The Writers

One of the unique features of the course is the opportunity to listen to advice from some of the country’s most successful playwrights. They may not always agree with each other, but they always have something interesting to say about the subject under discussion.

Listen to:

Alan Plater

Alan Plater was a prolific playwright, TV writer and adaptor and screenwriter. His plays include Close the Coalhouse Door (with Alex Glasgow), Peggy For You and The Blonde Bombshells of 1943.  He also wrote The Biderbecke Trilogy for TV and adapted Keep The Aspidistra Flying and Fortunes Of War.

Sadly, since recording his interview for, Alan Plater died in June 2010. Live Theatre is proud of its association with Alan and is extremely grateful for his help with this project.

Alistair McDowall

In Autumn 2011 Alistair’s play Brilliant Adventures was awarded a Bruntwood Judge's Award and is currently under option to the Royal Exchange. He has been on attachment with the Royal Court, is part of the 2012 'Supergroup' and has also been on attachment with Paines Plough and Channel 4. In 2012 he was commissioned to write for the Soho Theatre/Live Theatre collaboration Utopia.

Dennis Kelly

Dennis Kelly has written extensively for both theatre and television. He co-wrote the BBC Three sitcom Pulling with actress Sharon Horgan and, in 2011, co-wrote the highly successful Matilda the Musical with comedian Tim Minchin for the RSC. He has also written a number of critically acclaimed plays, including Orphans, D.N.A. and After The End.

Zoe Cooper

After graduating with an MPhil in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham in 2010, Zoe went on to write short plays for Nabokov, Theatre503 and the Tristan Bates Theatre. A former Literary Officer at Hampstead Theatre, she has also been developing work at the National Theatre Studio and been a member of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. Zoe's first full length commission Nativities was produced by Live Theatre in 2012.

Lee Hall

Lee Hall is the Tony winning and Oscar nominated author of Billy Elliot. He has also written The Pitmen Painters, Cooking with Elvis and Wittgenstein on Tyne for Live Theatre. He has also written extensively for film, television and radio.

Shelagh Stephenson

Shelagh Stephenson is an Olivier award winning playwright whose work includes Five Kinds Of Silence, The Memory of Water, An Experiment With An Air Pump and, most recently, A Northern Odyssey.

Polly Stenham

Polly Stenham has written That Face and Tusk Tusk for the Royal Court. She won the 2007 Evening Standard's Charles Wintour Award, and the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Nick Grosso

Nick Grosso’s plays include Peaches (also a film), Sweetheart, Real Classy Affair and Kosher Harry. His latest play Ingredient X was produced by The Royal Court in 2010.

Anthony Neilson

Anthony Neilson is a writer/director whose work includes The Lying Kind, Stitching, Penetrator, Realism and The Wonderful World of Dissocia. He has recently been a Literary Associate with the RSC.

Learn the art of playwriting

From two leading theatre practitioners, watch exclusive video of award-winning writers including Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, Cooking With Elvis & The Pitmen Painters) and be part of a community of aspiring playwrights

Join the course