• Maggots at The Lion & Unicorn

    In this episode of The Writer's Toolkit, I chat with David Brady, Artistic Director of The Lion & Unicorn Theatre in London’s Kentish Town, and Farah Najib, whose play Maggots enjoyed a successful run at the theatre earlier this year. Farah shares how she seized the opportunity to stage her play at The Lion & Unicorn, and how it resonated with audiences. David offers insights into the evolving fringe theatre landscape and provides invaluable advice for playwrights and theatre makers aiming to get their work on stage.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Farah


    Connect with David

    • Visit the Lion & Unicorn Theatre’s website
    • Follow the Lion & Unicorn Theatre on Instagram
    • Visit the Proforça Theatre Company website
    • Follow Proforça Theatre on Instagram


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E9 - 52m - Jul 21, 2024
  • New Writing in New Zealand

    In this episode of The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast, we shine a spotlight on the vibrant playwriting scene in Aotearoa New Zealand. Join me as I reflect on my time in New Zealand and share insights from three special guests: Murray Lynch, director of Playmarket NZ, discusses opportunities for playwrights; Keagan Carr Fransch shares the development journey of her play Dimensions in Black; and Nathan Joe explores his creative process with Scenes from a Yellow Peril. We also highlight the Robert Lord Writers Cottage, a cherished residency in the former home of New Zealand's first professional playwright.


    Connect with Paul


    Discover more about Robert Lord


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E8 - 1h 9m - Jul 14, 2024
  • Self-Producing Off-Broadway

    Following last week’s episode about the trailblazing playwrights' collective 13P, this episode brings you the rest of my conversation with 13P member Winter Miller. Winter shares the challenges and triumphs of self-producing her Off-Broadway play, No One Is Forgotten, which premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2019 and has recently been adapted into an immersive opera by The Dallas Opera. Winter emphasises the importance of building a strong team, ensuring fair compensation, fostering diversity, and effective fundraising strategies. This episode is a must-listen for any playwright considering self-production, offering inspiration and actionable steps to bring a play to the stage on your own terms.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Winter


    Discover more about No One Is Forgotten

    • Buy the published play text from Concord
    • Listen to the opera
    • Read the Playbill article about financing the production


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E7 - 29m - Jul 3, 2024
  • 13P: Collective Action

    In this episode of The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast, we explore the revolutionary concept of playwriting collectives with special guests, Madeleine George and Winter Miller, founding members of the trailblazing group, 13P. Discover how 13P transformed the playwriting landscape by empowering its members to produce their own plays and sidestep the traditional development process. Join us for a deep dive into the origins, successes, and enduring impact of this remarkable collective, and gain insights into how you too can find agency over your work.


    Connect with Paul


    Watch the film: A People’s History of 13P


    Connect with Winter


    Connect with Madeleine


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E6 - 46m - Jun 20, 2024
  • Bunny Man at Barons Court

    In this episode of The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast, we delve into the dynamic world of self-producing theatre and the vital collaboration between playwrights and venues. Paul is joined by two special guests: Sharon Willems, Artistic Director of Barons Court Theatre in West London, and Christopher Leiberman, the writer/performer behind the play Bunny Man. Sharon shares her passion for supporting early-career writers and artists, discussing what sets Barons Court Theatre apart and their commitment to fostering new talent. Christopher provides a firsthand account of his journey in self-producing, offering wisdom and encouragement to playwrights seeking to bring their own work to life.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Sharon


    Connect with Christopher


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E5 - 56m - Jun 17, 2024
  • Dramaturgy

    In this episode of The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast, we explore the benefits of engaging a dramaturg in the development of new writing with special guest, Script Consultant and Dramaturg, Allison Horsley. With an impressive background that spans American regional theatres and Broadway musicals like Jersey Boys and Doctor Zhivago, plus her work with the translation of Chekhov's major plays, Allison’s insights are invaluable. She is also the co-author of Writing Adaptations and Translations for the Stage. Join us as we explore how dramaturgy can elevate new writing and provide crucial support for playwrights.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Allison


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E4 - 42m - Jun 11, 2024
  • London’s Pub Theatres

    In this episode, we dive into the magical world of London’s pub theatres—vital stages for new writing in the UK. We explore how these intimate spaces support emerging talent and connect directly with audiences with insights from Heather Jeffery, editor of LondonPubTheatres.com, and Jonathan Blakeley, a writer and performer who self-produced his play "Stitches" at the Hope Theatre in February 2024. So grab a drink, and let's head up the creaking staircase and celebrate the spirit of creativity and community that makes pub theatres the lifeblood of British theatre.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Jonathan


