Courses and services on the art of Writing for Theatre

WRITE THEATRE   is a series of unique, intensive courses for emerging theatre writers run by established playwrights, which also now offers an in-depth script appraisal service.


We believe that the writing of plays is a flexible and an organic process, not something that can be taught through the rigid application of rules or application of templates. And it is through this organic process that the writer finds his or her voice.  Our aim in the WRITE THEATRE course (whether it is on one of our Face-to-Face courses held at The Cockpit or through the Online course) is to enable you to find a process that works for you.

Online Playwriting Courses

With theatres dark and The Cockpit closed for the foreseeable future, we are now offering online courses.

Our next online course will take place over three Saturday mornings

October 24th & 31st and November 7th

with writing exercises to be completed between each Saturday.


Face-to-Face Playwriting Courses

We will be resuming these courses as soon as it is safe to do so.

Playwrights, like all other writers, have to spend time alone on the hard graft of developing a playscript. But writing for theatre is essentially different from writing novels, short stories or poetry in that collaborations are at the heart of theatre. What makes the face-to-face course unique is that you get the chance to work with actors in groups and individually; to see your work explored and brought to life; and to engage in dialogue with experienced theatre professionals. In the face-to-face course you will have the experience of observing and interacting with professional actors working on your material.

Script Appraisal Service

We now offer an appraisal service for your script – anything from a first draft to work in a later stage of development.  For more details please go to SCRIPT APPRAISAL SERVICE

More about WRITE THEATRE playwriting courses

Our courses provide:

  • the stimulation of working amongst other aspiring writers
  • intensive tuition through individual tutorials
  • group seminars and workshops on generating material, effective dialogue, characterisation and structure
  • time to draft and time to discuss those drafts with the tutors and other writers
  • on Face-to-Face courses, workshops with experienced professional actors.

There is a strict upper limit of numbers on Write Theatre courses – for further details, see Online course and  Forthcoming Courses at The Cockpit.

NOTE     If we are unable to run the course for any reason (including precautions and restrictions arising from responses to the Coronavirus), all fees paid (including the deposit) will be returned in full. If the course runs but a participant is unable to attend as a result of illness or self-isolation, the course fee will be refunded minus the deposit.

Actors workshopping a script

Actors workshopping a script


from writers who have participated in Write Theatre courses at The Cockpit

For many other testimonials, and to see the full text of all the following, go to the TESTIMONIALS page.

“I came into this course a keen writer but with no experience in theatre writing and it was the most perfect entry point I could have asked for… Time flew each week as we had a great balance of on screen conversations, independent or group tasks and activities and comfort breaks. I particularly enjoyed being pushed to write new material in between each session and having a chance to have that reviewed and analysed by a real pro!”   Zahra Dalilah       July 2020

“The Writing Theatre course with Rib was a fabulous experience and I think the migration to an online format worked seamlessly. As there were fewer students it allowed for greater intimacy and more time workshopping and analysing student writing… Finally I should add that the course is a lot of fun. I got used to spending my Saturday mornings in a virtual classroom and was quite sad that it came to an end…”                    Shola Asante     July 2020

“Brian and Rib’s wonderful course… is so good because it’s intensive. It forces you (in the most pleasant and interesting ways possible) to consider why you’re writing, what you’re doing with your idea, and how you’re going to get there. A great investment and a whole lot of fun.”                      Ellie Ross.      May 2018

“… have just finished the second Write Theatre weekend… incredibly enlightening … very practical … lots of constructive feedback… Highly recommended.”                                    Rachael Forrest     May 2018

“I am just sitting down to continue work on my play buzzing with all the ideas and possibilities for the writing  that were generated by the Write Theatre weekends. … I left feeling inspired and very grateful for the time and energy you both put into all of us and our writing.”               Kass Boucher     May 2018

“Working with Brian and Rib gave me many genuine breakthrough moments… The second weekend, working with (very talented) actors, is what makes it really unique, and incredibly valuable. Seeing a script ‘on its feet’, watching it gain flesh through direction … massively important if you don’t want your work to languish in a desk drawer. A fantastic course for all emerging playwrights.”        Poppy Holman     May 2018

“Whether you’re an experienced writer or complete beginner, this is a course that inspires and galvanises at every level…  An extraordinarily creative course, a joy to be on – thank you.”                                                                           Ruth Padel.      October 2016

“An intelligent, incisive, supportive , forgiving and releasing writing environment… Demystifies the process and brings it down to very simple basics.  Very constructively challenging… opened up views and insights on my writing that were an inspiration and which gave me courage… A rare and mindful environment for creativity and work and crucially no egos – just intelligence, collaboration and support. Excellent. Thank you!”                                                                                                 Elizabeth Kelly. October 2017.

