Oct 03

Telling Tales at the Troubadour

Last Friday, September 29th, we held our Tales of the Triennial storytelling event in a new (to us) venue – The Troubadour of Kent. It’s a lovely little micropub on Tontine Street in Folkestone. The owner, Mark Swain, also wrote one of the stories.

There wasn’t much room by the time everyone had arrived, so we think we were pretty much sold out (bean counter to confirm). This event was a one-off to coincide with the fantastic Folkestone Triennial, an arts festival held every three years in the town. All the stories were written in response to artworks from this or previous Triennials (many are permanent fixtures), or to the theme “DoubleEdge”.

This was the lineup:

Most of the stories were read the authors themselves, with Ribs Norman and Louise Burgess stepping in on two occasions. Ribs and Louise also performed their Triennial tribute sketch, The Art Buffoons, which went down very well. You can watch a video of their sketch here:

All in all, a great event. Next up – Spooky Stories for Grown Ups at The Grand on October 27th.

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May 12

Short Story Competition Winner

We’d like to thank everyone for entering our first short story competition. We very much enjoyed reading your entries and appreciate your support.
Without further ado, we are pleased to announce that the winner is:

James Turner with his story entitled “13th May 2007”

We would also like to mention Barbara Woodhams, whose story had us in stitches and is thus Highly Commended.

James’ story will feature at both of our upcoming Storytelling for Grownups evenings, taking place in Folkestone (May 19th) and Faversham (May 20th). As his prize, James receives two tickets to the venue of his choice, plus a cut of the profit from both events.

We’d love to meet all the entrants (plus their extended family, friends, work colleagues, vague acquaintances etc), so if you’re free on either evening, tickets are available online or on the door:

Storytelling for Grown Ups (Folkestone) May 19th
Storytelling for Grown Ups (Faversham) May 20th

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Mar 27

Short Story Competition For Kent Writers

We’re busy planning our next live storytelling event and we want you to be part of it! We’re looking for a new short story or monologue that we can perform at our May event, which will be taking place in both Faversham and Folkestone.

The rules are fairly simple (full Ts and Cs at the end of this post):

  • You need to live in Kent to enter
  • Your story or monologue must be no more than 2,000 words long
  • You must take your inspiration from our theme: “May”
  • You must pay the entry fee of £4 via paypal.me/HandofDoom/4
  • You must submit your entry by midnight GMT on April 30th

The theme is purposely vague, to encourage a wide range of entries. Think: May Day, Mayday (as in SOS), May, Maybe, Theresa May. Well, perhaps not the last one…

Entries need to be in by April 30th. Please send an email to highfive@handofdoom.online with the subject “May Short Story Competition”. Please include your name, mobile number and story title in the email, but do not put your name on the story itself so that we can read them anonymously. The competition is £4 to enter.

The winner will have their story or monologue read at both events and receive a cut of the profits (sadly never massive, but it’s still payment for writing!). The winner will also get two free tickets for the venue of their choice (venues and dates to be confirmed shortly).

Quick! Get writing!


Full Terms & Conditions

Entries may take the form of a short story or monologue.

2,000 words maximum, no minimum. The title is not included in the word count.

All entries are judged anonymously: do not include your name on the document.

All entries should be on the loose theme of “May”. Interpret this as you see fit.

No erotica please.

Entrants may submit as many stories or monologues as they wish, as long as the fee is paid for each entry.

Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition by notification in writing; entry fees will not be refunded.

The deadline date for entries is 12 midnight (UK time) on April 30th 2017.

The Competition is open to writers residing in the county of Kent only.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.

Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed in any other competition.

If your entry has been longlisted or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, then it is eligible for the Competition.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed but will become ineligible should they win a prize or be published prior to the prizegiving date; entry fees will not be refunded. You must inform Hand of Doom Productions immediately should your entry be published or win a prize elsewhere.

Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.

The entry fee is £4 per story or monologue submitted payable via paypal.me/HandofDoom/4

Entries must be in English.

Entries to be double-spaced and a word count noted at the top of the first page.

Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.

