DYSPLA 2012 took place at the Tristan Bates Theatre 6-10 November, 2012.  GALA Night consisted of guest speakers, music, poetry, and performance extracts of the full plays. Wine was sponsored by Barefoot Wine.  Click here for Festival photographs (by Kaska Porczyk)


The 8th Wave

The 8th Wave (Written by James Ernest, Directed by Don McCamphill; Cast: Alex Payne, Francis Adams). Synopsis: Brian’s little world revolves around his shop–a business built up from nothing. Lonely and unmarried, somewhat at odds with the world, his self-righteous world-view cadged from the Daily Mail. He believes in things as they should be, not as they are. When teenage scally Matthew breaks into his shop, the fire of Brian’s resentments flares up. He holds the boy captive and unleashes on him the fury of his bitterness at the world. Matthew fears the worst. But Brian and Matthew share a desire: for something better than their lot, a longing for the pain to stop, for a transcendent happiness. And Brian is determined that things will not continue as they are–he will send them both to a better place, one way or other.


Alexis & Euan

Alexis & Euan (Written by Juliet Cochrane, Directed by Andrew Lukas; Cast: Kevin Layne, Eilidh Nairn, Mario Hitra, and Scarlet Sweeney). Synopsis: Alexis & Euan is a story of unrequited love with a biological-anthropological twist. A one-act play that illuminates the workings of your brain when your heart falls in love.


The Whispering Theatre

The Whispering Theatre: Aby Watson performed Something Times Something (by Aby Watson); Amy Hoerler performed Paying Attention (by Rachel Creeger); Fiona Whitelaw performed Thatcher (by Lennie Varvarides); howtocuredyslexiaMorag Sims  performed Pounder (by Charlotte Coates, directed by Tom Latter); Nathan Thompson performed Dreaming In Colour (by Nathan Thompson); Piers Hunt and Siobhan Mckiernan performed Smlie (by Lennie Varvarides)


Leftover Letters Of A Dyslexic

Leftover Letters Of A Dyslexic: Alison Farina“Psst…”; Mark Brisenden, untitled letter; Val Yellow“Does It Matter?”; Paul Eccentric, The Antipoet/Rrrants, untitled letter; Sophia Marina Roy, untitled letter; Caroline Gardner “Flaming Love,” “She,” “Choose,” “Hot Dust,” “He and She”; Peter, “The Promise”; anon, “Dear DYSPLA”; Lisa Milliron“A Promise, Life On Earth” and “Promises, Promises, Promises”; Paul Ross, “My Dyslexic Thoughts In Words”; Kellee Farr“Confessions Of A Thief”; Sue Kerrigan“That Summer Was 11 Days That Changed The World”; Christel Pretorius, “The Trol’s Seecret”; Reuben Bainbridge, “My Little Ginger”; SuperPennie, untitled letter; Dana, “Childhood, A Secret”; Melanie Hunter, “Dear Planet Earth”; Joseph Steyne



James Ernest (Playwright, The 8th Wave) is originally from the village of Swinton in South Yorkshire. He moved to London in 2009 to train at East 15 Acting School and graduated this year with a degree in Acting and Contemporary Theatre. In 2011, he joined the Soho Theatre Young Company where he took Writer’s’ Lab workshops led by award-winning writer Paula Stanic and developed a number of scripts, including his first full-length play, The 8th Wave, which was shortlisted for the inaugural Soho Young Writers Award in 2012. James was also selected to be a Creative Associate of Soho Young Company. He has also undertaken workshop programmes with Paul Ashton and Al Smith of BBC Writers Room and April DeAngeles from The Royal Court Theatre. Currently James in developing a new play with dramaturgical support from Don McCamphill and his company Disturbance.

Juliet Cochrane  (Playwright, Alexis & Euan) graduated from Goldsmiths with an MA in Creative Writing. She has worked with the National Theatre Studio, has been invited onto a BBC Writersroom workshop, had her 100 Word Play The Poetry Group archived by the Royal Court Theatre, and has had a series of monologues produced by Blackshaw Theatre. Being dyslexic means she’s an especially creative speller too. Alexis & Euan is her first play.

