A short break during a Performance Workshop


Bursaries of 50% of the course fee are available to people who are not in education or employment, or who are on low income/benefits. If you would like to apply for a bursaried place, let John know when you send your application.

Location: Vincent’s Club Dining Room, 1A King Edward Street, Oxford OX1 4HS

(This is just off Oxford High Street where there is nearby parking, convenient public transport and wheelchair access)



32 x 2.5 hour sessions taking place on Mondays from 6 to 8.30pm.

(80 hours in total)

Course Fee: £2950



10 x all-day sessions taking place one Friday per month from 10am to 5.30pm.

(65 hours in total)

Course Fee: £2000


10 x all-day sessions taking place one Friday per month from 10am to 5.30pm.

(65 hours in total)

Course Fee: £2000


Applications for the 2021/22 FOUNDATION and INTERMEDIATE COURSES are open now.

To apply, please send the following to john@oxfordplaywriting.co.uk:


1. Your name, telephone number and address


2. A covering letter and a brief CV

3. Which course you would like to apply for


4. Two samples of your written work, in any genre, neither exceeding 20 pages in length


John will contact you within two weeks of your application.


Interviews take place in Oxford or by Zoom.


Places fill up quickly, so early application is encouraged.


No academic qualification is required, and the course is open to anyone over 18. 

Taster days

John is offering two free taster days for people interested in joining the course. Find out more.

"John Retallack is a hugely talented and experienced playwright and director. He combines practical know-how with incisive analysis and an infectious love of theatre. For anyone wanting to write professionally for the stage,  I couldn't think of anyone better to support, challenge and inspire you."

Jonathan Lloyd, director

"John has a writer’s understanding of structure, texture, character and tone blended with a director’s eye and ear for a quality of performance that will make an audience not just think but also, crucially, feel. It was a privilege to work with him and I very much hope I’m lucky enough to do so again."

Owen Sheers, writer

"If I were an aspiring playwright with an appetite to learn about the playwright’s craft, I couldn’t imagine a more skilled and supportive tutor."
Tom Morris, artistic director,
Bristol Old Vic

"John is a rare combination of an outstandingly creative theatre artist and a truly transformative teacher."
Tim Crouch, writer, director

"Usually, with a writing tutor, you  get someone who knows how to write and how to teach writing.  With John Retallack, you get those two gifts, plus a cracking experienced and imaginative director!"

Bryony Lavery, writer