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Scratch Nights

10 Apr - 1 May
  • £7.50

Join us for our Scratch Nights – quick fire acts showcasing fresh new material.

Scratch Nights contain a variety of performances including short plays, sketch comedy, film, poetry and spoken word.

Our first Scratch Night takes place on Wed 10 Apr featuring the work of artists based in Essex.


The line up includes:

by Paul T. Davies & Harry Bowen

Paul T. Davies is a theatre maker, playwright, director and actor. He runs his own theatre company, Stage Write, based in Colchester. (

His plays include the critically acclaimed Living with Luke, (2014-present day), set in wrestling ring and featuring a father’s struggle to connect with his autistic son. The play has toured the UK and continues to be staged. Other plays include Play Something, (Edinburgh Fringe 2017, gaining a Drayton Arms Eddies nomination for best play, then performing at the Drayton Arms Theatre, London, 2018), Shedding Skin, (Mercury Theatre, Colchester),  Bury Me in Colchester Mud, a site specific piece about the Siege of Colchester during the Civil War, and Downtown, (Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.)

Jacky is a collaboration with local actor Harry Bowen, who is a wheelchair user, and will explore the world of Ballroom dancing and the importance of the late departed Scott Walker!  These are the initial scenes.


The Love Club
By Jenny Wills

Jenny was born in Essex and trained in acting at The Poor School. She has played varied parts recently, including Queen Elizabeth I, The Wicked Witch of The West and Brenda from accounts.  Jenny is new to writing and wrote The Love Club as part of ’28 Plays Later’, a writing challenge which involves writing a play a day for the month of February! Jenny won the 3 minute round of MonologueSlam at The Mercury Theatre and is delighted to be back here on stage.


Quirk Tales
By Martin Reed

Martin Reed has been performing and writing semi-professionally for a number of years. He has received an Arts Council grant and commercial contracts for children’s theatre productions. He has also done a fair amount of storytelling in schools. In addition, Martin has published poetry and, recently, a short story. His latest project ‘Quirk Tales’ combines his literary and performance interests. It consists of a number of linked storytellings/short stories for adults focusing on the quirkiness of human nature, on the ways in which somethings arise from the seeming nothingness which constitutes humanity’s core.


Flat 2B
By Chloe Atkinson

Chloe discovered her passion for writing during her time as a BA Drama and Literature student at the University of Essex. She has so far written three short plays, one of which has been staged at the Lakeside Theatre’s Studio on Essex campus. Chloe is also a freelance theatre practitioner for young people, and has been working at the Colchester branch of Pauline Quirke Academy for three years, recently taking up the roles of Comedy and Drama Tutor and Vice Principal. More recently, she has been involved with the Mercury’s Youth Theatre programme. Chloe is originally from Suffolk, but Colchester has been her home for the last four years.


The Hanged Man
By Danae Brook

Danae Brook is a journalist, author and playwright, working on newspapers and magazines in the UK and America. She has written three books, completed a Masters and MPhil on creative writing with the Department of Literature at Essex University and moved to Wivenhoe a year ago. She now co-hosts a writer’s group at her home, is completing a full length play about life in newspapers as they faced the threat of the internet and is finishing a trilogy on Making Art, of which The Hanged Man is one play. Its theme is how tricky personal relationships lead to great art, in this case the impoverished hedonist Francis Bacon, who spent the last 20 years of lis life living, working and drinking in Wivenhoe, had a young lover who committed suicide while Bacon was being feted at his first international exhibition in Paris. Now considered one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, the triptych Bacon painted after the tragedy, sold at Christies 4 years ago for over £60 million.



We are currently open for submissions for our Scratch Night on Wed 1  May. This evening is specifically aimed at showcasing the work of under-represented artists, particularly artists of colour.

We are looking for works in progress (approx 15-20 mins in length). In order to submit your piece, please email a “script” to our associate producer, Dilek Latif ( We are open to various ranges of work including plays, sketch comedy, performance poetry, dance with narrative, musical theatre…you name it!

All of the acts that are successful will be paid, will need to be available on Tue 30 Apr (eve) to be mentored by the Mercury production team, and will need to be available for rehearsal and performance on Wed 1 May (early afternoon/eve). All acts will receive feedback from two industry professionals (these will be confirmed in due course).

Mercury Studio Theatre
  • Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT, UK

Box Office: 01206 573948

The Mercury's 98-seater Studio Theatre, with nearby parking at St. Mary's multi-storey car park

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