A SCRIPT competition launched by a borough theatre - inspired by Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series - has attracted entries from across the UK.

Judges from Summerseat Players are now sifting through 300 or so monologues, on the theme of ‘I’m Still Here’.

The players’ home, Ramsbottom’s Theatre Royal, has been mothballed since the start of the first lockdown.

But supporters have been buoyed by the interest shown in their pandemic promotion.

In the original series, Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith and Thora Hird, as well as Bennett himself, were on camera.

Imelda Staunton, Jody Comer and Martin Freeman were among those to star in the latest run.

Stephen Davies, the players’ joint head of production, whose brainchild the competition has been, was only expecting a few monologues to be submitted.

But entries to date include tales of a football fan desperate at missing his team’s games, a man philosophically comparing various girlfriends and a divorcee who no longer has access to his children.

Those aged under 18 and over 18 will be judged separately, with six winners eventually recorded.

Stephen told the Bury Times their regular cast was itching to record the eventual victors.

He added: “They will have to be in appropriate costume and the right age. We might consider a writer reading their own entry but they would have to audition and then get to Ramsbottom for the recording.”

For the players, life in lockdown has been tough but they battle on.

Geoff Sword, their chairman and a founder member, said: “We cannot wait to get back. The monologues will show we are still in business.

“We are missing our audiences and we know from letters and e-mails that they are missing us.

“Financially we are well placed but sadly we have no dates when we might reopen since the situation is so fluid.”