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Autumn 2014 Tributes
It has been invaluable to my process as a playwright to be part of the first Criterion New Writing programme. Having my work workshopped by West End actors on a West End stage was a dream come true for me. Greg set a great structure to the 6 sessions and I can see how we've all benefitted from his expertise and feedback. I hope to carry on this connection with CriNew Writing and my fellow writers on the programme.
Thank you for having me as one of the writers on your inaugural writing course at the Criterion. Greg's leadership was excellent; every moment of the sessions was spent on hugely practical exercises and invaluable, direct feedback. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend so much time getting to know the theatre too, not to mention exploring some of my work on a West End stage. It was a real one-off experience so thank you for making it available to me.
When I left university I was eager to stay active within theatre, so when Greg Mosse informed me of the writing course he would be running at the Criterion Theatre, I leapt at the opportunity. I wanted to improve my writing ability and understand the craft in greater detail, and after the first session I knew I had come to the right place. These sessions helped me understand the most important thing about playwriting; structure, and how a well planned structure can help all other facets of the text from narrative to character development. This course has inspired to keep writing and to pursue it as a possible career and I would advise anyone who wants to do the same to put themselves forward.
Joy Beresford Fry
Working alongside a diverse group of writers and listening to the material develop week by week was fascinating. Communal feedback was extremely helpful and the experience as a whole was inspiring and valuable. The opinions of the young actors, with their unique perspectives, shed light into places you didn't know there were places; brilliant.
I was honoured to be part of the Criterion Theatre's first playwriting programme. Greg Mosse created a highly supportive environment that was well-structured but still allowed for the free flow of ideas and discussion. Being able to work on the stage and hear our work performed on the stage was inspiring, and having actors to read and play with the text, and to give their feedback on what they'd read, was invaluable. Rarely are playwrights in the position to receive feedback on their in-development work from actors, and I feel it's essential to see how well something 'reads'; a play is a different beast when performed than when read, and this programme really emphasised that difference, and showed how plays evolve from page to stage and how something can work written down but not when performed, or vice versa. I feel better able now to understand and imagine how words on a page can be embodied. Restricting the number of participants really helped in creating an intimate and supportive group, where each of us became familiar with each other's work and was thus able to give detailed feedback, especially as each person's play developed through the course of the programme.
I was expecting that learning the craft of playwriting on a West End theatre stage would be interesting and informative. I hoped that hearing professional actors read my scenes would spark some further improvement. Nothing prepared me for the transformative experience that was working here at the Criterion, with Greg Mosse. There has been a quantum leap in the quality of my writing - and that of my colleagues. I felt quite emotional telling the stage door manager that Suzie Wilde was leaving.
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