Oxford Playhouse

Oxford Playmaker delivers workshops in close partnership with the Oxford Playhouse.

We work with writers at all stages of their career.


James Baldwin with John Retallack

Playhouse Playmaker is a Writers Attachment Programme for new and emerging playwrights led by John Retallack in partnership with Oxford Playhouse. Each year 6-7 writers are selected who meet one Saturday a month (10am – 6pm) between October and June. These sessions are used to work as a group on writing techniques, followed by individual mentoring and feedback on each writer’s scripts.

This programme is free but selective. For the 2017-2018 programme there were 120 applications.


Julian ArmisteadDoug CrossleyJodi GraySorcha Kurian-WalshNick O’DwyerRowan Padmore and Padraic Walsh.

Blogs by these writers tracking the sessions can be found on The Writers on Attachment link.

Please send any questions or enquiries for 2018-2019 to playmaker@oxfordplayhouse.com.

Oxford Playmaker is indebted to Louise Chantal, Chief Executive of Oxford Playhouse, and Mezze Eade, Participation Director,  for their enormous encouragement and generosity to the writers in every aspect of the programme.



PHOTOGRAPH BY :Geraint Lewis.

From left to right – Ayad Andrews, Charlie Howitt, Carolyn Lloyd-Davies, John Retallack, James Baldwin, Phil Darwin and Karim Khan – the 2016/17 writers on attachment.

Young Playmaker – For writers aged 15 to 21

These weekly workshops are held at the Oxford Playhouse every Thursday evening between 5.00 pm and 7.30 pm. They are for young writers keen to explore the skills required to write a short play.

Sessions begin in September and the finished plays are performed by the Oxford Playhouse 17-25 Young Company in July.

The Young Playmakers are involved in the production process, working closely with the director and actors in rehearsal.

Young Playmaker is led by Renata Allen


As the name suggests, Young Playmaker is an excellent opportunity for any young person who is interested in writing plays. You’ll get help every step of the way, from the conception of your play to perfecting the final draft. When I first went I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but after being shown a wide range of examples from different genres and styles, and taking part in numerous activities and workshops I found ideas that I’d never even considered. There’s also the opportunity to see some shows at the theatre for free, which I found very enjoyable and inspiring for my own work. The atmosphere is always friendly and supportive, so even if you’ve never really written anything before you don’t need to worry about being out of your depth. The course is absolutely worthwhile simply to get your play off the ground, and that’s before you get to see it polished and performed in a proper theatre! I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and would recommend it to anyone with a passion for writing and the theatre.

Edward Morgan, Young Playmaker

Primary Playmaker – Ages 8-11

Primary Playmaker helps children to create their own short plays through a course of one and a half hour workshops in which children experience a variety of activities including improvisation and writing exercises. All the plays are performed by the children at school to an invited audience and selected plays are chosen to be performed by professional actors at a week-long festival of theatre at Oxford Playhouse in March.

Primary Playmaker is led by Renata Allen.


Recent Work