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Course overview

RADA has been offering Advances in Scriptwriting annually for over 20 years.

The course provides original approaches to essential techniques such as making a scene, subtext, use of time/place, and structure. There is a high level of imaginative but accessible class exercises, but minimal homework.

The course is run by Paul Sirrett. Paul is a freelance Dramaturg. He was Soho Theatre’s Literary Manager, 1994-2001; the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dramaturg, 2001-2005; Associate Dramaturg of the Ambassador’s Theatre Group from 2012-2018. He currently works as a script consultant for Trafalgar Entertainment.

Entry requirements

This is not a beginners' class. It is aimed at writers who have had one or two of their films/plays produced, or are having serious interest shown in their work by producers or agents.

Applications for the course must be accompanied by evidence of serious consideration of one of the applicant’s full-length scripts by a producing company or literary agent (very specifically requesting to be sent a copy of their next script) plus a copy of the script.

Paul Sirett’s credits

Paul Sirett’s plays and musicals include: A Night in Tunisia, 1992, Worlds Apart, 1993, Crusade, 1994; Jamaica House, 1998; The Big Life, 2004 & 2005 (West End transfer, Olivier nomination); Come Dancing 2008; Bad Blood Blues, 2009 (all Theatre Royal Stratford East); Reasons to Be Cheerful, 2010-2017 (Graeae Theatre Company, multiple productions in the UK, Europe and South America); This Other Eden, 1993 (Duke of Cambridge Theatre); Skaville, 1995 (Soho Theatre); Rat Pack Confidential, 2002 (Nottingham Playhouse/Bolton Octagon & West End); Lush Life, 2005 (Live Theatre, Newcastle); Running the Silk Road, 2008 (Yellow Earth, Tour & Barbican); Peter Pan, 2010 (Dukes Lancaster); Mods & Rox, 2012 (New Wolsey, Ipswich); The Iron Man, 2013/14/17 (Graeae/GDIF, UK National Tour and Albania); Oy and the Morons, 2017 (New Wolsey, Ipswich); Clear White Light, 2018/19 (Live Theatre, Newcastle).

Previous participants

Previous participants have included both the 2012 Evening Standard Award Best Playwright: Nick Payne and Most Promising Playwright: Lolita Chakrabarti, as well as Hassan Abdulrazzak (George Devine Winner 2008, Bagdad Wedding); Steve Thompson (Damages, Whipping It Up, Roaring Trade, No Naughty Bits); Anders Lustgarten, whose play if you don’t let us dream, we won’t let you sleep played at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs February/March 2013. Anders’ Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of Massacre played at the Arcola Theatre, simultaneously with his Lampedusa being at Soho Theatre: March – April, 2015; and his play The Seven Acts of Mercy ran 2016/17 at the RSC; and Jane Upton, George Devine winner 2016, All the Little Lights).

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Frequently asked questions and terms and conditions

Does the course count towards university credits?

There are no University Credits associated with this course.

Can RADA help me to find accommodation?

Accommodation is not provided for this course.

What is the cancellation policy?

Once you are accepted onto the course - you will receive full details of our cancellation policy.

Once payment has been made, it is strongly recommended that all students insure themselves to cover the loss of fees in the event of illness, for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

Rules and regulations of the Academy

All students must undertake to adhere to the General Rules and Regulations of the Academy. The Academy’s Director or Course Director shall, at their absolute discretion, have the right to terminate the course in respect of any student whose presence or conduct is in contravention of the same.

Friends or other persons who are not officially enrolled are not permitted to sit in on classes, rehearsals or presentations.

Students must understand, conform and adhere to the Academy’s Health and Safety Procedures and Policies.

All students are expected to wear the correct and appropriate clothing for each class.

Students are expected to maintain a professional standard of dress and hygiene at all times.

Fees are non-returnable once a student has started a course.

Photography or recording of any kind is strictly prohibited in the classroom areas without permission from the Academy’s staff.

RADA does not discriminate against applicants on the grounds of sex, disability, ethnicity or sexuality. We welcome applicants from disabled people and offer places solely on the basis of potential and suitability for the course. The school is mainly housed in a newly-refurbished building which provides good access for wheelchair users.

Decisions made by the Academy regarding the selection of instructors, the allocation of students to study groups, the material for that study group and any roles allocated are final and not open to negotiation.

It is strongly recommended that students insure themselves to cover any medical or transport costs and loss of fees in the event of illness or accident for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

If, for reason of epidemic or national crisis, the Academy is compelled to close during the course, no fees can be returned or compensation be made for any period of tuition that may have been lost through the Academy’s inability to carry on its work.

It is important to note that the Academy does not accept responsibility for students beyond the scheduled teaching hours on the RADA premises. These are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Parents are therefore advised to ensure that adequate supervision of activities undertaken in the evening and at weekends is provided, as appropriate, during the duration of the course.