Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Fried Onions At The Cosmic Cafe

Fried Onions and First Heard

John Knowles writes about the re-emergence of ‘First Heard’, a project he first set up at The Observer Theatre, with the intention of supporting local playwrights.

The idea was to put writers and professional actors together, who would then rehearse over a short period, to perform a dramatic reading of a play. Uniquely, I made the bold move to actually charge the audience to watch these events and to share the money between the actors. Note: not the writer, who benefited in other ways.

Our short stint allowed Cheryl White, Patrick Kealey, Kate Tym and myself to experience audience reactions to our plays and thus to hone them for future productions. My own play, ‘Hitleria Pizzeria’ benefited from this scrutiny and indeed ran to popular response last weekend (11 – 13 November 2016).

‘First Heard’ has now found a new home at The Electric Palace Cinema and will re-open for submissions and live events from 16 November. This month’s offering is ‘Fried Onions at the Cosmic Cafe’, a new play by John Knowles (story and script) and Kate Tym (script development).

Two burger vans, two laybys, two opposing lifestyles and one bypass. A dark comedy for the post punk generation, about family, community, isolation, addictive personalities and a road. The play features music from the likes of Julian Cope, The Revillos and Comsat Angels. Tickets for the reading are £5.00 and can be purchased online or direct from The Electric Palace Cinema on the night or online.

Local writers wishing to submit plays for the First Heard sessions which will begin in earnest in January 2017 should contact John Knowles direct on 07813 03 55 14 or via email:

Posted 07:50 Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016 In: Performance

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