Stage Write Playwright Development Programme

Led by Liverpool’s Royal Court Stage Write team with the help of professional writers and directors, this programme aims to develop your writing skills and guide you towards developing a full-length script for stage.

Meeting two evenings a month for nine months the programme is completely free and is open to writers living or studying in Liverpool City Region. The course is facilitated by Karen Brown, a professional screen, stage and radio writer and is aimed at writers who have some experience, but are looking to move to the next level.

There have been a number of success stories since the course began in 2020. Three writers have had productions in the Royal Court Studio and one in the main house. This year Chrissy Jones won the prestigious Alfred Bradley Bursary Award for the play that she developed on the course. EJ Fisher was runner up in the Evening Standard Story Awards. SWPDP writers were also well represented at Channel 4’s New Writing North Awards 2023 with Joe McNally and Liz Redwood picking up two of the three Writing for Television Awards. Several alumni have also gone on to secure work in theatre and TV, or have been signed up by literary agents.

Applications for the 2024 course have closed. The 2025 course applications will reopen in autumn 2024.

Contact stagewrite@liverpoolsroyalcourt.com for more details.

Here is what some past participants had to say:

I can highly recommend this course, which transformed my approach to play-writing.
From the very first session, I felt that the Royal Court was investing in us all and keen to develop our potential as writers. It was instructive to hear professional writers sharing their knowledge of their craft and to learn how to put into practice the skills required to join their ranks.
It was good fun to be in such a supportive and cohesive group, but hard work, too, with numerous deadlines to meet – as would be expected of a professional writer.
In addition to learning the skills required to write plays, we were also given very useful, practical guidance on how to pitch what we had written, to achieve the ultimate objective of seeing our work performed.
Nick Broadhead

As a new writer, I found the course and all the advice I received along the way to be truly invaluable. It was really great getting to hear from people who work in the theatre industry, fellow writers and the other members of the programme on what they thought of my own writing and having the opportunity to discuss their work in a truly supportive group of peers. To sum it all up in Scouse, the course was BOSS!
David Holmes

I learned a lot on the Royal Court’s SWDC and met some lovely people too. Highly Recommended!
Carl Edwards

I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity and most definitely feel that I gained a great deal from doing the course. Having the opportunity to read others work and exchange feedback really has been invaluable to me, so thank you.
Laura Lees

Immensely proud to be given a place on the Royal Court’s Playwright Development Programme. The teaching has been invaluable. Really opened my eyes, and it has been great to work with other writers and break the monotony (though I love it) of working alone.
Ian Carroll

The SWPDP course challenged me to think seriously about the types of stories I wanted to write and to be more objective and constructively critical about my writing. I appreciated being pushed to be the best I could be and learning how to improve on structure, theme and not be too precious about my writing.
Joe Matthew Morris

Thank you all so much. What a wonderful opportunity. I was thrilled when I heard I’d made it onto the Liverpool Royal Court script writing course. I am even more chuffed that at the end of it I have a full length play, made possible by the support and encouragement of you all. The course structure and Karen’s teaching approach was challenging but inspiring. I feel the course has elevated my writing to a higher level and allowed me to explore new territory.
Pauline Morris

An excellent and in-depth course that covers all aspects of play writing. Hugely supportive during a difficult year.
Ste Mc

I learned a lot and gained the confidence to write a play I had been thinking about for some time. The structure of the course is helpful, giving you the motivation to make sure you actually get writing done in your free time. Classes always had stimulating discussions and debates, and Karen’s teaching is invaluable.
Matthew Hirons

Whats's on?

Royal Court Stocking Fillers 05 Dec 2024 - 29 Dec 2024

A show that is fast becoming a Christmas tradition, we are delighted to welcome Stocking Fillers back to the Studio

More info and tickets
Royal Court Heritage Tour 15 Jul 2024 - 14 Oct 2024

The Royal Court is a Grade II listed building, a magnificent example of one of the best theatres built in the Art D

More info and tickets
Making It 17 Jun 2024 - 22 Jun 2024

What does ‘making it’ really mean? Backstage in a Liverpool social club, actress and cabaret diva,

More info and tickets
I Am Steven Gerrard 01 Aug 2024 - 03 Aug 2024

‘I know that it does sound weird to say, yeah? But I proper envy Steven Gerrard. You know, the football

