Advanced Booking At: We Got Tickets
Fresh from a funeral, Cam meets Jimmy outside the chippy. Little does she know that this gobby, twelve-year old will change her life in wonderful ways.
A grieving brother and sister deal with the death of their invalid mother in very different ways.
There's someting in the ale…!
Two couples. One about to marry. The other about to divorce. A tale of love and hate.
1950's Hollywood. Two writers. She's a nobody. He's a has-been. Can they come up with that killer pitch? Maybe, as long as no-one interrupts…
Prostate cancer, romantic re-unions and dreams of Heaton Norris. 3 wounded souls wrangle over shared emotions and muscle memory.
JB Shorts 23 is now FULLY CAST. Of the nineteen roles in this year"s show, ten will be played by JB Debutants while nine others make a very welcome return.
We have been literally overwhelmed this time with the quality and quantity of the submissions we"ve had. A record 1200+ actors were put up for roles this time. We saw as many as we could with in person meetings being augmented by nearly 200 self-tapes.
We are really grateful for everyone"s interest. We wish we had more roles to offer out and indeed more spaces for the many writers and directors who have shown interest in being involved in JB Shorts.
Renewed thanks to you all.
JB Shorts invites guest writers to join the team for each production. There is a 'waiting list' of guest writers for future shows and the team is not currently inviting any script submissions.
JB Shorts began as a conversation between two writers, Trevor Suthers and John Chambers, who imagined a festival of short plays written by established TV writers. It could have been one of those drunken conversations that never go anywhere but instead Trevor and John followed it up by finding a venue at Joshua Brooks, then bringing on writers Peter Kerry, James Quinn, Lindsay Williams, Dave Simpson and Diane Whitley.
With the expert help of director Roger Haines, the first JB Shorts was produced in March 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. No-one had quite expected the atmosphere in the dark cellar of Joshua Brooks to be so exciting, or the audience to be so enthusiastic.
It was meant to be a one off event but the writers realised that this was a chance to try out ideas and produce new and exciting work. So the group of original writers along with Roger Haines got together and decided to turn it into a bi annual event.
Since then JB Shorts has continued to grow year on year. We are very lucky to have some amazing directors, and actors work on the show and the quality is constantly improving. The event is still run by the original writers but now also attracts many guest writers who relish the chance to write in the short form
JB Shorts is a profit share show and involves a lot of hard work from all involved. It continues to be a big success on the Manchester scene attracting some of the best local talent and most loyal audiences around. In November 2016, the move to 53Two ushered in a new era in the JB Shorts story…
Find out about our new home over on their website!
53two theatre - Arch 19, Watson St, Manchester. M3 4LP. The best way to find us is to download What3Words using cities.tins.petal.
We are on the corner of Watson St and Gt Bridgewater St. and a 5 minute walk from Deansgate Metrolink/Train stop, a 1 min walk from Beetham Tower and next door but one to Mcr Gin/Three Little Words. If you were to stand with Albert Schloss to your back, you can walk straight down the road opposite and we’re the last building on the left.
On Google maps, you can find us by typing ‘53two’ in to the search bar. Unfortunately, Apple Maps gets a little confused.
Uber will bring you to Watson St, outside Mcr Gin where you can walk 30 seconds away from Albert Schloss/235 Casino to find us.
If you can’t find us, give us a bell - 07432 198 724View on Google Maps
'JB Shorts 16 presents a smorgasbord of fantasy, farce, satire and sheer silliness… It’s a cracker of a evening.'
Paul Vallely. Read his 4 **** review here at The Independent
'The JB Shorts evenings have become one of the best-loved fixtures on the Manchester theatre scene'
Kevin Bourke. Read the review at Manchester Theatre Awards
'Long live JB Shorts'
Tracey Lowe. Read her 4 **** review here at The Good Review
'As for JB Shorts, I can't recommend it highly enough'
Alfred Hickling, THE GUARDIAN
'An evening of funny, gutsy and inventive theatre'
Paul Vallely, THE INDEPENDENT
'Fast moving, funny and touching. The most enjoyment I've ever had in a cellar.'
SIMON ARMITAGE, Poet, Novelist & Playwright
'I had such a good time at JB Shorts. Funny, poignant, and never time to get bored. It's a great format.'
CHRIS HONER, Artistic Director, Library Theatre
'JB Shorts is becoming a salient feature on the Manchester theatre landscape.'
Paul Vallely. Read his 4 **** review here at The Independent
'Master Craftsmen at Work… a truly wonderful night out'
Natalie Anglesey, MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
'A unique opportunity to see master craftsmen at work - and enjoy a wonderful night out'
NATALIE ANGLESEY, Manchester Evening News
'JB Shorts are Inspirational. Great writing, great acting - and it's in a pub! What more could you want for a storming night out?'
