YOUNG actors will take to the stage this weekend to perform the winning entry in a competition organised to inspire people to read and write.
The Kings Youth Theatre Junior New Writer’s Festival competition was launched earlier this year as part of The News Read All About It campaign to boost literacy across the area.
People were asked to write a play to be performed on stage at the Kings Theatre in Southsea. Up to 20 entries were received from writers of all ages.
Warblington School teacher Paul Davies was announced as the winner with his play called Sunshine, Moonshine and the Mountain of Rah.
It tells the story of a young child and his desire to become brave so he can conquer a scary monster.
Members of the Kings Youth Theatre, aged between 7 and 12, will perform the play on Sunday, as well as short performances from three runner-up entries.
Paul said: ‘I love to write for children. I had a great idea for a play that came from a short story I wrote for my daughter. When I heard about this it was too good an opportunity to miss. I wanted to present it for the stage. I know this is an ambitious young theatre company.
‘They have done brilliantly. They have been so imaginative. It’s going to be fantastic to watch.’
And he said he was thrilled when he heard he had won.
‘I was absolutely elated,’ he added. ‘I have written stuff before. But a play was something I wanted to write.
‘I have never had the opportunity to do this before. I’m really excited to see it.’
Joanna Bennington, youth theatre co-ordinator, said: ‘I was really chuffed with the standards of some of the entries.
‘It’s been really successful. People want to see the production come to life on stage.
‘I wanted to show that there’s another side to literacy with the stage bringing things to life.
‘I’m encouraged that these guys are going to go on and become something in life because they have been given this opportunity and they have grabbed it with both hands.’
The group will perform on Sunday at 7pm.
Tickets are £8 each or £2 for concessions. Call (023) 9282 8282.
David Maber wrote two of the runner-up plays – Leaving Home and Gutted.
Also a runner-up was Christine Richardson for her play, Teachers.