The filename of online entries must be the title of the entry and it must be either a .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wps, .pdf or .txt file.

Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor substitutions made. If entrants wish to correct errors they must submit a new entry, marked ‘Final Version’ on the title page, and enter again with payment of the entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

Entries are confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to PayPal.

The winner will be contacted by the judges in early May. If you do not hear from us by the date of the first event, it means your entry has not been selected on this occasion.

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Hand of Doom Productions will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning story or monologue, (including Highly Commendeds), in any relevant promotional material.

The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.

Judging is fair and unbiased. Experienced readers assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists.

The prize is a reading of the winning entry at two live storytelling events in Faversham and Folkestone. In addition, the winner will receive two complimentary tickets to the event of their choice, plus a proportion of any profit made from ticket sales.

Hand of Doom Productions reserves the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so. Any changes to the rules will be posted on the Hand of Doom Productions website.

SUBMISSION OF ENTRY IMPLIES ACCEPTANCE OF ALL THE RULES

 

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Jan 11

Live Storytelling: Twisted Love

Yes, it’s that time again already – another evening of storytelling by Kent’s finest is nearly upon us. Our third bi-monthly spoken word event is entitled Twisted Love and we envisage it as an alternative – or even antidote – to the saccharin-sweet commercial overkill that Valentine’s Day has mostly become.

This time round we’re running two venues, in two different towns (gasp!). Faversham and Folkestone residents will be able to treat themselves to an evening of literary entertainment on Valentine’s Day itself (Faversham) or the Friday after (Folkestone). The Grand hotel’s Drawing Room was so good for our Spooky Stories night that we’ve booked that again for February 17th (tickets here) and we’re trying out The Old Wine Vaults in Faversham on February 14th (details here, tickets on the door only).

The lineup is yet to be finalised, but so far we have stories from Ribs Norman, Michele Sheldon and Kate van der Borgh.

Here are the lovely posters of a truly romantic flower-spewing gent:

Twisted Love Poster FolkestoneTwisted Love Poster Faversham

If you haven’t been to our spoken word events before, you can get a feel for them by watching the videos from Spooky Stories for Grown Ups on our YouTube channel.

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Nov 11

Do you want a Mince Pie for One?

One of our writers, Ribs Norman, has written a heart-warming play set in a coffee shop. Mince Pie for One has a Christmas theme, two fantastic reveals and a French ukulele player. What’s not to like? Its Christmas theme means that we have to act now, or wait an entire year. Patience levels run low here at Hand of Doom Productions, so we’ve come up with a cunning plan.

We’re asking town centre and shopping centre managers if they would like us to perform Mince Pie for One in cafes and restaurants during their scheduled Christmas late-night openings. We are convinced that this short but sweet play will bring some Christmas cheer to weary shoppers with its seasonal mix of humour and romance.

Our plan is to perform the play at several venues across each town on the same day, creating a buzz, drawing people into the town and providing great publicity for the town’s retail centre. We’ve had a couple of enquiries already, but we’ve got space in our schedule to fit in more towns. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, you can get the full lowdown in the email we recently sent out.

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While we’re on the subject of site-specific plays, we’re also open to opportunities to perform Safe Word in pubs and bars. It’s actually set in a micropub, but it would work well in any kind of venue with beer on tap.

 

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Nov 08

Live Storytelling: Festive Phantoms & Yuletide Yarns

Following on from the success of our Spooky Stories night for Halloween, we’re running another evening of storytelling on December 16th in Folkestone. Come along to Family in Rendezvous Street at 8pm to hear 6 all-new stories. It’s free entry this time (we’re hoping people might put a little something in the hat at the end so we can pay our creatives) and food and drink will be available to purchase.

Promotion for Festive Phantoms & Yuletide Yarns

So far, we have confirmed stories from Michele Sheldon, Ribs Norman and Primrose Coulter with three more in the works (we’ll announce those soon). The readers will be Louise Burgess, Nicola Howard and Ryan Hill.

For further details, please see the Facebook event page.