    Connect with Heather


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E3 - 54m - Jun 6, 2024
  • Play Readings

    In this episode of The Writer's Toolkit podcast, we're exploring play readings, delving into both traditional theatre settings and the evolving landscape of digital platforms. Paul is joined by special guests Mimi Collins, the UK Artistic Director of Bespoke Plays, a company committed to providing tailored staged readings for playwrights, and Rachel Lynett, a playwright who has boldly pioneered live play readings via Zoom, seizing control of how their work reaches audiences.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Mimi Collins and Bespoke Plays


    Connect with Rachel Lynett


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.


    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E2 - 49m - May 29, 2024
  • The Camden Fringe

    Season 3 of The Writer's Toolkit podcast kicks off with a new focus: empowering playwrights to take control of their creative journeys and find innovative ways to share their work with audiences. In this episode, we shine a spotlight on The Camden Fringe, a London festival known for its accessibility and support of new plays. Paul talks to the co-directors of the festival, Michelle Flower and Zena Barrie, about its success and vision, and we hear from theatre makers Pavan J Singh and Valeria Suaste, who share their experiences bringing their plays to Camden in August.


    Connect with Paul


    Connect with Zena, Michelle & The Camden Fringe


    Connect with Pavan J Singh


    Connect with Valeria Suaste


    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S3E1 - 54m - May 21, 2024
  • Season 2 Toolkit Tips

    Hey Writers! The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast is returning very soon with a brand new batch of episodes! Be sure to like, subscribe and follow to be notified when new episodes are published. 

    In the meantime, here's a round-up of top tips for maintaining a healthy writing practice from the guests featured in the second season, including Simon Stephens, Andrea Scott, Nick Green, Shannan E. Johnson, and Hilary Bell.

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S2E5 - 5m - May 14, 2024
  • Dickens, Puppets & Pinter with Hilary Bell

    In this episode, I chat with Australian playwright Hilary Bell. Ahead of the opening of her brand-new version of A Christmas Carol, Hilary shares her tips for writing an adaptation and talks about her modern-day treatment of Dickens' immortal classic. We also discuss the use of puppetry in Hilary's chilling play, Splinter, and Summer of Harold, three stories that intertwine to take us on a hilarious, poignant and magical journey at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre in September 2023.

    “I've always looked for different ways to collaborate. I find it so inspiring working with people from different aspects of theatre-making, and seeing what happens when we all bring our ideas together.” - Hilary Bell

    Connect with Hilary

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S2E4 - 52m - Nov 9, 2022
  • Development Heaven with Shannan E. Johnson

    In this episode, I meet Shannan E. Johnson, a former Creative Executive at The Syfy Channel / NBCU, who is making waves in Los Angeles as Script Consultant and Screenwriter. We talk about Shannan’s company, The Professional Pen - a writer-centered one-stop shop that aims to develop writers and their ideas. We also chat about Truffle Sauce, Shannan’s poignant short film, now streaming on Blavity. 

    “If you build the writer, then the content will come” - Shannan E. Johnson

    Connect with Shannan

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S2E3 - 55m - Oct 25, 2022
  • Confronting Racial & Queer Politics with Andrea Scott & Nick Green

    In this episode, I meet Andrea Scott and Nick Green, the playwrights behind Every Day She Rose, a bracing play that exists where racial and queer politics collide. The fractured love story is set against the backdrop of the 2016 Toronto Pride parade, where celebrations are brought to a standstill by Black Lives Matter protestors. Now best friends Mark, a white gay man, and Cathy-Ann, his straight black girlfriend are about to discover that the things that brought them together could be the very things that will drive them apart. 

    “Nick Green and Andrea Scott are two of the most exciting voices in Canadian theatre.” - Now Magazine, Toronto.

    Connect with Andrea

    Connect with Nick

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S2E2 - 44m - Oct 11, 2022
  • Coffee with Simon Stephens

    In this episode, I return home to England to visit the writing room of one of our best-loved playwrights, Simon Stephens.

    Simon is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which enjoyed acclaim in the West End and on Broadway, winning Best New Play at both the Olivier’s in 2013 and the Tony’s in 2015. Time Magazine called the play ‘life-affirming' and 'unmissable’, - evidenced by the 5 Tony Awards, 6 Drama Desk Awards and 7 Olivier Awards the play collected.

