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North West Playwrights Archive

Date range: 1982-present

Medium: Archive

North West Playwrights was 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 offered writers a free script-reading service, and held a rolling programme of workshops which helped writers to develop their scripts with professional directors, actors and dramatists. It also operated award schemes to enable theatre companies to work with writers. In 1988 NWP won the Horniman Award for Outstanding Services to Theatre. NWP closed in 2015 as a result of Arts Council funding cuts.

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;
  • Copies of NWP’s bi-monthly magazine, The Lowdown.

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

Further information:

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Box list of later accessions available via Special Collections Reading Rooms.


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