Course History

Between 2000 and 2012 John Burgess ran a highly successful writers’ group attached to the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. There were eight applicants for every place and members traveled from as far away as Bath and London. The group met fortnightly and worked on a two-year cycle. Over the twelve years of its existence the group had an excellent record for turning out graduates who went on to have their work produced.

Some examples:

Deborah GearingHer first play Burn was taken up by the National Theatre and put on in the Cottesloe to 5 star reviews. She has since had Rosalind at Birmingham Rep, The Cage at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, The Forest at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Safe for National Theatre Education. There have been productions of her work in Los Angeles, Sydney and throughout the UK.

Fiona MackieThree radio plays: The Fossilist, Venus To Go, Depth Charge for BBC Radio 4. Stage plays: Fly Away Piotr, Fly Away Pawel and White Rabbit for the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. Her music theatre piece Fallen for Musica Secreta was staged at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Kate Betts – Winner of Channel 4’s The Play’s The Thing, her first play, On The Third Day, was staged at the Ambassador’s Theatre in the West End.

Laura Fitzgerald Directly on leaving she had her play The Projectionist commissioned and produced by Y Touring Theatre Company. Other short plays, The Mute, Soiled Stock, The Last Room I Checked and Dark Tourists have been staged at the Landor Theatre and the Arcola Theatre, London. False Lights has been sponsored by the Nuffield Theatre for the BBC Writersroom 10 project.

Andrew ChappellHis radio play The Fall And Rise Of Danny Clark was produced on BBC Radio 4

Alexandra DenyeHer radio play Faith was runner up for the BBC’s prestigious Alfred Bradley Award.

Camilla McCormickHaven Page 376 received a staged reading at the Nuffield Theatre. Good Hope has been sponsored by the Nuffield for the BBC Writersroom 10 project.

Josephine CarterThe Gamekeeper staged by Forest Forge Theatre Company in the New Forest and on tour.

Anna Maloney The Big Sky (BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Week) YouTube RadioTimesSafer at Home (BBC) 2020. Head of scripted narrative at Redeeming Features 2021. Script consultant on TOXIC (BFI/YouTube) 2022

Lucy BellScore (Wardrobe Theatre Bristol, Camden People’s Theatre) ReviewScore (Southbank Centre and tour) 2016. Are You There (Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter) 2016. Snip (Theatre Royal Plymouth) 2017. Pulling Out (Camden People’s Theatre and tour) 2017. Laminated (Bristol Old Vic ) 2018/9. Merman (National Prison Radio) 2019. Currently Associate Artist Exeter Northcott Theatre and Resident Writer Phoenix Theatre, Exeter. See also Documental Theatre

Sally Lewis – Short plays: How I Got Here (Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse), Call Yourself A Man (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton) Home Duty with Craig Murray (Park Theatre) Link, Invisible Cage (Edinburgh Fringe) Link, A Christmas Package (Planktonic Players) Review , While I Can (Descent Shorts Rich Mix) Link How is Uncle John? (Edinburgh Fringe) Impact (Hen and Chickens) 2019, A Fault On The Line (Up ‘Ere Theatre Productions) 2020

Paul Foster (PAFoster)Spaceboy (Black Box Theatre, Woking), Room 20 (AWL, London), If I Fall (taken up by Promenade Productions and pitched to BBC Radio 4)

Jeff Page – Attack of the A&E Zombies  (Decent Theatre) 2016, Checkout Chana (Finborough Theatre) 2018, published by Oberon Books. Charity Case (Drayton Arms) 2020

Ayad Andrews – BBC Writers Room 2019/20. Finalist for Theatre503 International Playwriting Award 2020 for his play Terp. The Flight of the Century – Ali V Frazier (BBC Sounds live/BBC5 Live) 2021, winner of 4 Awards at the New York Radio Festival. Part of writing team for Business Movers (US podcasting company Wondery) 2022