What is 14/48? A Beginner’s Guide

How do you tell people what 14/48 IS?

14/48 is like nothing else. …. That doesn’t help …

Here’s a handy guide for explaining it to people –

’14/48 is where 7 writers, 7 directors, a bunch of actors, designers, technicians, musicians & numerous others converge upon the Y Theatre to write, produce, score and put on 14 brand new plays in just 48 hours.’


And here’s what to say to people who might like to come and watch it:

‘It’s a brilliant, amazing energetic night of new theatre, twice. You’d be mad to miss it!’

More detail…

So much of it is random:

The themes are drawn out of a hat.

7 new plays on the first theme are written overnight on Thursday, the directors choose a play at random on Friday morning. The plays are cast by picking actors from the hat, the plays are then rehearsed, teched, scored during the day on Friday and put on in the evening, twice. Once at 8pm and again at 10.30pm.

Then in the interval the theme for Saturday is picked from the hat. Then the whole thing happens all over again with 7 MORE plays being put on, on Saturday night, at 8 and 10.30

It’s fast, exhilarating, hang onto your hat stuff.

Handy terminology:

The Keg:

It is 14/48 tradition that The Keg is tapped at the Thursday night meeting and is freely available to all participants for the next 48 hours.

Virgins & Veterans:

If you’ve never done 14/48 before you’re a Virgin. If you’ve done the festival in a certain role, you’re a Veteran. If you try a different role (changing from Director to Writer or Actor for example) you are born again as a Virgin.

Seans and Judys:

The actors names are all put into two receptacles. The women into the Judy Dench pot and the men into the Sean Connery pot and from here they are drawn each morning.


Bark With The Big Dogs: (see also Go Big or Go Home)

These are subtle motivational exhortations for everyone to put their all into the festival. ‘Bark With The Big Dogs Or Get Of The Fucken Porch’ being the best example.

But there are others… prepare yourself for these questions and answers at the daily 7pm meeting:

Question: “What does the 8pm show have?!” Answer: “opening night energy!”

Question: “What does the 10.30pm show have?!” Answer: “closing night energy!”

“Whose is the best play?” – everyone shouts theirs.

“If you’re feeling tired, raise the mother f***ing stakes”


Lunch is provided each day.

And FINALLY …. Don’t Tempt The 14/48 Gods!

They work in mysterious ways. Don’t tempt them, just don’t. Never say out loud that you do/don’t want to work with someone as generally you’ll get the opposite of what you wish for.

3 thoughts on “What is 14/48? A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Hi I was wondering if the 14/48 is going to happen anytime in the summer around July/ August time? And how does one audition for it? Thanks

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