More info and tickets
Part Vampire 28 Sep 2024

"Part Vampire" is an exhilarating musical comedy that features Phil Jones, the renowned lead singer of th

More info and tickets
The Scouse Red Riding Hood 08 Nov 2024 - 18 Jan 2025

Little Red is off her head. Her nan’s in bed and the wolf’s not fed. With a pan of scouse and a loaf of

More info and tickets
Girls Don’t Play Guitars 27 Sep 2024 - 26 Oct 2024

The five star musical that shook 2019 is back! “One of the strongest shows the Royal Court has produced&

More info and tickets
Stage Write Night 16 Jul 2024 - 12 Nov 2024

Come and join us for an evening of script in hand readings from our new writing programme – Stage Write.There

More info and tickets
Two Cities… Half The World Away 03 Sep 2024 - 07 Sep 2024

This is a story about the rivalry between the two great northern cities of Liverpool and Manchester and, the fact t

More info and tickets
The Giant Killers 11 Jul 2024 - 13 Jul 2024

The inspiring true story of football’s greatest ever underdogs. Set in the early years of Association Footbal

More info and tickets
It’s A Wonderful Life 19 Nov 2024 - 30 Nov 2024

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings…” It’s Christmas Eve, Bedford Falls

More info and tickets
Variety Lunch Club 17 Jul 2024 - 09 Oct 2024

The Royal Court Variety Lunch Club runs throughout the year on Wednesday afternoons in the main theatre and is open

More info and tickets
Amy Gledhill – Make Me Look Fit On The Poster 14 Nov 2024

Amy Gledhill – Triple Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, National Comedy Award nominee and 1/3 of cult double ac

More info and tickets
Choral Singing Workshop 05 Jul 2024

CHORAL SINGING WORKSHOPFriday 5 July 7pm-9pmPrice: £15Location: Royal Court StudioJoin our Choral Singing Wor

More info and tickets
Alternative Black Cabaret Showcase 27 Sep 2024

The Black is back! The Alternative Black Cabaret Showcase in partnership with Boisterous Theatre Co. bring the bigg

More info and tickets
An Introduction To Clowning 04 Jul 2024

AN INTRODUCTION TO CLOWNING with Simone LewisThursday 4 July 2024, 10am-5pmCOST: £30The foundation of all clo

More info and tickets
Sisters Of Mersey 05 Jul 2024 - 03 Aug 2024

Sister Petra and Sister Fionola have grown up in St Elmo’s Convent in Dingle as identical twins but Monsignor

More info and tickets
Pauline Daniels – Get Me Before The Crematorium Does 09 Jul 2024

Join me, Pauline Daniels, for an evening of laughter and song to kick off my birthday celebrations! With 44 years i

More info and tickets
Eddie Fortune – Single 20 Jul 2024

Single, 40 and living back with his Mum. Eddie has a history of failed relationships. He has done it all, he has da

More info and tickets
The Netherley Hillbillies 18 Jun 2024 - 22 Jun 2024

Come listen to a story 'bout a man name Jed, Found it really hard to keep a roof over his head Then

More info and tickets
Lost Soul 2 16 Aug 2024 - 14 Sep 2024

Dave Kirby (Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, Lost Soul, Council Depot Blues, Reds & Blues) is back at The Court wit

More info and tickets
Colin Hoult – Colin 09 Nov 2024

The 2022 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee heads back out on tour. This time as himself, Colin. As seen in Netflix&rsq

More info and tickets
Daliso Chaponda: Feed This Black Man Again 14 Sep 2024

Daliso did his first show Feed This Black Man 20 years ago. The jokes were mediocre, there was a rap about poverty

More info and tickets
Harry Baker – Wonderful 26 Jul 2024

After a sellout Edinburgh Fringe Run and subsequent 40-date UK Tour, World Poetry Slam Champion Harry Baker is back

More info and tickets
Variety Film Club: The Commitments (1991) 05 Sep 2024

Variety Film ClubThe team behind Variety Lunch Club have hatched a new plan so that you can come and have an aftern

More info and tickets

Keep up to date! For all updates of shows and events, sign up to our mailing list.