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In Spring 2021, 10 playwrights were selected and attended a series of workshops led by the Olivier Award winner Mike Bartlett.

The Writing the Bigger Picture playwrights are: Oli Forsyth (Cash Cow, Hampstead Theatre and Tinderbox – Amnesty International Award nominee), Emily Jenkins (Bobby and Amy, VAULT festival / Edinburgh Fringe – Fringe First Award winner), Mufaro Makubika (Shebeen, Nottingham Playhouse/Theatre Royal Stratford East – Alfred Fagon Award winner), Lydia Marchant (EastEnders, Casualty & Holby City, BBC), Carmen Nasr (Dubailand, Finborough Theatre – Bruntwood Prize longlisted), Holly Robinson (soft animals, Soho Theatre - Stage Debut Award nominee), Katherine Soper (Wish List, Manchester Royal Exchange / Royal Court – Bruntwood Prize winner), Kalungi Ssebandeke (Assata Taught Me, Gate Theatre and Passing the Baton Commission 2018, Bush Theatre), Naomi Westerman (Puppy, VAULT Festival and Stories from My Mother, Royal Court) and Aisha Zia (No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Common Wealth Theatre – Scotsman Fringe First winner).

Over the course of eight weeks, playwrights focused on dramatic action, theme and purpose, structure, dialect, dramatising ideas, form and character arcs – all with an overview of how to write for bigger stages.  Through online sessions, Mike shared the writing tools he uses in group workshops as well as offer one-to-one mentoring. 

Mike Bartlett’s many plays include Wild and Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre), Albion and King Charles III (Almeida) and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre). He won the National Television Award for Doctor Foster (BBC One).

Course schedule

The workshops took place weekly on Zoom - running every Thursday from 18 March 4pm – 6pm


Participating playwrights received a bursary of £1,000 for attending the 8 weeks.