Join triple Olivier Award-winner Mike Bartlett (The 47th, King Charles III, Doctor Foster, Snowflake) for a playwriting course.  

Be part of a group, learning and sharing work together. Come to 10 interactive sessions covering:  

  • Why write a play in the first place?  
  • How do I start? How do I finish? 
  • Story, plot, structure, character and dialogue.  
  • What makes plays unique? What makes this play unique?  
  • What’s the difference between prose, and writing for performance?  
  • What happens after you’ve written the play? 

“I loved being part of such a friendly, supportive, varied, and interesting group; it’s been a highlight of my busy week and I miss it already. I feel much more confident about my writing projects; not only in having processes to apply to turn ideas into scripts, but also being able to see where/why they don’t work and how to improve them.” – 2023 participant

Do I need any experience to do this course?  

You do not need to have previously written for the stage to join in, or (although you may have). All you need is an interest in writing for the stage, and an interest in theatre itself.  

Who can do this course?  

Anyone who lives in Oxfordshire and is over the age of 18.  

“The course has opened up a whole new way of thinking about the way I work. I would say it is like I have been given wings – there is a completely different way of thinking of creating space for conveying my ideas.” – 2023 participant

When is it?  

Tuesdays 16 January – 19 March 2024, 7pm – 9.30pm.

All sessions take place in-person at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ.

How much does it cost?  

You will be asked to pay the price which best suits your financial situation:  

£500 – 10 weeks @£50 per session
£400 – 10 weeks @ £40 per session
£300 – 10 weeks @ £30 per session
£200 – 10 weeks @ £20 per session 
£100 – 10 weeks @ £10 per session 
£50 – 10 weeks @ £5 per session 
£10 – 10 weeks @ £1 per session  

If paying in installments is easiest for you, we can arrange that. If you would like to pay more, and help us subsidise the course for people who need financial help, let us know.

How do I apply?  

Step 1: Fill out this form.

Step 2: Send a sample of your writing to – this must be a section of a script (play or screenplay) no longer than 6 pages.

We will look at all the applications and select a group with different backgrounds, interests and levels of experience.  

The deadline for applications is 10am, Monday 20 November 2023.

Help to access this course  

If you need financial help to attend this group, we have a fund to assist. This could include, but is not limited to: babysitting/caring fees, travel costs, disability access support.  

Full dates for 2024

16 Jan
23 Jan
30 Jan
6 Feb
13 Feb
20 Feb
27 Feb
5 Mar
12 Mar
19 Mar

Parking & Access


There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.

The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.

Getting here

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, but we need your help. Use ecoway, our sustainable travel planner, to see the most eco-friendly options for your journey to Old Fire Station, and plan a bespoke and flexible route. ecoway is easy to use and you’ll be kept up to date with any disruption or changes to your journey plan.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford


Disabled patrons are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: or 01865 263990.

There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.

Events in the Theatre

There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place).

If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail and we will talk with you about your needs.

Events in the Studio

There is level entry into the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the Studio.

Events in the Loft

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space, with no lift. If you would like to discuss this to find out more, please get in touch.

The Gallery

There is step-free access to the Gallery – level entry through the George Street entrance, and via lift from the Gloucester Green entrance.


Accessible toilet
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).

Hearing assistance system
The Theatre is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you have any questions about using it, please e-mail us at or phone 01865 263980.

Assistance dogs
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail

Strobe lighting
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail

Chairs in the theatre
Our chairs are a standard dining-chair size, measuring 40cm deep by 37cm wide, with a metal frame. Some have arms, and some do not. They are all joined together at the sides, to form rows. If this is likely to pose a problem for you, please email and we can discuss how to make your visit more comfortable.