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Nov 01

Spooky Stories for Grown Ups

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Spooky Stories for Grown Ups was our latest Hand of Doom Productions production (OK, so we didn’t consider that eventuality when we came up with our name) and it went off with a shriek last Friday, October 28th.

We booked the fabulous Drawing Room in The Grand hotel, Folkestone for a night of spooky storytelling. Although we had spent a fair amount of time promoting Spooky Stories for Grown Ups on Facebook and Twitter, we were rather surprised at the turnout – a full house! In fact, we had to procure extra chairs several times before we began.

The room was suitably spooky, with candelabras and the lights down low. Originally we had planned to have a roaring fire too, but the unseasonably warm weather and the presence of many warm bodies precluded that.

We had nine stories in all and 4 readers. On reflection, that was probably about 3 stories too many, so we’ll do fewer next time. The evening ended late, after 11pm, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

The stories and readers were:

GREAT UNCLE RANDOLPH by Michele Sheldon, read by Louise Burgess

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE by Kate van der Borgh, read by Nicola Howard

TIME OFF FOR BAD BEHAVIOUR by Ribs Norman, read by Ryan Hill

FACELESS by Primrose Coulter, read by Jo Blach

A DROP OF THE BLACK STUFF by Matt Hodgkinson, read by Lucy Freeman

GHOST 154 by Michele Sheldon, read by Nicola Howard

LOST GIRLS by Jo Tiddy, read by Jo Blach

WAIT FOR ME by Trude Thurai, read by Lucy Freeman

MRS SHIPLEY’S SPINNING WHEEL by Michele Sheldon, read by Louise Burgess

Here’s the full programme, which includes biographies of all the writers and readers:

Spooky Stories for Grown Ups programme pages 2 & 3

Spooky Stories for Grown Ups programme page 4 & coverWe’re planning another storytelling event for December, so keep your eyes peeled (not literally, Halloween is over).

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Sep 10

Rehearsed Readings at HopFestFringe

The 5 rehearsed readings in September 2016 at HopFestFringe were our first productions and one of the reasons for forming Hand of Doom Productions. HopFestFringe is a new fringe festival running alongside the world-famous Faversham Hop Festival.

We split the plays into two shows:

Show 1

NAKED AMBITION by Paul McNally
Jack Conroy, an ambitious English record exec, has been offered the job he’s always worked for – head of the US division. He flies to New York only to receive the news that an American rival is out to sabotage his appointment. While his future is being decided by the board and chairman, Jack is left alone in a hotel room waiting to hear the outcome. Will he get the job or will he find himself on a plane back to England, humiliated and the laughing stock of the industry? As he waits for the Chairman’s decision isolated and alone in his suite, Jack’s only allies are Kenny, an incompetent bell boy and Gloria, a hooker who has career advice that might help Jack succeed … or possibly fail spectacularly!

Poster for Butterscotch, one of the rehearsed readingsBUTTERSCOTCH by Ribs Norman
Marilyn dreads the postman. Martin can’t communicate. Melissa is wearing a tea cosy. Morris suspects everyone of a serious crime. A touching play about love and regret when time is in short supply.

Show 2

RISK ASSESSMENT by Sarah Davies
SWIFTS by Charles Orrell
A POCKETFUL OF SUNSHINE by Primrose Coulter

We didn’t sell many tickets ahead of the shows (handled by HopFestFringe via TicketSource), but we did have a lot of walkups. Audience response was great and the playwrights were all very happy. We’ll definitely put on more rehearsed readings again at HopFestFringe next year (and more before then!).

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Sep 06

Safe Word at HopFestFringe

Poster for Safe Word play

HopFestFringe saw the third production of Ribs Norman’s Safe Word, after previous performances with the same cast at Spotlight in London for Actor Awareness and as part of Short Is The New Black at Hastings Fringe.

SAFE WORD is “a tale of boy meets girl in the digital age, with real ale and capes” and runs to around 15 minutes, with a cast of three. Soph, 41, was played by Hayley-Marie Axe, Lucy, 41, was played by Olivia Murray, and Ulrik, 39, was played by Tarquin Taylor. All three actors put in stellar performances in all venues.

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