The Painkiller Project

The Painkiller Project is a fortnightly playwriting competition from Bitter Pill Theatre with a small £150 prize for each winning play.

The winning play will be produced and released the following week as a podcast (available here). The winning playwright will also get the chance to have a “video coffee” with a line-up of established theatre makers over the coming weeks including James Graham, Laura Wade, Ryan Craig, Anne-Louise Sarks and David Eldridge.

​They hope that the repetitive nature of the competition helps to make the project feel collaborative and cyclical – like theatre.

Their first winning play, Stuff by Alison Carr, was performed by Olivier Award winning Sophie Thompson.


  • They are looking for short plays. Scripts should be 500 – 1500 words long
  • Plays should be written for 1 or 2 actors only
  • There is no age limit on entrants
  • They are also looking for a short (max 50 word) synopsis and the writer’s dream casting


The next submission window will be from Monday 29th June (10am) until Thursday 2nd July (10pm)

26 Jun 2020


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