Fizzy Sherbet – Live or Online? That is the Question: Platforming new writing during a global pandemic – and creating space for voices to be heard

Tamara von Werthern by Sonya Hurtado

In this latest post by Tamara von Werthern from Fizzy Sherbet, we find out all about their latest project…

How was lockdown for you? If you are a playwright, like me, it was probably equally productive and terrifying. Productive because being forced to sit in your bedroom with nothing much for company but your laptop is kind of the ideal condition for finally finishing that draft that’s been hanging round in your back drawer. Terrifying because however brilliant what we’re currently working on might be, will it ever see the light of day, or rather the spotlight on the stage?

I had been thinking that maybe being worried about who we write for or what will happen has the effect of blocking the creative process, too. But judging from the response to our recent call-out for scripts that was not the case. We received 394 submissions from writers from over 25 different countries, a truly humbling experience. We will announce the other selected writers for the series very shortly, so do keep an eye on our socials (and your inbox, if you have submitted to this).

Fizzy Sherbet has existed since 2016, when we used to present readings at the Hackney Attic, but we turned to the podcast format over lockdown, so that we can reach audiences where they are, and connect writers from all over the world. It’s been a fun time working on our pilot series, which is already available to listen to, and then when we were lucky enough to receive support from the Arts Council England, on our first ‘proper’ series.

We are now on the cusp of launching the series – on Saturday 2 October we will do our first ever live recording of a whole episode at The Bush Theatre – and we’d love for you to come and join us! You would be part of the recording, as the audience response will feed into this special episode, both with their presence, their, we hope, applause, and the opportunity to ask the writer and our special guest some questions in our Q&A.

Sophie Williams by Rebecca Petts-Pavis

Which brings me to the most important bit: We are delighted that we’ll be presenting The Diagnosis, a brand-new play by the wonderful (and Olivier Award-nominated) Athena Stevens (Schism, Scrounger) with the brilliant Lizzie Annis in the cast. Our special guest is Sophie Williams, author of Millenial Black and Anti-Racist Ally, who you might have heard speak on The Guilty Feminist, or one of her Ted talks. She’s also a Global Manager at Netflix, a Racial Equity Consultant and Founder of OfficialMilennialBlack. It’s shaping up to be a really exciting evening.






‘What would you do if you knew the fate of those around you? Would you speak up? Would you shut down?

Athena Stevens by Christian Banfield

Athena’s new play delves into a world where one person can see the fate of multiple people running blissfully towards their own destruction. What then, is the responsibility of the person that can see the ending of those who refuse to acknowledge that foresight? Does knowledge of the inevitable mean you have a moral obligation to stop it and if you can’t stop it, how do you avoid being complicit in it?’

We would love to see you in the audience on Saturday. It’s such a great opportunity for writers, directors and producers to mingle and connect, and we’ll all be around after the show in the bar. So please do come and say hello to us afterwards. It feels very special that we can now be in a room together after putting the podcast together over Zoom during the lockdown. We can’t wait. Let’s get fizzing!


Listings information

Saturday 2nd October, 7.30pm

Bush Theatre 7 Uxbridge Road Shepherd’s Bush London W12 8LJ
£8 (concs £4.50-5.50) | | 020 8743 5050

Supported by Arts Council England, Ameena Hamid Productions and PlayWell Productions


Image credits: Josephine Starte by Sally Flegg/ Lizzie Annis: Samuel Black Photography/ Anna Girvan by Mark Dawson/ Sophie Williams by Rebecca Petts Pavis/ Athena Stevens: Christian Banfield/ Lily McLeish Carol Laidler/ Tamara von Werthern by Sonya Hurtado

Logo Design: Alice Müller

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