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2 Weeks...
20 Plays...
5 Finalists...
1 Winner!
The return of OFF CUT MCR!

The Off Cut Short Play Festival was set up in 2009 by me and my dear friend, Trudi Boatwright.


Our wish was to create a platform to showcase as much undiscovered theatre talent as they could. Short plays were the obvious way forward.


We wanted to advocate the idea that the best work is made when playwrights, directors and actors really take the time to appreciate each other’s skills. To inspire and to be inspired. 


Coupled with this was our belief that the audience is an intrinsic part of the theatre experience. We wanted to find a way engage them, to let them know that they were as vital a part of the process as the people whose work they were watching. 

With immersive theatre too complicated and audience participation too terrifying, we eventually came up with the idea of making Off Cut a competition, giving the audience the opportunity to vote for their favourite plays.


It was a scary idea. But scary is exciting, so we went with it. We finalised the format in June and opened at Islington’s Old Red Lion in the September.


And it was a triumph. 

The earnest enthusiasm of the audience as they discussed their choices and the nervous thrill of the playmakers made for a unique, edifying and very exciting night at the theatre.


It’s at this point we asked producer Nick Kneller to join us, because he could do spreadsheets.


Off Cut played to packed houses for four years, moving to Riverside Studios for the second two year.


Then life happened. We staged a pared down version at Theatre 503 in 2013, before we had to put a stop to Off Cut altogether.




I moved to Manchester, I met Simon, Alex and Stacey at 53Two and, just like that, Off Cut was back. In 2019, we did all the above again. And exactly the same thing happened. Off Cut had a future…


Well, we all know what happened next, and it might had stopped us for a while, but we are here again. And I couldn’t be more delighted.


Off Cut 2023 is coming in July and, however you are involved, I look forward to seeing you and sharing this big, bold, brilliant event with you all.


Daniel Brennan

Award Winners



Audience Award for Favourite Play: ‘Closer to God’ by Anna Jordan

Panel Award for Writing: Anna Jordan for ‘Closer to God’

Panel Award for Directing: Juliane von Sivers for ‘No Idea’ by Tom Ellen

Panel Award for Ensemble Acting: Denise Stephenson and Tim Lewis for ‘This Just In’ by Darren 



Audience Award for Favourite Play: ‘On a Day Like This’ by John Turley

Panel Award for Writing: Mitch Féral for ‘Sweet Engineering of the Lucid Mind’

Panel Award for Directing: Alison Convey for ‘Sweet Engineering of the Lucid Mind’

Panel Award for Ensemble Acting: Kate Walsh for ‘I Just Called’ by Tanja Mariadoss



Audience Award for Favourite Play: ‘Let There Be’ by Tanja Mariadoss

Panel Award for Writing: Rebecca A Fielding for ‘Bound’

Panel Award for Directing: Brigid Lohrey for ‘The Wrong Tree’ by Wally Sewell

Panel Award for Ensemble Acting: Joy Blakeman, Peter Clements and Maroussia Frank for ‘Looking For Vi’ by Mark Wright



Audience Award for Favourite Play: ‘In a Box’ by Tom Collinson

Audience Award for Favourite Female Actor: Jennie Barbrook for ‘Sun-eyed Girl’ by Julie Mayhew

Audience Award for Favourite Male Actor: Andy Snowball for ‘Driven’ by Adam Udsen

Audience Award for Favourite Playwright: Joseph Lidster for ‘Nice Sally’

Audience Award for Favourite Director: Elf Lyons for ‘Care’ by Bryher Armstrong

Panel Award for Writing: Tom Collinson for ‘In a Box’

Panel Award for Directing: Jessica Radcliffe for ‘Nice Sally’ by Joseph Lidster

Panel Award for Ensemble Acting: Jane Dodd, Stephen Fawkes and Amalia Vitale for ‘In a Box’ by Tom Collinson



No awards



Audience Award for Favourite Play: ‘Grow’ by Gemma Langford

Audience Award for Favourite Performance: Elaine McNicol and Beth Nixon

Panel Award for Writing: Gemma Langford for ‘Grow’

Panel Award for Directing: Joe Gilmour-Rees for ‘FOMO’

Panel Award for Ensemble Acting: Beth Nolan and Matthew Thomasson for ‘Grow’

Other writers include:


Tolula Dada, Tim Downie, Chantelle Dusette, Sadie Frost, Afsaneh Gray, Zainab Hasan, Mark Homer, Steph Lacey, Elizabeth Morton, Michael Ross, Maya Sondhi, Ian Townsend, Tracy Whitwell, Joseph Wilde.

Other directors include:


Kate Bannister, Paul Blinkhorn, Ailin Conant, Manolis Emmanouel, Jemma Gross, Luisa Hinchliff, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Scott le Crass, Sophie Lifschutz, Elf Lyons, Kate McGregor, Sophie Dillon Moniram, Lydia Parker, Ng Choon Ping, Cat Robey, Julia St John, Jennifer Tang, Helen Tennison, Oscar Toeman.


Other actors include:


Joseph Adelakun, Nicholas Agnew, Wendy Albiston, Leon Annor, Debra Baker, Olivia Caffrey, Chandrika Chevli, Tom Coombes, Daniel Francis-Swaby, Don Gilet, Peter Gordon, David Maybrick, Peter McEnery, Igor Medeiros, David Meyer, Kate Russell-Smith, Maya Thomas, Elizabeth Webster


Panel members include:

Anna Brewer, Moira Buffini, Nigel Douglas, Patricia Hodge, Anna Jordan, Josephine Melville, Nickie Miles-Wildin, Joanne Moss, Robert Rigby, Tena Štivičić, Julia St John, Psyche Stott.

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