Don McCamphill (Director, The 8th Wave) is a playwright, dramaturg and producer. He was educated at St. Mac Nissi’s College in County Antrim, King’s College London, and Goldsmith’s College. He is a successful playwright, with productions for 7:84 Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre, Lyric Theatre Belfast, Tinderbox Theatre Company, Calipo Theatre and others. He has also written plays for a range of radio drama slots on BBC Radio 4, as well as BBC7 / 4 Extra. His first radio play, Bull Epic was a nominated for the Imison Award (Society of Authors) and his Classic Serial, Barry Lyndon, was a Sony Award nominee. He was winner of the Bill Miskelly Award in 2003. Don has worked widely in theatre as a dramaturg, script editor and lecturer on playwriting, for Soho Theatre, Central School of Speech and Drama, Tinderbox, the Young Playwrights’ Programme, Jagriti Theatre Bangalore and others. Most recently he headed the Education Department at Soho Theatre, running writers’ programmes for young playwrights aged up to 25, and producing and directing new work for a number of Soho Theatre strands, including Script Slam, Departures Lounge, and Late Edition. While at Soho Theatre he established the Soho Young Writers’ Award. He has also been a judge on the Westminster Prize, the Verity Bargate Award and the Papa Tango Prize. He is currently Literary Associate at Cerberus Theatre Company.

Andrew Lukas (Director, Alexis & Euan) is a director, teacher, actor, and comedy performer. Originally from Manchester, he studied acting at Mountview, then directly under Sam Kogan at ASAD, including workshops at GITIS in Moscow. He has also been a Council Member and CEO at the Directors Guild of Great Britain.

Alex Payne (Actor, The 8th Wave)  Alex is an Essex based actor who has recently just graduated from East 15 Acting School after spending the last three years training in Acting and Stage Combat. Alex’s most recent stage credit is Skinhead! which was performed at The Last Refuge, Peckham. Since graduating, he has also been filming a couple of short films for up and coming directors. As well as acting, Alex also enjoys directing. He has spent the last two summers in Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina where he has been an assistant director and fight choreographer for international company Youth Bridge Global working on Shakespeare with young people. Alex is excited to be performing his debut DYSPLA production and hopes that you all enjoy the performance.

Francis Adams (Actor, The 8th Wave)

Eilidh Nairn (Actor, Alexis & Euan) is a professional actor and freelance presenter. She is originally for the Scottish Highlands, now based in London. Her versatile acting range and look means she is often cast in wide and varying roles. Recently she played The beast in one of Scotlands most gruesome Horror films ‘ Sawney Flesh of man’ and soon to come to channel 4, you can see her playing a hair stylist in a new fly on the wall series. Her love for theatre and live performance brings her for the second time since last year to the DYSPLA festival playing Alexis in ‘Alexis & Euan’. Eilidh is represented by MSFT Management.

Kevin Layne  (Actor, Alexis & Euan) was born in London and raised by Trinidadian parents. After realising his potential, Kevin decided to attend the Arts Educational School of Acting where he received what he calls a lease of life. Kevin has always had the desire to pursue acting. Having watched his father perform musically and appear in James Bond films: Live and Let Die and Goldfinger, Kevin was mesmerised and later decided to learn his craft. Since graduating Kevin has appeared in several stage productions and has also recently this year filmed a pilot for Channel 4/ E4 and also starred in the play The Body at the Henley Fringe Festival. Kevin is represented by MSFT Management.

Scarlet Sweeney (Actor, Alexis & Euan) Nominated Best Actress by The Stage for The Edinburgh Awards for Acting Excellence 2012. Her Theatre credits include: As Ye Sow (Pleasance, Edinburgh) Revenge Of The Grand Guignol for Theatre Of The Damned (Courtyard Theatre), 7 Year Itch (Barbican), Le Justes performed in French/co-directed (Cockpit Theatre), The House of Bernarda Alba (Almeida Theatre) Grand Guignol (Etcetera Theatre), We Are Scorned (Bloomsbury Theatre), You Me Bum Bum Train (Barbican Bite Season), Mariana Pineda (Arcola Theatre), All Together Now (Barbican), In Camera (Rosemary Branch), Jocasta (Chelsea Arts Theatre), Coffee Cigarettes & Paranoia (Kings Head Theatre), Le Cirque Magique (UK Tour) Champagne (Barons Court). Scarlet has also starred in short films: Kate (Contra Image), Being Lionel (EGG Creative Productions) One Friend (Jalonen Brothers Films), War Against Gang Rape (Eyes Wide Open Productions), The Mirror (Imece Films), Big Smoke (Granada Television).

