REPOST- Tanika Gupta archive workshop on Story

During this public health emergency, the safety and wellbeing of our staff, artists, audiences and families comes first.

We are exploring ways in which we can all remain connected and optimistic. The Bruntwood Prize has always been about much more than the winners. It is about opening up playwriting to anyone and everyone, to support anyone interested in playwriting to explore the unique power of creative expression. Therefore we want to make this website a resource now for anyone and everyone to explore theatre and plays and playwriting. 

So we will be highlighting the many different resources archived on this website over the coming weeks.




On Wednesday 22nd May 2019 playwright Tanika Gupta led our final livestreamed writing workshop for 2019 on how you might explore your work to ensure that the story you want to tell is clear, dramatic and theatrical.

What makes a good story? What is the story YOU want to tell? In this session, recorded live in the Royal Exchange Theatre Studio Tanika and the live writers explore this and more as a group, look at some plays, read a few excerpts and do a few short exercises.

The excepts include Tanika’s own play GLADIATOR GAMES- available here from, Oberon Books, Martin McDonnagh’s THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE (with thanks to the KNIGHT HALL agency for permission)  and a speech from Magwitch from Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS (available in the public domain here)

As this was the last of the 2019 workshops we’d like to say a huge thank you to all our brilliant participants, it’s been a privilege to sit in on every workshop. The full archive of workshops and leaning resources from 2019 and earlier rounds of the Prize can all be found here. Happy writing!


Over the past 20 years Tanika has written over 20 stage plays that have been produced in major theatres across the UK. She has written 30 radio plays for the BBC and several original television dramas, as well as scripts for EastEnders, Grange Hill and The Bill. She has taught drama and run workshops in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, India, USA, the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Chile and across the UK. She is a fellow of Rose Bruford College, runs courses for the Arvon Foundation and has led playwriting workshops in many UK universities (including Central School of Speech & Drama in London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and Oxford Universities), as well as for the National Theatre, Royal Court, Hampstead, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Stratford East. Tanika has been writer in residence at the National Theatre and at Soho Theatre, a fellow at the Playwright’s Studio in Glasgow and a writing tutor in Winchester Women’s prison. She has won numerous awards for her work. She is presently a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Born in London the year after her parents arrived from Calcutta, Tanika’s earliest memories are of performing dance dramas by Rabindranath Tagore with her parent’s cultural group “The Tagoreans” across the European continent. After graduating from Oxford University Tanika worked as a community worker and in an Asian women’s refuge for several years. Tanika began writing drama in the early 1990’s and for some time was also a script reader for BBC TV’S ‘Black screen’. She became a full-time writer in 1996 and has established a successful career in theatre with regular forays into TV, radio and film. She has always worked closely with a wide range of contemporary writers and drama practitioners both in the UK and around the world.

Published on:
1 May 2020


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