Literary Department


Bristol Old Vic literary department has been utterly essential to my artistic development. Initiatives and other supporting activities offered to me by the department have meant that I have met and worked with an amazingly wide variety of artists...with results that have been intriguing, character-building and creatively healthy."

TIM X ATACK, Open Session Writer 2014-15

Bristol Old Vic Literary Department

New writing is the lifeblood of our programme. We are passionate about providing access, opportunity, and Writer Support to writers of plays and musicals at any level of their career. We work primarily with writers from the South West region, building developmental initiatives, forging creative collaborations, offering structured support, and identifying commissioning opportunities. We also commission new work from national and international writers, and advise on adaptations and classics for the theatre's varied artistic programme.

Our Recent & Past Projects have taken our audience on many journeys - from a windswept seaside town in Natalie McGrath's hauntingly beautiful Coasting [2011], to a back woods Cardiff estate for a tale of parenthood, protection and provocation in Katherine Chandler's award winning Before It Rains [2012]. Most recently we co-produced Bea Roberts' highly acclaimed And Then Come The Nightjars [2015].

In addition to producing new drama writing the department also collaborates with Word of Mouth, Bristol's literary agency, in the programming of Blahblahblah - a monthly evening of spoken word at Bristol Old Vic by some of the most acclaimed poets from the region, the UK and beyond.

We call out to writers for their new drama scripts once a year via ‘The Open Session', and run an extensive programme of courses, masterclasses, socials, and dramaturgical support all year round. Go to our Writer Support page to find out about all these opportunities, and browse our other pages for more about Writers at Bristol Old Vic, and for handy Resources.

Missing Pieces

Missing Pieces are script in hand performances, bringing you great entertaining plays, with professional actors and directors. The play readings showcase Black British, Caribbean and African work from new writing to classics.
Missing Pieces is about raising the profile of Black work in the South West and enable work usually seen in London to be seen here. We have a cultural legacy with some of the greatest writers for the stage; names like Alfred Fagon, the Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka. But most writers are unknown or forgotten. Missing Pieces is about knowing a part of our cultural history.


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