Elinor Cook – Tutor
Tutor
Natasha Sutton-Williams – Guest Reader
Guest Reader
4th – 9th November 2019
Course Date

This course will cover initial idea, character, scenes and structure, dialogue. By the end of the week you should have a range of skills to help you forge your own approach to playwriting and be inspired to develop your theatrical voice.

Open to beginning writers as well as those with some experience.

  Tutor: Elinor Cook – Playwright

Elinor Cook is the winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2013 and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award 2018.

Her plays include Out of Love (Orange Tree Theatre, Paines Plough Roundabout); The Lady From The Sea (Donmar Warehouse); Pilgrims (HighTide, Theatr Clywd, Yard Theatre); Extra Yarn (Orange Tree Theatre); The Rehearsal (LAMDA); Ten Weeks (Paines Plough / Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama); The Boy Preference (NT Connections) and The Girls Guide To Saving The World (HighTide). She is currently under commission to Audible, Paines Plough and Fiery Angel and is developing an original idea for television with Sister Pictures.

She has taught playwrighting at Arvon, The Garsdale Retreat and as part of the National Theatre’s New Views Programme.

Guest, Wednesday evening: Natasha Sutton-Williams – Playwright/Performer/Singer

Natasha Sutton Williams is a playwright, composer and performer. Her work includes Dead Lucy at Southwark Playhouse, Brasserie Zedel, Waterloo East Theatre, Clown Sex at Arcola Theatre, Bunker Theatre, Angel Comedy Club, Freud The Musical at King’s Head Theatre, Space Theatre, Prone to Mischief at Old Red Lion Theatre, and I AM NOT SICK at the Pleasance. She is a graduate of the West End Criterion Theatre’s new writing programme. She is a member of the Soho Theatre’s Young Writers’ Alumni scheme and has been twice shortlisted for their Young Writers’ Award.

She performed as an actor-musician in Orpheus and Eurydice at the Old Vic Tunnels, London. She was lead singer in the Chaplin Songs Cabaret performed at the Berlin Silent Film Festival, which was also recorded for German radio. She was one of two singers for the National Theatre’s production of Women Beware Women.

She sings early jazz and musical theatre internationally and composes and performs the music for her plays.

Photo: Steve Ullathorne

PRICES Fee includes all day and evening tutored workshop sessions, readings, accommodation and full board (not including alcohol).

Single – En-suite room £790
Single – Shared bathroom £740
Shared Room (2 Beds) £690
Non-residential (inc. lunch and evening meal) £550

TO BOOK £150 deposit payable on booking by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, to secure place, balance due six weeks before start of course.
Please see Terms and Conditions.
INCLUDED
Accommodation Professional tutor and mid-week guests
All Meals Sheets & Towels
WHAT TO BRING
Boots/outdoor shoes/trainers suitable for walking on rough paths.
A waterproof jacket or coat.
Torch
Warm Clothes
Toiletries
Writing materials: your personal writing preference – laptop, paper, pens etc.
USB memory stick: for printing your work. (We do have air printing)
Musical instruments and drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc. (optional!)
Drawing/painting materials – sketchbook, pens, pencils, watercolours etc.
Cash: for books written by the tutors, alcohol, taxis or sundries. The nearest cash machine is in Hawes, seven miles away.
START TIME Please arrive between 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Monday 4th November 2019.
Tea and Cake 4.30pm
Introductory Workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm
END TIME After breakfast, 10:00am on Saturday 9th November 2019.
LOCATION The Garsdale Retreat, Clough View, Garsdale Head, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5PW
Nearest railway station: Garsdale, on the Leeds – Carlisle line.
For directions, see Find Us section on the Contact page.

Courses

The Garsdale Retreat provides an inspiring place to develop as a writer. Our courses offer opportunities for new, emerging and experienced writers. The tutors, all professional writers, lead workshops and also give one-to-one tutorials to help the individual student. In the remote and beautiful setting of The Yorkshire Dales, The Garsdale Retreat gives a wonderful opportunity to escape from the daily stresses of life and to draw inspiration from fellow students, tutors and the landscape itself.
All courses start on Monday afternoon, arrival time 3.00 – 5.00pm. On this first day, tea and cake are at 4.30pm followed by an introductory/ice-breaking workshop 5.45 – 6.45pm. Dinner is at 7.00pm. All courses end after breakfast on Saturday (10.00am).

Course Structure

Although there will be slight variations, according to the type of course (see below), students can generally expect the following outline:
8.00 – 9.00am: Breakfast
9.30 – 11.00am: First workshop – Students explore particular aspects of the chosen genre and take part in writing exercises to further their understanding and expertise. All students have opportunities to share their work with the tutor and fellow writers in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment in which individual work is respected and confidence developed.
11.00 – 11.30am: Coffee break
11.30am – 1.00pm: Second workshop
After lunch, participants are free to do whatever they like, such as: relax, go for walks, enjoy The Dales, draw, paint, read or work on individual writing projects.
4.30pm: Tea and cake
5.00 – 6.00pm: Third workshop
7.00pm: Dinner

All students have one individual tutorial of 30 minutes with the tutor in the course of the week which usually takes place at a mutually agreed time, usually in the afternoon.

Each evening, at about 8.30pm, there is an after-dinner event. The precise nature of this varies according to the type of course but participants can typically expect a tutor reading on Tuesday followed by a reading from a guest writer on the Wednesday evening. There is an informal activity on Thursday such as a student ‘open-mic’ night or word/literary game. On Friday, there is a reading of work produced during the week.

Poetry Course Anthology

An integral part of poetry courses is the production of an anthology of writing produced in the week. It is, of course, accepted that the writing is essentially work-in-progress. However, the aim of the anthology is to reflect a flavour of the work accomplished on the course and to provide participants with an attractive record of their time at Garsdale. The Retreat stores copies of anthologies in the library, providing pleasure and inspiration for future students.

Tutored Retreats

These follow the same basic structure as above except there is only one workshop in the morning and, depending on the size of the group, participants will have between two and four tutorials per week.

Untutored Retreats

The only formal structure of the week is determined by meal-times (see above), allowing participants to concentrate totally on their own writing. After dinner, participants in conjunction with the course director sometimes organise evening read-rounds of their work /open mics/music /word games. However, participation in such events is entirely voluntary and people are free to continue with their writing in the evenings if they prefer.

Play Writing - The Garsdale Retreat