Since it started back in 2010, The John Burgess Playwriting Course has seen a steady stream of alumni having their work produced. Below is a representative sample. It’s perhaps worth noting the sheer variety – from sitcom to opera, from musicals to straight plays, from short films to opening a new theatre…. It’s also only a sample and by no means a complete list.
Simon Woods – First play Hansard at the National Theatre (Lyttleton) 2019
Fiona Doyle – Awarded scholarship to study at the Universität der Künste Berlin summer school 2012. Short plays: Rootbound and Rigor Mortis (Arcola Theatre), Two Sisters (Southwark Playhouse). So Gay won the 2013 Play for the Nation’s Youth and Deluge won the 2014 Eamon Keane Full-length Play Award. Coolatully won the Papatango Award and was presented at the Finborough Theatre in October 2014 and is published by Nick Hern Books. Michael Coveney nominated it as his Play of the Year. Deluge opened at Hampstead Theatre in April 2015 and is also published by NHB. Writer on attachment at the NT Studio 2015. 2016/17 The Annihilation of Jessie Leadbetter(ALRA), The Ceasefire Babies(NT Connections) and The Strange Death of John Doe (Hampstead). Abigail opened at The Bunker in Spring 2017 and the North American premiere of Coolatully was staged at the Mead Theatre Lab, Washington DC. Fiona is working on her first script for TV. She is the recipient of a Peggy Ramsay Foundation grant, a Cill Rialaig Artist residency and she recently received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship for their Winter/Spring 2018 season. She has been commissioned to adapt a Colm Toibin novel for the Bridge Theatre for performance in 2019. See also: Fiona’s Agent
Denise Keane – Awarded scholarship to study at the Universität der Künste Berlin summer school 2012. Short play Belarus (Arcola Theatre) Selected as one of the Traverse 50 (2012). (Link) Short play The Kingdom of Me (Traverse Theatre). “Powerful sense of a dystopian future” Scotsman. Also as part of Hatch at the Park Theatre London. (Link)
Caroline Gray – Short play Nits (Arcola Theatre). Selected as one of the 2012 Traverse 50. (Link) Short play First Footing (Traverse Theatre). Awarded Arvon Foundation Writing Scholarship 2013/14.
Clare Whitehead – Short play Ashes (Arcola Theatre) 2013. Reading Glass Boys (Arcola Theatre) 2014.
Zoe Palmer – Fosterling (Oval House Theatre) 2014. Children’s operas for Spitalfields Music: Mudlark Dreamers (London Tour, Antwerp Early Music Festival) 2012; The Mountain Shakers (London Tour, Clore Studio Royal Opera House) 2013; Catch A Sea Star (London and UK Tour) 2014; A Fairy Queen In The Forest (London, UK and European Tour) 2015; and Orla and the Sun (Wonderful Beast) 2015. Was awarded a scholarship for the MA in Opera Making Course at the Guildhall School of Music where she has been made Creative Fellow 2016/17. Her piece OTOYOTOY was presented at the Carnegie hall in January 2017 (Link) and later in 2017 a new opera The Finding at the ICA (Link) will be part of the Various Stages Festival mounted by the Mahogany Opera Group. Her opera Robin Hood will be performed by Opera Story in 2019. She is working on a development commission from Pittsburgh Opera and another from Leicester Curve in association with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Jorge De Juan – Founded the Spanish Theatre Company. Opened a new theatre in Union Yard, Union Street SE1 with a production of Blood Wedding in Autumn 2016.
Elizabeth Adlington – Short play The Caravan (Park Theatre). The musical The Bearded Ladies Tattoo Parlour had a 7 day workshop at the London College of Music. (Link) Winner of a TV writing contest for the Sitcom Circle, Hear me Roar media.
Marianne Lloyd – Short plays The Match, Last Tango At St Leonards (Liverpool Write Now Festival) 2012/2013. Three Women (Manchester 24.7 Festival) 2014.
Ross Dunsmore – Full length play Milk at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2016. (Link) German and French rights have been sold and a further production was staged in Pittsburgh in 2017. Milk is published by Faber.Romance was one of 4 winners of the Scotland Short Play Award with productions at the Cumbernauld Theatre (Link) and the Traverse Theatre, May 2015. Ross has been commissioned to write a second full length play for the Traverse and is working on a play for BBC TV. See also: Ross’s Agent
Loulou Stirrup – Short play Kate And James (Park Theatre). Imaginary Friends (Geneva English Theatre). Short advertising films for Ramon + Pedro Lausanne.
Angie Salter – Short plays Baby (Stratford East Reading) and Unexpected Item (Southwark Playhouse Directors Cut.)
Bren Gosling – Moment of Grace (Bloomsbury Theatre Studio) 2018. (Live streamed by The Actors Centre) 2020. Won NO:INTERMISSION International One Act Play Competition. Invisible Me(Live streamed Conway Hall) 2020. I, Minnie Lansbury (Bloomsbury Festival) 2021.
Isabelle Dupuy – Living The Dream (Jacaranda Books) 2019.
Jim Down – Life Support (Viking Penguin) 2021.
Gemma Barnett – Chosen as part of the VAULT 5 programme which supports, selects and programmes 5 theatremakers. One of 5 winners of the BBC WORDS FIRST poetry competition. I Killed Them When They Came For My Kid Was the resulting commission for a poem on the theme of climate change. Agatha (Pleasance Theatre) 2022.
Philippa Lawford – Fracture (Bomb Factory Art Foundation) 2021.
Aaron Kilercioglu – Short play A Tree Called Max (Jermyn Street Theatre) 2021. Commission from BOLD Elephant to expand this to a full length piece. For A Palestinian (with Bilal Hasna) Camden People’s Theatre 2021. 2022 tour forthcoming. Commissioned in 2021 by Boundless Theatre to write a play about the effect of climate change on coastal cities.