Conflict and the City: Writing Drama

LocationWells Street, Central London
FacultySocial Sciences and Humanities

Through a series of interactive workshops, this course focuses on developing playwriting skills inspired by the city and the exciting drama that has emerged and continues to emerge from the London theatre scene.

Through a combination of practical exercises, readings and theatre visits, the course will help you develop your understanding of how dramatic writing works, covering all the basic elements of writing for the stage (character, conflict, production), while encouraging you to experiment with your own dramatic writing. While providing a solid foundation for all playwriting, the course will also specifically focus on the city, inviting you to respond to the urban environment in your own dramatic writing. 

Who is this course for?

This course if for anybody who would like to improve their writing skills in playwriting.

No course dates available
This course will be running soon. If you would like to be kept informed please contact us.

Course content

The course will cover the following topics:

  • characterisation
  • structure
  • conflict
  • dramatic irony
  • register and subtext
  • absurdist theatre
  • verbatim theatre
  • theatre and politics 

By the end of the course, you will have:

  • acquired a historical and cultural perspective on contemporary dramatic writing
  • developed a sophisticated understanding of key elements of dramatic writing (such as structure, characterisation, conflict, dramatic irony and subtext) and learned to respond effectively to feedback and criticism
  • critically analysed dramatic writing by others, particularly those who have foregrounded the ‘city’ in their work
  • gained a detailed knowledge of the network of theatres in London and the ways in which plays are commissioned and produced

Matt Morrison is a playwright and Senior Lecturer in creative writing. He teaches on both the Creative Writing BA and MA.

His recent plays include:

  • The Shelter, performed at the Riverside Studios in July 2013
  • Through the Night, one of four plays chosen by the Papatango New Playwriting Awards (2011) for production at the Finborough Theatre
  • Inside Out, a monologue play selected for the inaugural HighTide festival

Matt is also a member of Hannah Bruce and Company, a theatre/dance collective that has performed site-responsive work at venues including the West Yorkshire Playhouse (2014), Wilton’s Music Hall (2013), Northern Stage (2013) and Shoreditch Town Hall (2012).

Matt has written radio comedy for BBC 1 and BB4, several short stories and two non-fiction books: Key Concepts in Creative Writing (Palgrave Macmillan) and Big Questions (an introduction to philosophy for teenagers).  Between 2003 and 2005, he was the Literary Manager at Theatre503, one of the country’s leading new-writing venues. He is currently conducting doctoral research into the history of the Soho Theatre, where he is an Associate Reader.

Eligible applicants will need to send a portfolio of their writing and a personal statement.

Contact us

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

University of Westminster
32–38 Wells Street
London W1T 2UW

+44 (0)20 350 69900