Mario Hitra (Actor, Alexis & EuanMario is represented by MSFT Management.

Aby Watson (Actor,Whispering Theatre) performs Something Times Something–by Aby Watson

Amy Hoerler (Actor,Whispering Theatre) performs Paying Attention–by Rachel Creeger

Charlotte Coates (Writer, Pounder) Her first full length The Death of Norman Tortilla had a four week run at the Tristan Bates Theatre earlier this year and was previously workshopped by MSFT and presented at the DYSPLA festival in 2010. Other credits include Off You Get, a short play presented as part of Rapid Write Response at Theatre 503 and God In The Machine, a short play for Play in Day at Counterculture. Vanilla Slice, a sitcom script reached the final of the BBC Talent Sitcom Writing Competition. She has also written for NewsRevue at The Canal Café Theatre.

howtocuredyslexia David Miller performs 7 November, 9 November, 10 November, and the entire band of  howtocuredyslexia perform on the 11th November.

Morag Sims (Actor) performs Pounder. Morag graduated from ALRA and was Spotlight Prize Nominee in 2009. Theatre credits include Rules of the Game (Old Red Lion), The Death of Norman Tortilla (Tristan Bates) The Corner Fence (Charing Cross Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (The Space), Printed Linen (The Courtyard), Play the Game (24 Hr Play, Counter Culture Tunnels), Death of the Unicorn (Camden Etcetera), The Wizard of Oz (Tour). Film & TV productions include Man At War (BeardyBoy Productions), The Execution of Gary Glitter (Channel 4) and currently filming feature film Scrawl(Kicked by A Mule).

Nathan Thompson (Actor,Whispering Theatre)  performs Dreaming In Colour–by Nathan Thompson

Tom Latter (Director, Pounder) Tom completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Directing at Mountview Academy in 2009. Credits include: The Stolen Inches by Cordelia O’Neill (New Diorama Theatre); The Death of Norman Tortilla by Charlotte Coates (Tristan Bates Theatre); Lost and Found by Alex Everard (Saffron Walden Maze Festival); The Art of Concealment by Giles Cole (Iambic Arts, Brighton Fringe Festival); Pallbearings by Giles Faulkner (Rosemary Branch Theatre); Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco by Gary Owen (New Wimbledon Studio); Tilt by Ailis Ni Riain (Cockpit Theatre). He has directed new writing work at Theatre 503, Southwark Playhouse, Old Red Lion, Rosemary Branch and Tristan Bates Theatres, and worked with companies including Paines Plough, All The Pigs and Tik-Sho-Ret. He was MSFT’s Artistic Director in 2009. He is Artistic Director of Sheer Drop Theatre Company.

Piers Hunt (Actor,Whispering Theatre)  performs Smlie–by Lennie Varvarides

Siobhan Mckiernan (Actor,Whispering Theatre)  performs–Smlie by Lennie Varvarides

Fiona Whitelaw (Actor,Whispering Theatre)  performs Teacher–by Lennie Varvarides

Catherine Brogan (Poet)  has been described as, “smart, angry, funny and right on the money–what’s not to like?” by Giles Fraser a Guardian Columnist. Catherine will perform at the DYSPLA Festival Gala & Press Night on 6th and 8th November.

Dean Atta (Poet) click here for his website.

Paul Eccentric (Poet/Performer) Over the past twenty five years Paul has spread his unique brand of anarchocynisism throughout a variety of mediums, live and recorded. He is perhaps best known as the frontman and subversive force behind 80s pop band THE ODD ECCENTRIC and as singer and lyricist for 90s doo-wop kings THE SENTI-MENTALS. He is a published poet, novelist and playwright, and has also directed for the stage and for audio. Further information and updates on Paul’s published works and poetry performances can be found by visiting the following websites theantipoet.co.uk and rrrants.co.uk. The Antipoet is the world’s finest exponents of beat rantin’ rhythm’n views. A wry blend of anarchocynisism and comic observation. Paul and Ian have brought together the wit and wisdom of one of the country’s finest performance poets with melodic rhythms of solo bass and the odd piece of gratuitous percussion thrown in for good measure to create the unique sound and spectacle that is The Antipoet.

