Talkfest offers aspiring theatremakers an insight into life behind the scenes

Douglas Maxwell, Peter Arnott and Oliver Emanuel are among the speakers and directors attending

Talkfest offers aspiring theatremakers an insight into life behind the scenes

Oliver Emanuel / Photo: Eoin Carey Photography

Based in the CCA but perhaps most familiar from its annual forays across to the Edinburgh Fringe, the Playwrights’ Studio has been supporting the creation of new writing for a decade. Through a wide range of events, it has offered opportunities to writers at all stages of their careers, and to celebrate its tenth anniversary, it’s taking Talkfest to the Tron.

True to the organisation’s history, there is a comprehensive selection of guest speakers. ‘We’ve got a real mix of writers at different stages in their careers,’ says general manager Emma McKee. ‘We are kicking off with the collective we support, Stage to Page, which is for writers at the very start of their careers. And we’re working with several writers for the reading, and a new translation of Mother Courage by Tom Leonard which is being directed by Tam Dean Burn.’

Within the mixture of workshops and plays, there are some dramatic experiments: Peter Arnott and a team of actors will spend a day responding to two new plays, sight unseen, before presenting their research to an audience. Meanwhile, Michael Emans (from Rapture Theatre) directs The Sin Eaters, a ‘Scottish Gothic’ script from Ronan O’Donnell. The Tron itself has been active in developing new work, and McKee recognises that the venue is a good fit. Having a popular bar alongside the two theatre spaces, it is ideal for the ongoing conversations that the programme encourages.

With speakers including Douglas Maxwell (a sprightly and entertaining lecturer as well as a successful playwright through works like A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity) and Oliver Emanuel, fresh from the success of Dragon, Talkfest offers both advice to aspiring authors and an insight into the often hidden lives behind the scripts.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 31 Mar–Sat 5 Apr.

Stage to Page

Either join in as an actor, director or writer, or just watch the creative juices flow at these workshopping sessions for play scripts in progress. Includes networking opportunities. Ages 16+.


A week of workshops, rehearsed and unrehearsed readings and masterclasses led by Scotland’s leading playwrights and theatre-makers.

A Playwright's Guide to Timewasting with Douglas Maxwell

Douglas Maxwell (Decky Does A Bronco, A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity, Promises Promises) shares his process of selecting, developing and selling the right idea as well as some survival techniques for when it becomes clear that you’re wasting your time on the wrong one.

Playwright (etc.) with Oliver Emanuel

Join playwright, dramaturg and adapter, Oliver Emanuel (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dragon, Titus), for a practical workshop on where ideas come from and how to balance the different roles inherent within the catch-all title of ‘playwright’.

The Sin Eaters

Haunting tale of religious fundamentalism and sexual mania set during the 1679 Covenanter uprising. Written by Ronan O'Donnell, directed by Michael Emans.

Mother Courage

Brecht's anti-war play gets a new translation from Tom Leonard. Directed by Tam Dean Burn.


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