    Words of Wisdom

    "Make sure when you write a play you've read it from the point of view of each of your characters, so you chart their psychological and emotional journey individually so that it's all cogent, all makes sense, and has a sense of movement and progression". - Simon Stephens.

    Discover Simon's work

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S2E1 - 1h 2m - Sep 27, 2022
  • Season 1 Toolkit Tips

    We asked all of the guests from the first season of The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast to share their top tips for maintaining a healthy writing practice. This special episode is a round of what they had to say, featuring words of wisdom from Diane Samuels, Mark Sanderson, Douglas Lyons, Marjorie Chan, Gary Goldstein, Norman Yeung, and Kathryn Burnett.

    The Writer’s Toolkit Podcast is returning with another round of writer-to-writer conversations very soon, when Paul will be talking practice, process and projects, with more inspiring playwrights and screenwriters. Be sure to like, subscribe and follow to be notified when new episodes are published. 

    Connect with Paul

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E8 - 4m - Sep 24, 2022
  • Kiwi Comedy with Kathryn Burnett

    In this episode, I chat to Kathryn Burnett - an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, whose name can be found on many successful TV series in New Zealand. We talk about the development journey of her new comedy play, The Campervan, the iconic kiwi sit-com writing room that provided her first TV credit (plus enough stories to dine out on for a lifetime!), as well as her latest work on TV comedies, My Life is Murder and Under the Vines.

    Words of Wisdom

    Kathryn Burnett on writing to a deadline... "The pressure of a deadline I find a very good spur. If it's commissioned work, obviously that's one thing. If it's something that is speculative - so I'm just writing it for myself, or I'm just chipping away at my own project, I have to find a different type of deadline. Sometimes that's a competition or something I can just enter. Generally, I always advise people to do that - find a deadline of some sort. Otherwise, time can just roll by".

    Conversation Highlights & Links

    • [03:00] Kathryn's new play, The Campervan
    • [08:30] Writing routines, time-blocking, and setting deadlines
    • [17:35] Finding community, online and in-person
    • [23:45] Balancing time in the classroom with writing
    • [28:36] Finding the funny and discovering the talent within
    • [31:34] Hands-on learning through self-producing
    • [33:53] Melody Rules (RNZ podcast: The Worst Sitcom Ever Made)
    • [38:20] Writing on My Life is Murder
    • [39:50] - Final Scene 

    Connect with Kathryn

    Connect with Paul

    Next time...

    Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E7 - 45m - Jan 4, 2022
  • Language Power with Norman Yeung

    In this episode, I talk to Norman Yeung - a Chinese Canadian writer for whom the use of language takes on a whole new meaning. As we discuss Norman's body of work in this episode, he explains how he uses 'magical realism in his work to encourage empathy through dialogue, blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality in order to break down language barriers. And of course, we talk all things Theory, following the publication of his multi-award-winning play earlier this year.

    Words of Wisdom

    Norman Yeung on drafting by hand... "I like to have a physical, tactile approach, or connection to the words. There’s something about the physical effort of writing with [a] pen that I think naturally makes the brain maybe want to think more succinctly... the delete button of keyboards if not my best friend for the first draft or two... because I’m getting all my ideas out there and there will be more drafts to delete then."

    Conversation Highlights & Links

    • [03:30] A nocturnal writing schedule
    • [09:30] Writing with pen and ink: a physical approach
    • [15:40] Skipping a draft in the transcription process
    • [18:15] Norman’s ’shower solutions’
    • [21:10] Play discussion: Theory
    • [27:30] Working with a diversity editor
    • [32:32] Giving Theory a thriller genre packaging
    • [34:00] The ten-year development journey of Theory
    • [35:35 Language: magical realism
    • [40:10] Language: the power to alienate, unite and divide
    • [43:20] Language: a body of work
    • [45:00] The hip-hop heartbeat of East Vancouver
    • [47:55] Final scene 

    Connect with Norman

    Connect with Paul

    Next time...

    I talk to New Zealand screenwriter, playwright, and writing coach, Kathryn Burnett, ahead of the world premiere of her play, The Campervan. Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E6 - 53m - Dec 21, 2021
  • Movies & Manuscripts with Gary Goldstein

    In this episode, I talk to Gary Goldstein. Since cutting his teeth in the writer's room on TV shows like Saved By The Bell and Beverley Hills 90210, Gary has seen more than fifteen of his screenplays produced, including Hitched for the Holidays, starring Emily Hampshire and the first two movies in the Flower Shop Mystery series, starring Brooke Shields. Marking a new chapter in his career, Gary recently turned his hand to novel writing and is celebrating the publication of his debut novel, The Last Birthday Party, which is out now.

