English Literature

Staff Expertise

The MSc Playwriting draws upon leading European professional theatre artists and the outstanding research and teaching strengths of the Department of English Literature.

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Nicola McCartney

Originally from Belfast, Nicola McCartney is an award-winning writer and director and dramaturge, based in Scotland.

A graduate of Glasgow University, she was Artistic Director of Glasgow-based new writing theatre company, lookOUT from 1992 to 2002.

Nicola’s plays include:

  • Heritage
  • Lifeboat
  • Standing Wave
  • Easy

Nicola has worked as a dramaturge for a range of companies including Vanishing Point and the Edinburgh International Festival 2005.

She has had a range of residencies, both academic and community based, and is one of the Associate Playwrights of the new Playwrights Studio Scotland.

She was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award 2003 to work on her first novel entitled Ice Angel, and also works in radio, TV and film.

She is currently under commission to, among others:

  • National Theatre of Scotland
  • Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
  • Abbey Theatre, Dublin

In 2012 there will be two Artists in Residence, sponsored by the National Theatre Foundation, with whom students will have the opportunity to work:

Elizabeth Maclennan

Elizabeth Maclennan is a Glasgow-born Scottish actress and radical popular theatre practitioner.

She helped to found 7:84 Theatre Company in 1971 and 7:84 Scotland in 1973, and performed in plays with 7:84 throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in such classics of British popular theatre as:

  • The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil (1973)
  • Trees in the Wind
  • Men Should Weep

In 1990, she published an account of her time with the company, entitled The Moon Belongs to Everyone, in which she calls the late John McGrath her "major 'influence' and life partner".

John Wright

John Wright is an international director of theatre and is a co-founder and an artistic director of Told by an Idiot where he has directed most of their repertoire, including:

  • Aladdin at the Lyric Theatre
  • I Can’t Wake Up
  • On the Verge of Exploding (nominated for the independent award)
  • Don’t Laugh It’s My Life
  • I’m So Big
  • Happy Birthday Mr Deka D

In 1980 he was also co-founder of Trestle Theatre Company, where he co-directed most of their repertoire until 1992.

John has received the following awards:

  • Greater London Award for his contribution to physical theatre
  • The Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh festival for ‘Aesop’
  • The Time Out Theatre Award for 'The Edge'
  • The Guardian Award and the Sunday Times Award for 'She'll be Coming Round the Mountain'