A BUDDING writer from Blackburn is to have his first play staged at a festival in Manchester.

Tom Watt, a former Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School student, was asked to create a 10 minute play in just five days on the theme of the ‘significant other’.

The result ‘Cash’ which tells how money affects a young Blackburn couple’s relationship, will be shown at the Significant Other Festival from Tuesday until Saturday.

The 23-year-old graduated from Manchester University with an MA in screenwriting in December.

He said: “I have always been interested in writing and plays and I have tried to write for television.

“I got a distinction in my MA and I have just been writing as much as a I can.

“I got this gig through the BBC writer’s room. There were 75 applicants and they whittled it down to 20 and then to 10.”

The 10 selected are all having their plays shown at the festival. After being given five days to write, the scripts were handed to a director and two actors who were given five days to stage it.

“I was nervous about it. I know I still have a long way to go,” Mr Watt said.

“What drew me to it was that you create a short play that gets staged in 10 days. I felt I needed to challenge myself.

“They give you a detail and a prop - in my case it was two chairs. They wanted you to show up on the day and be open to change and be flexible.

“I have seen the rehearsal and will be watching the live show. I am pretty excited about it.

“You get a bit nervous even when it is finalised. You always think you can improve it. It will be interesting to see what happens.”

Mr Watt, who lives in the Beardwood area of Blackburn, said he would love to write for TV in the future and cited Jed Mecurio, known for the acclaimed BBC drama Line of Duty and Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies as influences.

He said he gets ideas from observing while out and about or from things popping into his head.

The play will be shown at 7.30pm each night at theatre 53Two in Albion Street.