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503Studio: How Plays Work

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503Studio Masterclass: How Plays Work, Stephen Beresford

‘The Blind Leading the Blind.’ Or ‘How Plays Work’ – Or perhaps, (more honestly) ‘How I Try to make My Plays Work.’

An investigation into the seemingly arcane practices and methods that can turn a mundane sequence of events into an emotionally satisfying play.

Have you ever felt bewildered by the art of playwriting? Are you baffled by the skilful turns of the world’s great dramatists? Well, so is Stephen Beresford. But in this workshop he intends – with the help of some of his writing heroes – to lead you, step by step, through some of the simple techniques that can unlock the true dramatic heart of your material.

Stephen doesn’t profess to know all the answers. But in this workshop he will discuss what he’s learned from his own successes – and catastrophic failures – as a writer of both plays and screenplays, and will welcome your own insights as well.

‘The greatest teacher, failure is.’


Thanks to our Share The Drama scheme, we want to make sure those of you who are struggling in the current climate can still take part in our Writers Programme. While we prioritise anyone who is long term unemployed and/or claiming benefits, we’re also offering subsidies if you’re in financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

To express interest in a bursary place through our Share The Drama scheme, please sign up here. If you would prefer to speak directly to a member of our team about your circumstance or to ask for more information about this scheme, please contact us.

If you have any access requirements, you can let us know here. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking, please get in touch with us here.

Time: 7pm – 9.30pm

Running time of workshop: 2.5 hours – delivered online. Maximum class sizes are 14. A portion of spaces have been reserved for Share the Drama places.

To sign up for advanced booking for future iterations of the 503Studio: Writers Programme, please join the waiting list here.

Stephen Beresford writes for stage and film.

Stephen’s writing credits include his debut play The Last of the Haussmans for the National Theatre starring Julie Walters, Helen McCrory, Rory Kinnear and Taron Egerton; an adaptation of Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander for The Old Vic starring Penelope Wilton; Three Kings for the Old Vic starring Andrew Scott and The Southbury Child for the Bridge Theatre starring Alex Jennings.

Film credits include the BAFTA winning film Pride.


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