There’s a cult of youth in new writing for theatre. New writing venues look for plays by young writers, requiring young actors and aimed at young audiences.
But theatre companies, audiences and actors often want the opposite.
Four playwrights – Francis Beckett, Peter Briffa, Jan Harris and Peter Vincent – decided to try to give it to them.
Hence Third Age Theatre, designed to make available plays aimed partly at older audiences, requiring older actors – and often by older writers.
The plays featured on this site require at least some actors in their fifties, sixties, seventies and older – and some of them require exclusively older actors.
You’ll find a description of the plays available in the Plays section. If you like the sound of one of them, you can download it for free – though you do have to register with this website before doing so.
And if, having read a play, you want to produce it, you need to pay a modest fee, because writers have to live too. Everything you need to know about payment is in the Copyright & usage section of this website.
Launched in October 2013, for the moment Third Age Theatre has only the third age plays written by the four original playwrights. But if the idea catches on, they’ll be bringing in other writers.
All four have a successful record as playwrights, and are members of Player-Playwrights, the invaluable testbed for new writing where they try out work in progress in front of an informed audience and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Peter Vincent has worked in television as a writer and editor for a number of years. He has written 69 episodes of comedy for the BBC including seven series of "Sorry" with Ian Davidson and episodes of ‘All at No. Twenty’ and ‘The Brittas Empire.’ He wrote for "The Two Ronnies" and was script editor with Barry Cryer on the BBC's Russ Abbot show. He has written plays with David Nobbs, John Chapman and Barry Cryer. Jan Harris is a playwright with an MA in theatre and film from City University. She was a script reader in Los Angeles, and has run successful Playwriting for Beginners Workshops. Her main focus is playwriting, and she has dramatised the life of Shakespeare's daughter Judith, and of Sean O' Casey, also the assassination of Spencer Percival. Her One Act Comedy Dear Diva was published in 2012 by Samuel French. Peter Briffa is a writer, freelance journalist, playwright and hypnotherapist. He made his stage debut with Night of the Fox at Sadler’s Wells in 1996. His second play Siren opened at the Etcetera Theatre in 2010. His last play Country Life started out on the Camden Fringe in 2011, before transferring to the Old Red Lion later that year for a three week run. It has since been broadcast by the Wireless Theatre Company. Peter is in his fifties Francis Beckett is an author, journalist, playwright and contemporary historian, in his sixties. His first play, The Sons of Catholic Gentlemen, won the Independent Radio Drama Productions award; two more plays had successful fringe productions and are now published by Samuel French; and The London Spring ran for three weeks at the Etcetera Theatre. His seventeen books include What Did the Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us (Biteback, 2011.)