MAXINE PEAKE, Actress - The Village, Silk, Criminal Justice, Shameless, See No Evil, Little Dorrit, etc, Artist in Residence at the Royal Exchange Theatre
'…A Magical combination of short plays that steal your attention and refuse to give it back…unmissable'
'As for JB Shorts, I can't recommend it highly enough'
Joanna Ing is impressed with JB Shorts 10 at Joshua Brooks, Manchester.
Read her 4 **** review here at Whats On Stage
'JB Shorts is an accessible and friendly night out in a relaxed venue. It's also an excellent showcase for Manchester's writing and acting talent. I've been twice and will definitely be there again!'
CHRIS MONKS, Artistic Director, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
'JB Shorts is a cracking night out at the theatre. Not to be missed.'
DAVID LLOYD, Ex-Lancashire & England Cricketer, now a TV Commentator
'A superb collection of funny, thought-provoking and hugely entertaining plays. I'll continue to wear my JB Shorts with pride.'
PHIL MEALEY, Writer & Co-creator of Early Doors, Sunshine
'Shorts and snappy . It works every time…… a "must-see" on the Manchester cultural calendar'
Manchester Theatre Awards
Television credits include Children's Ward, Big Meg Little Meg, MI High and Emmerdale. On radio, he has worked on The Archers as well as creating the sitcoms North East Of Eden and Men Of Intelligence along with dramatising the novels of Giovanni Guareschi, Terry Pratchett, E Nesbit and Julie Myerson. He has also one novel published, The Scribe.
Trevor has had more than seventy plays produced from monologues to musicals, cabaret and sketch shows. He has a particular interest in Youth Theatre with many plays published and available online. He has written for Coronation Street and Eastenders and has had a number of one act plays both staged and broadcast in the US. He founded the Reallife Theatre Company back in 1992 whilst writer-in-residence at the Green Room in Manchester.
Lindsay Williams is a BAFTA nominated UK television and theatre writer. She has written over eighty episodes of prime time TV including many episodes of Emmerdale and EastEnders. She has also written for radio and her first Afternoon Drama ‘A Little bit of Latitude’ was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2012. She also writes regularly for the stage and is a big fan of the short format. She has been part of part of JB Shorts from the start and has written short plays about diverse subjects ranging from earthquakes, to Iranian nuclear politics, to Lady Gaga, and wedding dresses. Lindsay is also part of the production team for JB Shorts and has spent countless hours in meetings listening to James Quinn and Trevor Suthers row over seating arrangements and ticketing issues. It's every bit as exciting and glamorous as you'd imagine.
Photo by Len Grant
As an actor, James has appeared in theatres all over the country including Old Vic, Sheffield Crucible, Royal Exchange, Birmingham Rep. Greenwich Theatre. Library Theatre, Bolton Octagon and many more.
On TV, James has played returning characters in Early Doors, Coronation St, Fat Friends, Red Cap, Hollyoaks, New Street Law, Emmerdale & Drop Dead Gorgeous - and guest roles in various other shows including, Jewels (Bridgerton prequel), Peacock, Unforgotten, The Bay, Bancroft, Dr Who, Scott & Bailey, Shameless, Dalziel & Pascoe, See No Evil, Buried, Clocking Off, Heartbeat, New Statesman, Casualty.
As a writer, James’s ‘JB Short’, ‘At The End Of The Day’, became BBC Radio 5Live’s first ever drama commission when it was performed live on the Colin Murray Show in 2011. James’s stage plays include, ‘Twenty20’ at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and ‘Unsung’ at the Liverpool Everyman, co-written with John Graham Davies.
For BBC Radio, James wrote and played the title role in three series of his Radio 4 comedy, ‘Sir Ralph Stanza’s Letter From Salford’ and has performed in many R4 comedies and dramas. In addition to his acting and scriptwriting work, James has spent two spells as ‘Writer-in-Residence’ at HMP Manchester (‘Strangeways’), 2000/1 & 2005/6 and is a matchday commentator on FC United of Manchester TV and Radio.
Dave Simpson started his writing career with the BBC and has had in excess of 30 radio productions broadcast before moving on to TV where he wrote for The Bill, Coronation Street and was an Emmerdale writer for five years. In recent years, however, he has developed his career in theatre and film. He has had in excess of 18 stage plays performed, the most successful being GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT, which toured for three years and transferred to the West End in 1998, and also toured for 20 weeks in 2010, and more recently, THE NAKED TRUTH which finished its 5th tour in 2011. He is currently working with Producer, Bill Kenwright, on a new stage musical, THE GOLDEN OLDIES and has just had another stage play optioned, GIRLS’ NIGHT IN, for a possible tour next year.
