Meet our New Writers Our 2023 MA Drama Writing students share their thoughts

Meet our New Writers

BRISTOL OLD VIC - WESTON STUDIO

Key Information
  • Dates Fri 30 Jun 2023 - Sat 01 Jul 2023
  • Location BRISTOL OLD VIC - WESTON STUDIO

Meet our 2023 Graduating Writers

On Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July, plays written by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s MA Drama Writing students will be taking to the stage at the New Writing Festival. Acting students from the School will perform 15-minute extracts from each of the full-length plays written by our eight graduating writers. It promises to be two thrilling days of theatre, with performances in genres ranging from rave theatre to dystopian future Britain.

Ahead of the Festival, we asked each of our writers to share their thoughts about what audiences can expect from their plays, and how their training at the School helped them bring these to life. Here’s what they had to say:


Hannah Hewer – writer of ‘Wish You Were Here’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. It’s an intimate story that allows you to really get connected with the characters, in all their messiness. I think there’s a real vulnerability to it, that and a strong sense of intrigue; things might not be as they seem. I’m sure lots of questions and theories will pop up along the way.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. The MA Drama Writing training at BOVTS has given me confidence to be experimental. Before coming to BOVTS, I had assumed I would have to write naturalistic plays to be a playwright, but my experience here has changed my view. The amount of support I received at BOVTS has been fabulous, and there’s a great culture in the writer’s room where we all want each other to succeed.


Max Kyte – writer of ‘A Bomb We Called Sam’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. Audiences should look forward to an explosion of heart, humour, and tension contained inside a story that asks you to search for the beauty hidden within everyday life.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. Across the year, the course has challenged me to consider theatre as its own unique medium for bringing stories to life, and how the malleability of stagecraft should be used to present original work in a dramatically invigorating way.


Hannah Ali Khan – writer of ‘THE FUTURE IS BEIGE’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. Audiences should look forward to the experience of exploring a new future society through a varied group of characters. It’s a whole different world, and yet the characters, dynamics and situations skate a little too close to our own.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. Being a part of the Drama Writing course at BOVTS gave me the opportunity to be in a supportive and creative space with other writers, directors and actors. This enabled me to take risks and to create a big play totally different to anything I had done before, knowing I had everyone’s full support behind me.


Nicole Darvill-Batten – writer of ‘Non Ducor’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. With characters who will make you instinctively sit up straight, ‘Non Ducor’ is a toxic love affair with craft. It will make you want to dance forever and never again; rock your bones, rupture your foundations, and ravage your perception of success.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. The collaborative culture at BOVTS has enabled me to safely mine my own experiences and explore every margin of my artistic voice. The dramaturgy support from staff and peers has been inspiring and I have thrived working synergistically with incredible artists across multiple disciplines.


Han Morgan (they/them) – writer of ‘DIRTY’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. ‘DIRTY’ blends an urgent theme with bold theatricality, I hope audiences will find it engaging, provoking, and surprisingly funny! The play mixes a world of wonder and imagination with harsh reality, which promises to be an exciting combination for audiences.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. ‘DIRTY’ is stylistically different from anything I’ve written before, and I credit my training for this. The exploration, experimentation, and support I’ve accessed at BOVTS has opened my writing up, and given me so many more techniques and ideas to work with.


Madeleine Farnhill (she/her) – writer of ‘Stag’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. Audiences can expect playful physicality undercut with a disquieting darkness, and subversive, powerful women commanding the story. Watch a talented ensemble morph from men to deer in a wild, mythological world where desire reigns.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. Training at BOVTS gave me the courage to write exactly what excites me artistically, as well as the tools to do so in an informed, exploratory way. Collaborating with directors and actors has breathed life into this idea and animated it into a bodily, unruly piece of theatre.


Mark Fenton – writer of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ is a real experience. The music immerses you in this world as you follow the characters on a euphoric, dreamlike night out. It’ll make you want to jump out of your seat and join the party onstage.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. This play wouldn’t be half of what it is without the profound wisdom of the MA Drama Writing course leader, the beautiful imagination of my director (and fellow BOVTS student), and the brilliant insight of the other seven writers – they’re a bunch of geniuses, and you can see that for yourself at this festival.


Eva Hudson – writer of ‘855-FOR-TRUTH’

Q. What can audiences look forward to most in your play?

A. Audiences can look forward to watching two worlds collide as Meredith and Isaac – a religious cult member and a young climate scientist – meet for the first time in the Utah woodland. Bug bites, pine needles, a jam jar and more than a little weirdness – 855 will make you laugh and think.

Q. How did BOVTS training enable you to bring this play to life?

A. The play has been shaped at every stage by collaborations with my amazing director (who is also an MA Drama Directing student), and our two wonderful actors, whose contributions have informed my rewrites. They know the characters as well as I do, and without them the story would not have the beating heart it does!


You can watch extracts from these plays at the Weston Studio of Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Book your tickets soon!

Graduate Sahir Mehta
As soon as I visited the School, I fell in love with the place. Perhaps it sounds a bit irrational, but sometimes you get a vibe - and you just know! BOVTS gave me all the tools I needed to prepare for a career as an actor. Sahir Mehta, MA Professional Acting, 2018