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Mercury Young Writers – Monologue Challenge

In association with Red Lion Books 

Theme: Magic

The Challenge: Using the theme of Magic, you are challenged to write and perform a brand new 2-4 minute monologue.

To take part you must be between 10 and 18 years old.

(Psst...We are not looking for the best actors, so we are happy if you just want to read your monologue from the page)

Here's Matt to tell you more!

Wait! What's a monologue?

In theatre, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their thoughts aloud, although sometimes they are also used to directly address another character or the audience.

Got it. What do I need to do?

You must submit a video of yourself reading or performing your magical monologue by midnight on Tuesday, 19th May so our judges, including the amazing local writer and Mercury Theatre associate artist Nicola Werenowska, can get to work watching them all and picking 10 videos to share online. Unfortunately, we can’t share any videos online from entrants under 13 years old, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t still be picked as one of our winners.

Your videos will stay on our social media channel for a week before our judges decide which monologue is the overall winner and which two will be runners up. We will also tally up the likes and shares on the videos we post online and announce an audience choice winner. (Only 13-18 year olds can be considered for audience choice award)

If your monologue is selected as a winner, a runner up or the audience choice winner, we will send you some goodies in the post. This will include a Mercury Theatre Voucher, so you can come and see a magical show in our shiny new building.

Remember these dates:

    • We have loved all of the entries so far, so we are extending the deadline to give more people the chance to submit theirs. Submissions now close at midnight on Tuesday, 19th May 2020
    • 10 shortlisted videos will be uploaded to the Mercury Theatre Colchester social media pages on 26th May 2020 (over 13’s only – this may be less than 10 videos).
    • Winners and Runners Up will be announced on Tuesday, 2nd June 2020.

So… get writing and recording your brand new magical monologues and send them to us by 19th May at midnight.

Entries should be emailed to: along with a signed consent form. Click here to download.

When submitting your video, please use the email subject – Mercury Young Writers, followed by your name. Please note video files can often be quite large, we recommend sending them via If you have any trouble doing this, please feel free to email us via the address above and we can assist.

What are the rules?

  • Entrants must be between 10 and 18 years old
  • Entrants must submit their video by emailing:
  • Entries submitted without a signed consent form attached will not be considered for the competition
  • Monologues must be written and performed by the entrant. (You can ask for help from an adult, but they cannot write or perform it for you).
  • Monologues must follow the theme: MAGIC
  • Video entries must last between 2 and 4 minutes in length.
  • Entries must be received by midnight on Tuesday, 19th May to be considered by the judges.
  • All enquires must be directed to the Mercury Theatre Colchester. (Red Lion Books or Nicola Werenowska should not be contacted directly)
  • Entrants under 13 years old will not be considered for the Audience Choice Award.
  • Monologues must not contain any swearing, offensive or inflammatory language.

Any tips?

Here are Nicola Werenowska top monologue tips:

  • Monologues need to be active, they can’t be static or simple storytelling devices.
  • Monologues need change/transformation – put your character on an emotional journey where they discover something new about themselves or the world around them. But don’t make it easy for them – monologues need conflict so give your character a difficult choice.
  • Your character could realise something big about themselves, about someone they know, about the world; they might make an important decision; be affected by an outside event or by something internal that’s been bubbling away for months. Whatever you choose, it’s key that they’re in a different emotional space at the end of the monologue.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Who is narrating the monologue and why?
    • Where are they and what time is it?
    • What does your character want?
    • What change happens during the monologue? (Change can be the character’s internal change or / and an outside event that affects the character.)
    • How do the character’s feeling change during the monologue?
    • What style are you writing the monologue in? You could experiment with 1st, 2nd and 3rd
    • Who is your character talking to? Themselves? The audience? Another character? Is the other character present or absent?

Good luck!

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