Kazimir Bielecki (Filmmaker) DYSPLAMENTARY is a film about dyslexic storymakers coming together for a common cause–to share their stories about childhood, memory, and creativity. The film will be screened at the DYSPLA Festival Gala & Press Night on 6th November and was made possible by the generosity of POET.

Gideon Hall (Artist) “I’m a Cardiff based dyslexic artist-photographer, curator and tutor who trained in sculpture at Middlesex University (Hornsey School of Art). I now work as a freelance artist, and tutor of various creative disciplines, and for my company City Tuition and Tours. I take an intuitive approach to creating art, which incorporates drawing and photography, often to form composite images like the one shown in the festival. I usually begin with everyday things found around me, with the intention of bringing out their inherent mysteries through a mixture of documentation, manipulation, combination and reflection. One of the most important things for me is that an image provokes the spectator in some way; poses new questions or thoughts about its subject, and expresses that which might be previously hidden. In the creation of work, I will utilise whatever is necessary in the form of materials or technologies: the image submitted for the Dyspla festival was produced on a mobile phone with free graphic apps.”

Nan Sheldrake (Artist) Born in 1989, Westminster, London. Lives and works in London.  Nan is a British Conceptual Fine Artist. Her practice spans a broad range of media including drawing, painting, mixed-media collage, photography, moving image, video and installation. Nan graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design in 2011 where she first exhibited her double projected sequences. Nan’s work deconstructs signifiers of truth, reality, and connections sourced from the public arena of the Internet and from life.

Sue Kerrigan from Let Me Learn

Joanna Kelly  (Artist) is a London based graphic designer who has recently taken the plunge into freelance. Since completing a degree in product design in 2007, she has worked as a career adviser in secondary schools, taught English abroad and worked as a designer and illustrator in children’s book publishers. She has worked on numerous freelance projects over the years including branded marketing materials, wedding graphics and t-shirt illustrations. Visit joannakellydesigns.com to view portfolio.

Sally Gardner (Dyslexic Writer and Illustrator) is an artist, writer, and inspiration to all dyslexics, “I strongly believe that dyslexia is like a Rubik’s Cube: it takes time to work out how to deal with it but once you do, it can be the most wonderful gift.” Sally Gardner will be our main Guest Speaker at the DYSPLA Festival Gala & Press Night on 6th November.

Andrea Clark (Casting Director for TV, Films & Commercials) will be a Guest Speaker at the DYSPLA Festival Gala & Press Night on 6th November. As a dyslexic women running her own casting company, Andrea will highlight how she feels dyslexia has made an impact on her career.

June Kidd (Dyslexic Author and Artist) discusses her dyslexia and her book, Unshriven, which is a true and factual account of an extraordinary happening in her life. She is a writer with dyslexia who, having completed a course on Imagination, Meditation, and Mind Discipline (Silva Method) was able for the first time in her life, take charge of her butterfly mind, focus her attention, write 100,000 words spanning 300 years in this, her first book (now one of three) and learn how to spell at the age of 40. Click here for more info and here for her website.

Matthew Scurfield (Dyslexic Playwright and Actor) lives on the island of Gozo in Malta with his wife and son. Before coming to Gozo he was involved with many different theatre projects in the UK, traversing the far corners of the stage; from Dundee to Cornwall, from the pantheons of Berkoff’s London theatre Group, to Shakespeare’s New Globe, The Royal National Theatre and a lengthy adventure with ground-breaking Complicite. He has appeared in numerous films and television productions. Since moving to Malta, Matthew has overseen the renovation of three houses, completed his autobiographical book I Could Be Anyone and worked alongside some great actors. At time of writing, he and his wife Lena are working on a theatre project, based on his book I Could be Anyone, supported in full by the Department of Psychology Malta University, in collaboration with MPSDA (Malta PSD Association) and MDA (Malta Dyslexia Association). With thanks to Laurence Staig and the Promotion of English Trust for their generous support and in collaboration with MSFT, as part of the DYSPLA Theatre Festival, I Could be Anyone was first performed in the UK, in November 2010  and subsequently in 2011.

Stanley Sutton (Dyslexic Academic) speaks about his research (the Primary Cause of Dyslexia) and Mr. David Hillidge’s BSc Hon trial findings from Stafford University.

