New Views

This November to April 2016 we are running New Views, the National Theatre's playwriting programme for 15-19 year olds.

Schools can nominate students to take part in the programme which is run in collaboration with the National Theatre. Below is an outline of the programme and the opportunities it offers participants. It costs nothing to take part in New Views, but we do ask that students make their own arrangements to get to Bristol Old Vic for weekly seminars/workshops and that they attend all the session of the course. Spaces are limited to 4 students per school.


Starting New Views

The course begins on Wed 4 November, with an hour-long introduction workshop for students. The aim of this workshop is to make sure that every student knows exactly what it is they are committing to in taking part in the programme and for the course leaders to see how students work in a group. This process is not used to determine students' levels of ability, as we realise that many students will never have written a play before.


The course

Students will follow a course of workshops and seminars led by a professional playwright and theatre director. Each section looks at a different aspect of the playwriting process, through drama-based methods as well as with pen and paper. You can have a look at the course materials here.

The course is delivered at Bristol Old Vic and sessions take place on the dates below:

The Dates

18.00-19.00 Wed 4 Nov Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic INTRODUCTORY SESSION
18.00-20.15 Wed 11 Nov Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 1
18.00-20.15 Wed 18 Nov Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 2
18.00-20.15 Wed 25 Nov Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic NO SESSION


Wed 2 Dec Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 3
18.00-20.15 Wed 13 Jan Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 4
18.00-20.15 Wed 20 Jan Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 5
Wed 27 Jan Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic
Workshop 6
18.00-20.15 Wed 3 Feb Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 7
18.00-20.15 Wed 10 Feb Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic Workshop 8
W/C 22 Feb First draft in by email
18.00-20.15 Wed 16 Mar Coopers Loft, Bristol Old Vic
Fri 19 Apr

Final submissions by email

Visits to Productions

The group will see two theatre productions during the course- one at Bristol Old Vic and the other a National Theatre Live broadcast to a local cinema

Writing Plays

Students will write 30 minute plays individually, in pairs or as a group which they will eventually submit into the nationwide New Views competition. The brief is to 'write about what switches you on'- the things that inspire or frustrate you, the things that make you happy, angry or sad. The course encourages students to discuss current affairs in order to find inspiration for the plays they will write. Once students have submitted first drafts of their plays (W/C 22 Feb 2016), there is an opportunity for students to work one-to-one with the course leaders and receive feedback on a first draft of their 30 minute play. There will be an April deadline for final drafts.

A panel of judges from NT and Parliament will choose a shortlist of plays. They will also select one national winner from that shortlist. Shortlisted plays will have rehearsed readings at the NT with the NT Company members and one national winner will have the chance to see his/her play rehearsed and staged by the NT with a professional creative and technical team. We're looking for plays that represent the diversity of things that interest young people in the UK today, not something that ticks a particular box.

New Views 2014/15 Project Milestones

4 November 2015
Student introductory workshop
November 2015-February 2016
Student group meets with tutors
January 2016
First theatre visit
January - April 2016
Student writes plays
February/March 2016
Second theatre visit
W/C 22 February
Deadline for first drafts
16 March 2016
Students receive one-to-one mentoring from writers
19 April 2016
Deadline for submissions
June 2016
Shortlisted plays announced
June 2016
Winning play announced
July 2016
Rehearsed readings for shortlisted plays (at NT)
July 2016
Performances of winning play (at NT)

More information

For more information or to nominate students, please email