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Charlotte Keatley


Charlotte is best known for her award-winning play My Mother Said I Never Should which is now the most widely performed play ever written by a woman.

Charlotte is based in Manchester and from time-to-time works for NWP as a freelance director/dramaturg/course-leader.

‘NWP offered me a workshop for My Mother Said I Never Should in 1986 which brought me together with the actors and director (Brigid Larmour) who made the first production in 1987 at Contact Theatre. Since then the play has been staged at the Royal Court Theatre, all over the UK in repertory and amateur productions, and translated into 23 languages. It's a set text in schools too. It won the George Devine Award, the MEN Best New Play 1987, and in 2000 was named by the National Theatre as one of the Significant Plays of the Twentieth Century, alongside Miller and Pinter.

My Mother Said I Never Should was initially rejected by every "Royal" theatre in the UK, and many others; not by NWP. Thank you !

'What matters most and has ever since to me, is to create that workshop situation to bring a draft play into focus, to question and try it out with actors and director. That's what I do for my plays, and what I do for other writers' new plays in NWP workshops now - we learn most by trying out a play being in a rehearsal room in action. Never let anyone tell you your play doesn't work until you've tried that. We have lots of theatres in the UK who read drafts, but workshops such as those NWP run are rare. And in the NW we have a great pool of actors who are your best friends if you want to learn about playwriting.

'I have since written radio, film, television and theatre plays, directed, won other awards - and as a single parent, brought up my daughter over the past 12 years. My newest play All The Daughters Of War is an epic play commissioned by the RSC about civil war in contemporary Georgia, which I workshopped at RADA and the National Theatre studio. I'm just starting two new stage plays and a comedy series.'

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