He currently has two feature films optioned, RAVING BEAUTIES, produced by Mark Forstater, to be directed by Paul Hills and WHATEVER LOVE IS, produced by Jeffrey Taylor of StageScreen Productions and to be directed by Douglas McKinnon. He is currently co-adapting the novel, NICHOLAS DANE, written by the award-winning teen novelist, Melvin Burgess.
Diane is an experienced scriptwriter, showrunner, script editor and producer. She worked as development producer and head writer/showrunner on Series 1 and 2 of the RTS and BAFTA nominated hit gothic teen drama, HOUSE OF ANUBIS, which Lime Pictures and Studio 100 produce for Nickelodeon US & UK. She also wrote a feature length special of the show as well as kicking off Series 3. More recently she has been writing on the brand new CBeebies show TOPSY AND TIM for independent company, Darrall Macqueen. Her previous work includes writing and producing for Granada Kids on shows such as GIRLS IN LOVE, THE WORST WITCH, 24 SEVEN and BIG MEG LITTLE MEG and writing for the BBC on shows such as GRANGE HILL, HOME FARM TWINS, and BEAR BEHAVING BADLY. Di has a number of original series ideas in development and recently won development finance from Creative England to develop a feature film, GIRL MISSING, which she will write and produce. Diane – along with co-writer Danny Spring - has also just been commissioned for a major new live action CBBC drama.
Paris Rogers trained at Pendleton College and Graduated from The Arden School of Theatre. Since graduating Paris has produced and written for many theatres such as, The Lowry, Salford Arts, Leicester Square, The Kings arms, The Eagle Inn, The Viaduct, 53two and Oldham Coliseum. Paris has also produced for the BBC and was mentored by Bruntwood prize winner Andy Sheridan as part of a new writing scheme. In addition to this she has produced projects that provide a stepping stone for underprivileged young people in Manchester and continues to be a mentor for older and younger creatives. Paris has had the opportunity to work along side some of the top producers and writers in the UK.
Skäi Cody, is a producer and actor from Manchester, recently graduated from Rose Bruford Wigan. Her credits include; The Board (Creative Producer), Celebrate Deeplish - Breaking Barriers (Assistant Producer), ALRA North Showcase - Lyceum Theatre London (Producer) & Have A Break, Have A KitKat - ACE Funded R&D (Actor)
She is really excited to be part of the JB team and is glad that it has been relaunched, a much needed injection of theatre and new writing after what has felt like an age without it!
Photo by Richenda Carey
Roger has been awarded the Horniman award for his contribution to theatre in the North West. For the Library Theatre, Manchester he directed productions of Into the Woods, (Manchester Evening News Award Best Production of a Musical) Assassins, (TMA Award Best Production of a Musical) Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd, as well as the European premières of William Finn’s March of the Falsettos (MEN award Best Production of a Musical) and Sophisticated Ladies, both of which transferred to the West End. As musical supervisor for the company he was responsible for the European premières of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, Follies and Pacific Overtures.
Roger has also directed national tours of Steel Magnolias, Driving Miss Daisy, (TMA Award Best Touring Production) and Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, (MEN Award Best Production of Play) which he also directed in the West End, starring Gene Wilder.
Roger directed Charlotte’s Web for Birmingham Stage Company at Derby Theatre. He also directed national tours of Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and The Girls by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth. He directed the highly acclaimed world premiere of the musical The Go-Between (TMA Theatre Awards UK Best Production of a Musical 2012) for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Derby Live and the Royal & Derngate, Northampton. He has since directed it for the West End with Michael Crawford playing the leading role.
When John co-founded J.B. Shorts with Trevor Suthers it squared the circle in that he started his writing career having one-act plays performed by Pan Theatre, in PUBS, in the early ‘80s. Dave Simpson and Di Whitley were amongst the founders of Pan.
John subsequently went on to write over a hundred hours of tele (from soaps to children’s drama plus 4 thirty minute plays for BBC2). His stage plays have been premiered around the northwest (Contact, Octagon, Playhouse, Dukes, Coliseum & Library Theatre where he was Arts Council Dramatist).
Throughout he’s always returned to one act plays – due no doubt to his low boredom threshold. He is currently working on a series of one act plays under the title “Lives – Lived and Imagined”. Research on some started 15 years ago! They are now beginning to appear online and are getting productions in the UK, North America and Australia among others.
His work is mostly of a radical bent.