Playwrights Lab


The award-winning novelist Beverley Naidoo’s powerful play for children, The Playground, enjoyed excellent reviews during its run at London’s Polka Theatre. Beverley started work on the play, which is set in her native South Africa, at the Lab in 2000.

Following the Lab, she wrote, “The PAL Lab made a profound impact on me, opening up new ways of seeing. I had little idea beforehand quite how different writing for theatre would be from my usual work with novels and short stories”. Four years later, in an article in the Times Educational Supplement, she said of her Lab experience, “A fairy godmother couldn’t have offered a better present”.

Lab co-directors
Maura Dooley
John Retallack

Lab mentors
David Buckroyd – director
David Farr – playwright
Pauline Mol – playwright/Artistic Director, Artemis

Guest mentor
John Wright – director

Lab participants
Abi Brown – writer
Chris Broderick – writer
Deborah Catesby – writer
Matthew Cureton – actor
Dave Fishley – actor
Kate Fleetwood – actor
Julie Garton – writer
Peter Gilpin – Lab chef
Elizabeth Heery – writer
Mahala Katz – Lab runner
Jonathan Lloyd – writer
Steve May – writer
Kara Miller – writer
Beverley Naidoo – writer
Sabina Netherclift – actor
Lindy Newns – writer
Mia Soteriou – actor
Ross Sutherland – actor
Lala Thorpe – Lab co-ordinator

Guest speakers
Tony Graham – Artistic Director, Unicorn Theatre
Suzy Graham-Adriani – Producer, Youth Theatre Projects, Royal National Theatre
Tish Francis – Joint Director, Oxford Playhouse
Philip Dart – Artistic Director, Channel Theatre Company
Rachel Clare – Producer, Children’s programme, South Bank Centre
Simon Parker – writer and teacher

Funded by
Chase Charity
SE Arts
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Arts Council England
London Arts

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