Derek Lomas Playwriting Competition – A Celebration Of New Theatre

This year thanks to the kind offer from Sarah-Newall-Lecrivain we are restarting the Derek Lomas Playwriting Competition.

This year for:

One-Act Original ‘New’ Plays
Between 20 and 55 minutes
With two or more actors

Any topic, any age (both Youth and Adult Plays)
Entry Fee: £10.00 payable to ‘Wellington Theatre Company’ plus £5.00

for printing costs if an emailed copy only is sent.

The winning prize = See your play performed by Wellington Theatre Company at The Belfrey Theatre and entered into a Drama Festival.

Rules and Cover Sheet (right-click and save for download)

The relaunch date was Friday 21st October 2011  The programme for the evening was

ABOUT DEREK LOMAS   John Binns former colleague and friend


Three former members returned to the Belfrey stage to recreate in readings small scenes from these plays alongside current members who took on some roles for the first time.



Part of the 2012 Wellington Literary Festival.


The Competition was orginally launched in 1999 in memory of Derek Lomas, a published playwright and former Belfrey member who passed away in 1997. His plays “Darlings You Were Wonderful” and “Are You All Decent” have been performed throughout the world and still bring in royalty cheques from Samuel French and others each year. Derek wrote many more plays some of which are available from  Amazon and still more which were only performed at the Belfrey and remain unpublished.

The competition was held every other year, as part of the Wellington Literary Festival. The Belfrey then staged the winning play the following year, again as part of the Literary Festival.

The first competition winner in 1999 was

Alan Fraser with “Randon Acts of Malice”  this chilling psychological drama was performed with great success in October 2000 at the Belfrey Theatre  and was then produced at The Crescent in Birmingham and had its three week long London premier in 2003 with good reviews in Time Out

Heather Dunmore won the 2001 competition with “End of Term” a play which looked at depression.  Following her success at the playwriting competition Heather’s play was endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation and Depression Alliance.  This play was subsequently revised  to a one act length by Heather and retitled “Blue”.  We performed “End of Term” in October 2002 and by then the shortened version had already been performed  by Broken Lace Theatre in Oxford  and Craven Image Theatre had taken it to the Edinburgh fringe in August . In the September Another Theatre Company (their actual name) had taken the shortened version to Woking Drama Festival and won first prize.

Heather’s play “Blue” is now handled by Samuel French.

The third competition winner was Trevor Harvey with “Hearafter” described as a black comedy, the twists and turns of this play were a feature of the writing.  Trevor, a retired Lecturer from Brighton University is best known for his comic verse for children.

“Hearafter” was performed in October 2004

Also that year the One Act Youth Play category was won

by Frank Gibbons with Bully Dancers (an update from Frank is below)

Bully Dancers was my very first attempt at writing a one-act play.  Until then, I had only written comedy sketches.  After its “Derek Lomas” success, I made a few necessary changes to the script and it was accepted for publication in 2007.  Up to the present time, it has had approximately thirty performances.

Thanks to the springboard effect of being a Derek Lomas Competition winner, I now have eight one-act plays and a collection of comedy sketches published by Lazy Bee Scripts.  My work has been produced in Canada, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand and throughout the U.K.  Scripts have also sold in some unexpected quarters, such as language schools in Chile and Brazil.
In 2009, my full-length play, Sparklers, was given a week’s run at my old stomping ground, the Droylsden Little Theatre in Manchester.  (In June this year, by the way, this society entered Derek’s “Darlings, You Were Wonderful” in the Gtr M/cr Festival.)
In 2008 I had Bat Out of Heaven short-listed in the Drama Association of Wales one-act competition, and in the same competition in 2010 also had Adolf’s Girls short-listed.
Dance Story was short-listed in the S.C.D.A. Play on Words competition in 2011.
In 2010, A Train Ride Away (A Holocaust journey) was performed by Aiken High School in the Garcia Theater Project, North Augusta, U.S.A.  They lifted the best actor and best actress awards, and the play also took first place.
When I entered the Fourth Derek Lomas Playwriting Competition, I was based in Lancashire.  I am now retired, living happily on the Isle of Anglesey, and still trying to come up with a new play every year.

The 4th winners in 2005 were Ann Gawthorpe and Lesley Bown with a farce “Don’t Get Your Vicars in a Twist” which was performed in October 2006. 
“Don’t Get Your Vicars in a Twist” is published by Jasper Publishing and seems to be quite a favourite with amateur groups as it is being produced by three amateur groups this year (2011).  It can be seen at Merchistoun Hall in Hampshire  from 24th to 26th November performed by Horndean Amateur Theatrical Society.  Monkton Players are performing it at their village hall in Monkton Heathfield from 27th to 29th October

Through a variety of reasons the 2007 competition was cancelled and it is only now in 2011 that we are able to announce its relaunch as Sarah is willing to take on the hard work that its organisation requires.

As mangers of a fully independent little theatre, “The Belfrey Theatre” , Wellington Theatre Company has many responsibilities to cover before it can reach out to new playwrights and promote new drama.  All of our staff in our many posts are unpaid volunteers and we are not supported by grant funding.

We have in the intervening years taken on new plays and this year Grant Foxon’s play “The Waiting Room” was successful at both the Wellington and Shropshire Drama festivals going on to receive  a favourable adjudication in the Quarter Final of the All England Theatre Competition in Hereford.