Naomi Folb (RASP) is a researcher and publisher of dyslexic writers. She set up RASP, a dyslexia publishing company whilst studying for her Ph.D, as she became aware of the huge untapped talent pool of dyslexic writers who were overlooked by the more traditional publishing houses. Since its conception in 2007, RASP has published numerous publications most notably, an anthology that included the dyslexic writers Benjamin Zephaniah, Philip Schultz, Sally Gardner and Tom West. RASP has acquired a reputation as both a reliable source of information on dyslexia and a platform through which dyslexics can redefine dyslexia in their own words. At DYSPLA she will discuss the role of the editor, the importance of good design and the value of collaboration. RASP will be speaking about dyslexic publishing: the importance of good design for dyslexia activism; the value of editors for writers: negotiating critical feedback and the freedom to experiment, collaborations; Aby Watson and Matthew Scurfield, the value of volunteers: how they are changing RASP

Francesca Greene (Casting Director) offered subsidized workshops for dyslexic actors at DYSPLA 2012. Her workshop covered sight reading for dyslexics, script reading techniques, and scene study.


DYSPLA Sponsors & Partners

Gold Sponsor: Phoenix Arts Club, P.O.E.T. (sponsor of DYSPLAMENTARY), MSFT
Silver Sponsors: Actors CentreFrancesca Greene CastingCLUBLEPRINT
Bronze Sponsor: WordtriggerTheatre Delicatessen
Drinks Sponsor: Barefoot Wine
Media Partner: Camden New Journal
Social Media Partners: SpotlightThe Book ExchangeLet Me LearnTime 2 ShineDyslexia ActionRASP


Production Team

Lennie Varvarides (Founder/Festival Producer) cannot follow rules, she breaks them like cheap plastic cutlery that will not bend. ‘No’ is a word that sits uncomfortably on her tongue and when she gets an idea in her head, it is impossible to slow her down.  She makes things happen fast and often with no resources because she believes that anything is possible. There is fire in her belly and you know what that means–it’s burning! Follow @msft_production

Kazimir Bielecki (Festival Filmmaker) hails from the Sherwood Forest and is a cinematographer, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. Visit his website here: kazimirbielecki.co.uk. Follow @kazimirbielecki

Amy Schulz (Website/Graphic Design) is happily married, living in Florida, and pet-mama to four “furkids” named Olive, Cassie, Millie, and Baby (and four in Heaven named Jack, Rusty, Lulu, and Libby). She works from home with her husband, Dan, designing and developing websites.  She is also an actress and a Master Acting Class Graduate of The Burt Reynolds Institute For Film & Theatre (BRIFT) where she continues to study under the tutelage of legendary actor and mentor, Mr. Burt Reynolds. Check out her websites at amyhoerler.com and amyschulz.com to learn more about her. Follow @amyhoerler

Rachel Creeger (Production Manager) is a playwright, singer-songwriter and director. Her credits include ESTHER! The Musical at Artsdepot (writer/director), Gil and Chen’s Metsuyan Adventure at the Intimate Theatre (writer/director) and The Shul Must Go On at The Bull Theatre (writer/director). Rachel’s original play Staffroom ran to critical acclaim and a sold out house in the Tristan Bates Theatre in the West End this summer and was voted “Most Audience Recommended Play” of the Camden Fringe. She runs Time2Shine Productions, a performing arts and production company which provides themed workshops, team building sessions, leadership training as well as event and show production. She also writes for and performs with vocal harmony group Kol Sheva. Follow @Time2Shineprods

Chryssanthi Kouri, Dominik Gieryn (Production Assistants)

Phil Hunter (Lighting & Sound Design)

Kaska Porczyk (Festival Photographer)

Maria Martin-Caro (Costume Design) is costume designer/stylist based in London. Originally from Madrid, Spain, Maria has worked in the costume department over five years in theatre, TV and film. Since 2009, Maria took another step in her career working in the UK for independent production companies and filmmakers with a deep motivation for visual design.

Nan Sheldrake (Projectionist) conceptual artist and projection designer for The 8th Wave.

Joanna Kelly (Printed Festival Flyer) is a London based graphic designer who has recently taken the plunge into freelance. Since completing a degree in product design in 2007, she has worked as a career adviser in secondary schools, taught English abroad and worked as a designer and illustrator in children’s book publishers. She has worked on numerous freelance projects over the years including branded marketing materials, wedding graphics and t-shirt illustrations. Visit joannakellydesigns.com to view portfolio.

Kristi Frlekin (Viral Festival Flyer)