    Words of Wisdom

    Gary Goldstein on maneuvering around a writing roadblock... "I try to give myself three choices if I’m not sure what to do. I’ll pick the one that makes the most sense and go that way, and if it doesn’t work then I’ll back up and try number two. I’ve become over time more confident in the choices that I make, just knowing that they can change. But you have to make decisions and I think one thing that holds a lot of writers up; and causes some of what may be considered a block, is being indecisive".

    Conversation Highlights & Links

    • [03:06] An unwavering work ethic
    • [07:00] The perfect pandemic project
    • [08:49] A writing room with a view
    • [12:52] Maneuvering around a writing roadblock
    • [16:31] Staying connected to the wider industry
    • [18:13] Gary's debut novel, The Last Birthday Party
    • [21:23] From screen and stage to the printed page
    • [30:23] Breaking into TV, Saved by the Bell 

    Connect with Gary

    Connect with Paul

    Next time...

    I talk to Chinese-Canadian playwright, Norman Yeung following the publication of his hit play, Theory. Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E5 - 41m - Dec 7, 2021
  • Telling Epic Stories with Marjorie Chan

    In this episode, I meet Toronto-based playwright and librettist Marjorie Chan. Best known for her epic dramas focusing on Chinese history, including; China Doll, A Nanking Winter, and The Madness of the Square, Marjorie is also the Artistic Director of Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille - Canada’s original alternative theatre. We talk about her practice and process and how she balances artistic leadership with a prolific writing career.

    Words of Wisdom

    Marjorie Chan on making time to write... "I think it comes to the urgency of the stories I want to tell. When I feel that urgency, whether that’s because a story is timely to me, or it has an emotional urgency... I figure out a way to move it forward and tell it. I always advise when I talk to writers… if you’ve carved yourself out forty minutes, then make sure for those forty minutes you’re at the very least thinking about your work. You might be researching and not actively putting words on a page, but that’s the time you’ve given yourself, so you better take it".

    Conversation Highlights & Links

    • [03:03] Welcoming back audiences and online offerings
    • [05:40] Juggling a writing life and artistic leadership
    • [09:55] Finding the right space to write
    • [13:12] Epic stories and how to tackle them
    • [17:35] Finding the form of A Nanking Winter
    • [20:15] Reimaging Cao Yu's Sunrise
    • [24:50] China Doll - from China to Canada... and back again
    • [34:17] Making opera accessible with M'dea Undone
    • [37:27] What on earth is a 'cell phone play'?
    • [40:41] Audience Accessibility at Toronto's 'theatre beyond walls' 

    Connect with Marjorie

    Connect with Paul

    Next time...

    I talk to Gary Goldstein, a successful screenwriter and playwright, celebrating the publication of his debut novel. Gary Goldstein. Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E4 - 53m - Nov 23, 2021
  • Broadway Bound with Douglas Lyons

    In this episode, I chat to Douglas Lyons - the playwright behind Broadway's newest comedy, Chicken & Biscuits - and notably, one of seven Black writers whose names have just been etched in the history books of American theatre. Douglas is one half of the sensational musical theatre writing partnership, Lyons & Pakchar - creators of Beau: The Musical.

    Words of Wisdom

    Douglas Lyons on the writer's potential to gift joy to an audience... "On stage during closing, I broke down. I cried openly in front of strangers... because there was a different version of power in the theatre, and I had only felt it [before] as an actor. But there's a power in the pen if we use it with intention".

    Conversation Highlights & Links

    • [04:58] Getting the words on the page - writing spaces and inspiration
    • [09:25] The journey to Broadway for Chicken & Biscuits
    • [21:58] Beau: the making of a future-hit musical
    • [26:29] Championing the next wave of black voices on American stages
    • [30:28] Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical

    Connect with Douglas

    Connect with Paul

    Next time...

    I talk to playwright, librettist and Artistic Director of Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille, Marjorie Chan. Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

    Support the show!

    This podcast is fuelled by coffee. If you'd like to support the show, please send some writing juice via the link below.

    Want to advertise or sponsor the show?

    Click here to get in touch



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-writers-toolkit/donations
    S1E3 - 41m - Nov 9, 2021
Audio Player Image
The Writer's Toolkit
Loading...