Playwriting Courses from Olivier award-winning
playwright John Retallack

OXFORD PLAYWRITING is a programme of three Oxford-based writing courses for aspirant professional playwrights run by theatre director and Olivier award-winning playwright JOHN RETALLACK. No academic qualification is required, and the course is open to anyone over 18 with a passion and flair for writing.

All sessions happen in person; if a writer is away or needs to remain at home, the course has state-of-the-art-online technology to deliver the session on Zoom.


The course has three levels; FOUNDATION, INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED and is open to writers to join for 1 year, 2 years or 3 years. The ADVANCED course is open only to writers who have completed one or two years of the programme.

**Courses now run on fortnightly Saturdays for new writers**



For beginners.
Oct 2022 - June 2023


For those more experienced
Oct 2022 - June 2023


For those who have done the Foundation or Intermediate courses
Oct 2022 - June 2023

For all 3 levels of the course there is an additional PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP in which professional actors, directed by John Retallack, perform extracts of the writers’ work, sometimes in camera, sometimes for an invited audience.


The course is based in Oxford’s historic city centre with striking views over the colleges.


Classes and Performance Workshops take place at: Vincent’s Club, 1A King Edward Street, Oxford OX1 4HS

Read up-to-date testimonials from John's current writers HERE.

Read newly published PRESS COVERAGE from Ox Magazine; and a recent interview with John Retallack for LANE’S LIST.

JR tutoring 2 2016 crop.jpg


John Retallack offers a FREE 30-minute online consultation for those interested in applying for the course. He will take you through key elements of his Oxford Playwriting Course, and give you the opportunity to ask questions.


Oxford’s new-writing night, starting October 2022: Watch rehearsed readings of two brand new plays, curated by John Retallack.

Performed at the Old Fire Station in Oxford, each script (by writers from these courses) is brought to life by a cast of professional actors.


Course Feedback

"John’s course is fantastic. His encouragement and experience will inspire, transform and enrich your writing, from his structural insight to his expert selection of exercises and plays. The weekly sessions comprise a perfect balance of group discussion and individual feedback. The opportunity to see your own work performed by professional actors will blow you away. If you’re thinking of applying or enrolling, do it now."


Michelle Ewing, Foundation Course, 2021-22

"John's course is the best anyone could hope for. It has transformational effects on the confidence and achievements of all the participants. John is passionate and knowledgeable about theatre and has great first-hand experience. The course is so artfully constructed that you slip gracefully into writing a play, through all the exercise stages, almost without realising it. The discussion of plays is precise and informed and of great practical benefit for our own writing. Best of all, the chance to have your work rehearsed and performed by excellent professional actors is gold dust."

Nick Marston, Advanced Course, 2018-22




Actors read work at a Performance Workshop