Live Writer’s Group & Write Up North

A Cake of Many Cherries 
by James Ryland, from Write Up North.

(c) Rehearsal images courtesy of Alliterati.

You know how it is being a playwright, screening calls from rival publishers and major Repertory companies, then being dragged back from Tuscany to attend your latest red carpet premiere, which are frankly becoming a drag and…

(Cue : Sound of a needle scratching across a record)

Ok, so that’s not the life of any playwright I know – more likely they are sitting in their bedsit with its 40-Watt bulb, stuffing and licking envelopes which contain their latest entry to yet another National Competition and hoping that this year will be year they make the shortlist.

Writing a good play can be challenging and getting ‘good’ takes time and if the journey from pen to page is difficult, then the journey from page to stage can be even harder.

(Cue : Smoke machine)

Enter Stage Left, the good people of Live Theatre, whose Literary Department runs a Live Writers Group (LWG) an Advanced Playwriting course. A dozen playwrights in a room with a mission to write a dozen One Act plays within 8 weeks. What could possibly go wrong? How hard can it be?

Well, with dramaturgical support and expert guidance from Gez and Rosie, not that hard at all, actually. Within a few sessions we are talking with established playwrights who offer us the wisdom of their personal experiences and soon our characters are released from the prison inside our heads and given voice by skilled actors. Now our plays are taking shape and with a little tinkering we submit them and await our…

(Cue : Thunder and Lightning)

…our Script Feedback Report!

Whilst my report isn’t overwhelmingly positive, it is both detailed and incisive, and this authentic reaction from a professional writer is just what I need to develop my play into the longer form.

The course is over, now what?

(Cue : Violins and Cellos)

I buy some more envelopes; treat myself by upgrading to a 60-Watt bulb…

(Cue : Dry Ice and Choir)

Enter Stage Right, Sam Bell from Arts in Touch who offers us the opportunity to have our plays staged as script -in-hand performances under our new collective title, Write Up North.

This is turning out to be a cake of many cherries!

(Cue : Close up on cherries. Montage sequence of…

Montage? Close up! This ain’t a movie buddy!

Sorry about that…Write Up North meet to discuss press and publicity for our forthcoming events at The Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth and we give filmed interviews on our plays to Alliterati Magazine and…

(Cue : Charlie’s Angels theme music…


The season kicks off with a cast of thousands (ok, 10) in Shireen Khattak’s
Meet the Qurayshis directed by Deb Owen on Tuesday 26th March.

All shows start at 8pm

T.T.T. by James Ryland – Dir: Johnluke McKie Tuesday 2nd April
The Knot of Eve by Nicola Owen – Dir: Melanie Rashbrooke Tuesday 9th April
Cats in a Pipe by Lora Hughes – Dir: Lewis Gray Tuesday 16th April
Self-Assembly by Victoria Levay – Dir: Rachel Glover.Tuesday 23rd April
Bastards by Bob Jeffrey – Dir: Matt Jamie Tuesday 7th May
Waiting Room by Melanie Hunter – Dir: Gwilym Lawrence Tuesday 14th May

The final night of Write up North is presented by Write on Tap (the 2011 graduates of the Live Writer’s Group) on Tuesday 21st May. A series of 10 minute plays prompted by the phrase ‘Who I am with you and who I am without you’ written by various members of Write on Tap.

Live Theatre’s ever popular Introduction To Playwriting course returns for five Thursdays in May. Places are limited and the deadline for applications is Friday 19 April.  If you would like to take part, then visit or email for more details.


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