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About the Author

Stephen Jeffreys (1950-2018) was a British playwright and a key figure at the Royal Court Theatre, London, where he was Literary Associate for eleven years, then a member of its Council. His celebrated playwriting workshops have influenced many writers. Jeffreys' plays include The Libertine and I Just Stopped By to See the Man (Royal Court); Valued Friends and A Going Concern (Hampstead); Bugles at the Gates of Jalalabad (part of the Tricycle Theatre's Great Game season about Afghanistan); The Convicts' Opera (Out of Joint); Lost Land(starring John Malkovich, Steppenwolf, Chicago); The Art of War (Sydney Theatre Company) and A Jovial Crew(RSC). His adaptation of Dickens' Hard Times has been performed all over the world. He wrote the films The Libertine (starring Johnny Depp) and Diana (starring Naomi Watts). He co-authored the Beatles musical Backbeat which opened at the Citizens Theatre and went on to seasons in London's West End, Toronto and Los Angeles. He translated The Magic Flute for English National Opera in Simon McBurney's production. His plays are published by Nick Hern Books.


One of the UK's most respected teachers of writing for stage and screen... this book will undoubtedly benefit playwriting hopefuls for generations, with its plain speaking, common sense and accessibility' The Stage; 'An absolute treat, no matter where you consider yourself to be as a writer... a book to return to time and time again, to use as inspiration, to cherish and to gift to other lovers of plays' BritishTheatre.com; 'A masterfully adept and complete guide to not only finding what you want to write about, but also how to do it... each page has at least one piece of invaluable advice that can be taken away and built on... a love letter to theatre and the craft of writing for the stage' Broadway World; 'A detailed, valuable resource for aspiring playwrights and a fascinating read for anyone who loves drama and the theatre' Word Matters - Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama; 'Breaks the art of writing a play into accessible, digestible components without ever patronising the reader or dumbing down... very practical and immensely informative' Ink Pellet magazine; 'A gripping page-turner that will prove the perfect manual for anyone wishing to improve their playwriting skills... this highly readable and very entertaining book will enhance the enjoyment of general readers whenever they visit the theatre or even read playscripts at home. However, its target audience will be aspiring playwrights, who will learn a vast amount' British Theatre Guide

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