Do you like telling stories but have never called yourself a writer?

As part of Coventry City of Culture 2021, Belgrade Theatre have teamed up with award-winning new writing company, Paines Plough to offer a 10-week programme of workshops aimed at supporting storytellers and aspiring writers to write and perform their own 10 minute play. Starting in May and building up into the arrival in July of Roundabout – Paines Plough’s pop-up theatre presenting a collection of national and local plays and offering a civic space where activities are curated by the community in which it sits – participants will have the opportunity to read their plays to a local audience.

Based on Paines Plough’s COME TO WHERE I’M FROM model, participants will be working towards writing and performing a short 10 minute play about where they are from and what home means to them.

About the Programme
Paines Plough will take a cohort of 8-10 participants through a ten-week programme (which includes writing time) centring on personal storytelling, with the aim of supporting them to explore what form they each want to use to tell their story, drawing on their own previous artistic experience. Through a series of curated workshops, the programme content will include:
• What is playwriting?
• Structure and form (including non-European storytelling)
• Creating characters including playing ‘yourself’
• Dramaturgy
• Theatricality
• Audiences and connection

The programme will be facilitated by theatre director Stef O’Driscoll and Paines Plough’s New Work Associate Phillippe Cato.

Who is this Opportunity for?
• People living in or from Coventry.
• Aged 18 and over (no upper age limit).
• A keen interest in storytelling in any form (no writing or performance experience necessary).

We aim to make sure all participants feel comfortable and able to take part in this programme. Please let us know if there are any barriers that you think may prevent you from taking part in this programme.

The programme runs for ten weeks, starting  w/c 3 May, and includes seven two-hour sessions plus writing time. The first four sessions will be delivered remotely over Zoom. The final three sessions will happen in-person in Coventry, (government guidelines permitting). Sessions will be on Tuesdays between 6-8pm. Readings will take place during Roundabout performances in early July.

Application Process
We are asking applicants to send the following to
• A brief description of why you would like to take part in the programme (no more than 250 words or 2 mins video/audio).
• A bit about you (no more than 250 words or 2 mins video/audio).
• An example of your work (short extract of writing 2 pages max or link to video, audio, 4 minutes max). We appreciate that the example of your work may take many forms depending on your artistic background.

For any questions, please contact Hannah Barker at

Applications open: 10am on Monday 22 March
Applications close: 10am on Monday 19 April
Confirm successful participants: Monday 26 April
Sessions start: w/c 3rd May