has the same chance. The judges will be looking for work that says something about the experience of Irish women or men living in Britain.

If you think that you have a great idea but are not sure about how to take it further then why not send us a summary of your plot, along with a couple of pages of dialogue so that we can give you some feedback or some ideas.  Please note that we are able to offer this support for the next four weeks. This means that we will not be able to offer any feedback on plots that arrive in our mailbox after midnight on Sunday 7th October 2018.

Rules of entry
  1. The contest is open to everyone who is Irish or part of the Irish Diaspora, no matter your age or level of education who is resident in the UK.
  2. Entry to the competition is free.
  3. Your play should be typed .
  4. This competition must  be entered online
  5. Plays submitted should be for stage presentation only.
  6. They must NOT have been previously staged.
  7. Only one-act plays with a performance time on 60-90 minutes  will be considered
  8. The play must incorporate the theme of  Breaking Away. We are interested in stories that reflect the lives of Irish individuals in Britain .
  9. Although all plays must be set in the United Kingdom. Not all characters have to be Irish . The plays should  therefore reflect the multi cultural nature of the United Kingdom should this be appropriate to the time, location or setting of the play
  10. The play can be factual or imagined so long as the ‘imagining’ is rooted in historical fact.
  11. As the plays will take place in a London Fringe theatre, writers should be aware that only basic stage furniture i.e. tables and chairs will be available for the staging.
  12. Please keep the cast to a maximum of 4 actors. You may have a member of the cast playing more than one role but please note that the producer will only allocate four actors to the play.
  13. As all plays will be read ‘anonymously’ please ensure that your name and contact details only appear on the contact sheet at the front of your play. The contact sheet must include: your full name, your postal address, your email address and your telephone number. It can also include the name under which you write.
  14. Please email  entries to
  15. Closing date is 28th February 2019. The winner will be notified by March 31st 2019
  16. The adjudicators’ verdict is final and no correspondence shall be entered into regarding individual competition entries. Only the winner will be notified, although the details of the winner will appear on this webpage on April 2nd 2019
  17. A winner may not be announced where an appropriate standard is not achieved.
  18. No critique on entries that shall be given.
  19. The winning play will be staged as part of the Breaking Away Festival.