Free Playwright Development Programme Returns to Liverpool Royal Court.

Liverpool’s Royal Court is continuing its search for new script writing talent with a second year of its Playwright Development Programme and they are looking for writers to take part.

Since November 2018, the theatre has been running the Stage Wright Nights in the Royal Court studio. These are nights where scripts can be submitted to be read by professional actors under the guidance of a professional director.

The Stage Write Nights have been the starting point for a number of studio and main house productions including: Masquerade, Pig, Knee Deep in Promises, My Fairfield Lady and Yellow Breck Road.

In a bid to find more new writers the Stage Write team, led by Producer Jess Bolger, set up the Stage Write Playwright Development Programme last year. With the help of professional writers and directors, the programme ran for nine months. When it began the fortnightly meetings were face to face, then they moved to Zoom when lockdown began.

Facilitated by Karen Brown, a professional screen, stage and radio writer, the course will begin in February 2021 and will meet two evenings a month for nine months. The programme is completely free and is open to anyone living or studying in Merseyside.

To apply for the course, individuals will need to submit a ten-page sample of writing for theatre. All entries will be read and shortlisted candidates will be invited for a chat with the Stage Write team. Depending on the situation with Coronavirus, the conversations will be online or face to face.

The Development Programme will give writers the opportunity to take their work to another level. It is a chance for anybody out there who has written a script but is still keen to enhance their skills and make their work more appealing to producers and audiences. The course is open to writers with a wide range of styles as it is structured to develop individuals of all types.

Nick Broadhead took part in the 2020 course: “I can highly recommend this course, which transformed my approach to play-writing. From the very first session, I felt that the Royal Court was investing in us all and keen to develop our potential as writers. It was instructive to hear professional writers sharing their knowledge of their craft and to learn how to put into practice the skills required to join their ranks. It was good fun to be in such a supportive and cohesive group, but hard work, too, with numerous deadlines to meet – as would be expected of a professional writer. In addition to learning the skills required to write plays, we were also given very useful, practical guidance on how to pitch what we had written, to achieve the ultimate objective of seeing our work performed.”

David Holmes was another writer who benefitted from the course: “As a new writer, I found the course and all the advice I received along the way to be truly invaluable. It was really great getting to hear from people who work in the theatre industry, fellow writers and the other members of the programme on what they thought of my own writing and having the opportunity to discuss their work in a truly supportive group of peers. To sum it all up in Scouse, the course was Boss!”


The course application closing date is Monday 30 November 2020.

Writers can contact

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