‘… one of the best courses I have ever attended! Brian and Rib are both so supportive and knowledgeable and they create a safe space for everyone to learn together whether creating character, dialogue or writing a full length scene….  The course is very practical … (and) very intense and they pack a lot in… I now feel inspired to go away and write my first play and feel confident I have the tools to give it a go!”                     Jamie Phillips. October 2017.

“One of the richest, most generous learning experiences I’ve ever had. I cannot recommend this course enough.”                                                Rebecca Lee.      May 2017

“Writing courses can often over promise, under deliver and charge you more than they are really worth.  With Brian and Rib’s Write Theatre course, it’s the other way round.  I highly recommend taking the Write Theatre course.”         Jon Reed.     May 2017

“I would just like to say how grateful I am for all your insight, guidance and generosity. The course was the perfect combination of practical advice and pure inspiration, delivered in such an open and encouraging spirit. I feel equipped with a new confidence to move forward with my writing.”                                   George Coupe.  May 2016.

“I am still riding the wave of inspiration you offered me with your two-weekend course. None of this productive work would have happened without your support and guidance.”                                                                  Cintia Taylor.   May 2017

“I haven’t felt that engaged in anything for a long, long time. I feel as though you’ve saved me about 20 years. Just so much fun. Thank you!”         Sass Clyde.         May 2017

 “This was such a fantastic course. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”                                                                                             Cath Comfort.  May 2016.

“I enjoyed it on so many fronts – the sheer joy of having a fresh slant on plot and character, your teaching styles and the camaraderie…”                                                                     Katharine McMahon.  May 2016.

“Very stimulating … I learnt enormous amounts.”        Chris Bird.  May 2016.

“A must for a writer at any stage.”                                        Doc Watson. May 2016.

“This course was the best writing course I have ever done… Overall, I found the course hugely empowering. I left after four days and actually felt that I could write!”                                                                                                      Justin Joseph, November 2015

“What a wonderful experience … Pure magic! Thank you, Brian and Rib, for being such inspiring teachers. The creative juices are still flowing …”    Robin Lustig, November 2015

“By the end of the fortnight you’ve moved to places you didn’t know were there, let alone could get to!”                          Marina Jenkyns, November 2015

“I cannot recommend this course highly enough… what surprised me was how changed I felt at the end of it… Brian and Rib are excellent teachers. They are generous, thoughtful, engaged, and intelligent, and they create a really supportive learning environment.”
Caroline Doherty de Novoa, November 2015

It’s hard to imagine how such a short course (or indeed any length of course) could be more instructive, productive and enriching than this one…. Thrilling and energising.
Judith Ramm, May 2015

Preparing a script

Preparing a script

“Your course has given me a new lease of life… You are so generous with your wisdom, insight, time and enthusiasm. This course was just what I needed… I found the experience with the group to be brilliantly structured… Thank you so much.”                      Sarah Levinsky, November 2014

“This excellent course… so much thought and encouragement given to my writing… This course is highly recommended.”              Caroline Kirrane, November 2014

“The course was fantastic!  Brian and Rib offer great insight and constructive criticism….”                             Lloyd Miner, November 2014

“That was truly inspirational.”                   David Howgego, June 2014.

Working on a script 1 Nov 14

“The WRITE THEATRE course… is excellent value for money…   I loved your teaching style… I feel like I’ve achieved 6 months worth of information and experience in just 4 days.  The opportunity to have our work read, workshopped and performed by such quality actors was an absolute thrill.  Thank you for an incredibly enriching, absorbing, challenging, intense and wonderful experience.”       Lara Cetinich Cory, June 2014.

“Hard work; great fun; transformational; how magic happens.  This is the writing community I’ve been searching for.”                       Lindsey Armstrong, June 2014

I found the whole course immensely rewarding. Having  professional actors work on one of my scenes moved me to tears.  Brian Woolland and Rib Davis are great teachers and highly regarded playwrights.  Value for money and a really great course!”     Richard Barrett, June 2014.

Having world-class actors to work with brought everything we had learned in class brilliantly to life.  If you have any interest in writing for theatre then this is the real deal”.                                                                                                                                              Charles Inge, November 2013.

“It took a while to sink in just how visionary a concept your Write Theatre course actually was…  experienc(ing) for ourselves how the exploration of a scene between writer, director and actors really works. What a rare treat”.    Helen Toft, November 2013

For many other testimonials, and to see the full text of all the above, go to the TESTIMONIALS page

Write Theatre courses are offered in association with Border Crossings Laboratory.