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North West Playwrights Archive

Date range: 1982 to present.

North West Playwrights is an independent organization, founded in 1982 as North West Playwrights Workshops, to develop and promote new writing for the theatre in the north west of England.

It offers writers a free script-reading service, and holds a rolling programme of workshops which allow writers to develop their scripts with professional directors, actors and dramatists. It also operates award schemes to enable theatre companies to work with writers.

In 1988 North West Playwrights won the Horniman Award for Outstanding Services to Theatre.

The archive of North West Playwrights, first deposited in the Library in 2001, is a major resource for studies of contemporary theatre and drama writing in the region.

It contains material reflecting the organization’s various activities including:

  • scripts, photographs and publicity material
  • administrative records, especially for the running of the workshops and the award schemes
  • extensive correspondence files
  • and copies of NWP’s bi-monthly magazine, The Lowdown

There is little material from the early years of the organization.

Funding for cataloguing the archive was provided by the Pilgrim Trust and the Society for Theatre Research.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue of original accession available online via ELGAR.
  • Box list of later accession.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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