Oxford Playmaker works with emerging writers from first to final draft.

From kick-starting first ideas to mounting a full production, we work with and mentor playwrights at every stage of the creative process.

We offer one-to-one script surgeries for writers who want close professional attention to a script. We work attentively and questioningly with the writer on all aspects of the play’s dramaturgical development. We give advice on networking possibilities to help place the play with a theatre or a company that produces new writing. For some writers we go on to direct a staged reading of their work with professional actors in a theatre venue in Oxford or London, which may lead to a full production of the writer’s play.


I have had the great fortune and pleasure to work with John in three different contexts: whilst I was a student on an Arvon residential playwriting course; as a co-writer on The Last Days of Mankind; and as a teaching colleague delivering a course on dramatic monologues at Ruskin College, Oxford.

John has that great and rare ability to be able to communicate all that he has learned from his own work as a playwright and theatre maker to his students in a way that is accessible, challenging and supportive in equal measure. He has substantial knowledge of an extraordinary variety of different theatrical styles, drawn from practical, professional experience, and the critical, analytical and teaching skills to pass that knowledge on to learners. As a tutor I found him inspiring and provocative; as a co-writer he was generous, truly collaborative, and always open to new ideas; and as a teaching colleague he was supportive and great fun to work with. I leave any conversation with John with my head buzzing with new ideas and challenges, eager to return to my laptop and get writing. If anyone can inspire, guide and develop writers at any stage of their career, then John can.

Toby Hulse
Playwright, Theatre Director, Creative Practitioner


“I am working with John on a stage adaptation of Kate Clanchy’s best selling memoir Antigona and Me. John is committed to new and emerging writers and his determination to help them produce their best possible work is inspirational. John has a gift for spotting what is working and what needs to be done with a developing script. His passion, insight and experience make working with him a joy.”

Zena Forster. Money (Drama on 3 for Radio 3, directed by Sam West). Hester (Woman’s Hour 15′ Series, Radio 4, produced by Jonquil Panting, starred Penelope Wilton). The Fourth Dog. (Winner of A Word in Your Ear – Earshot competition. Produced by A Word in Your Ear, starred Sophie Thompson).

Recent Work