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Greater Manchester Fringe 1-31 July 2019 launch party

Meet the three new stars who are being mentored in The Hive for July 2019 – Stefanie MooreSimon Widdop and Siân Davies.

The Hive is a brand-new curated branch of Greater Manchester Fringe, to help new writers and performers develop their work and premiere it at the eighth GMFringe 1-31 July 2019.

Applicants were narrowed down to a shortlist of 40, who pitched their ideas with five minute performances at Salford Arts Theatre.

The chosen three have since been working with their mentors to develop the quality of their work, supported by Arts Council England.

Sex education was the inspiration for Blue Lines by Stefanie Moorewho is being mentored by Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) and Mike Heath (Studio Salford Write for the Stage) in The Hive.

Stefanie said: “The first draft I sent Tim was about 60 pages. I knew nothing. I thought that was how long it had to be. He was brilliant. He wrote back and said ‘It is a really great idea, really good writing, I’ve just made a few suggestions’.“We probably lost about 20 pages on that first draft alone. His sense of stage craft and where to cut a scene has been fantastic. I think a lot of that is to do with trust. He wanted me to expand and develop those awkward pauses, allowing the actors more breathing space. Whereas I was doing the classic first time playwright thing of trying to explain and write everything down.”

Punk poet Simon Widdop, 29, is working on Stained, his debut spoken word show set in a tattoo parlour and talks about prejudice. He is being mentored by  comedy writer, performer and actor Ben Moor (Spitting Image, Fist of Fun, Undone, Man Down)

He said: “Working with Ben has been an amazing opportunity. Not only has he changed my approach to writing, but he’s continued to push and challenge my way of thinking to get this story to its full potential. Furthermore, Ben has said throughout this process that if I needed to speak to him at any point then he would be there.”