These workshops are for all schools, colleges and community      groups and can be customised to meet your groups specific  needs.


 Workshop:  4 Plays and an Education pack – a playwrights journey into the community.

This workshop explores the journey one playwright took, in his on-going attempt to become established.  It would be of interest to students, teachers, beginning and emerging playwrights and delegates will receive a pack of materials. Alan will link  aspects of  his own playwriting experiences. Featuring key areas of community, funding, production and audiences, delegates have the opportunity to explore issues, read short script extracts, share their own experiences, and develop ideas for a new theatre piece.  

What they said about…

“I liked the robust but friendly exchange of views.”

            “I enjoyed the exercises, the open exchange, the challenge of being  required to respond”.     

“I enjoyed the five act structure. It was fun, useful and playful”

“I liked the play read-through, the discussion about the characters and their actions”              

“Would make a good short course, so people could discuss their drafts”

“I enjoyed the discussion, the exercises and the anecdotes”

“I enjoyed the lively discussion and writing exercises. It was fun”

                        “I liked the size of the class, the simple approach to the 5 – act structure and                       getting the chance to write. Thank you for an enjoyable two hours”

Workshop : Historical Drama or Dramatic History?  

This workshop explains how Alan represents history though playwriting, how he sees the role / responsibilities and challenges of staging his plays. It would be of interest to students, historians, theatre lovers and lovers of history.

    HLF: “A stage play is not heritage”.   You need to be attached to a bona – fide organisation.        

                                                  1066 and All That declared in their introduction…                                                      “History is not what you thought, it is what you can  remember.”

    Ray E. Scrubber, Indiana University: “historians with dramatic skills should find ways to write plays about historical subjects rather than leaving such tasks to dramatists who mainly use historical figures to attract attention to their plays.

Inspirations: Top Girls: Women writers. The History Boys: Meet Mr Irwin or is it Nelson?

     Pitmen Painters: From page to stage. 

Black Watch – A Soldiers Story: I wouldn’t have a done it like that.

Nowt Like This in America: The play is set in Eston and Redcar, just prior to the 1980 Steel

    Strike, and centres around Shop steward John Wilkinson. Slides provide a historical, national

     and chronological perspective, it is the story of a family, a community and an industry.

    Issues:  Why write the play? A surfeit of information. Professional feedback. Rehearsed  Reading. Out of its time. Bringing it into the ‘noughties’. Audience feedback. The Art of Steel.

The Boro’s 37 mins: Supporters feared the worst when the club gates are locked, while coping with work, school and relationships. Lisa wanted to start a family and when she fell pregnant, the Boro reached the ZDS Cup Final. Could things get any better?

    Issues: Zigger Zagger revisited.  A small but appreciative audience.  Why would anyone want to write a play about Midddlesbrough FC? Rhyming couplets tell the story. The link between club and community. The education pack.

What they said about…Nowt like this in America. 

I started at the steelworks at the time of the strike, and have worked there for 32 years. I loved it.   Office worker.

Just wanted to let you know how much Judith and I enjoyed last Wednesday. It really pulled at some memory strings and I can well recall how things were here in the shadow of BSC in the early part of my career.
Tony Salmon. Appleby, Hope and Mathews.

I loved the play, sensitively written and I could identify with the characters, I’ve been drinking with them in the Miners Arms in Eston.
Ellen Mulholland. Lecturer in Psychology. Teesside University.

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the play / was disturbed by the play / and touched by the play… the whole working class tradition collapsing round ma ears, my dad telling me to get down the works and me a punk rocker. Great stuff on the budget, time constraints and having to collaborate with so many people, no mean feat ever I guess!                                                                                                                               Craig Hornby. Film-maker. Pancrack TV.

We thought it was fantastic, it represented this area brilliantly, it was also very informative about the history of the steel industry not just in Teesside but within the country. Nabila and I thought the acting was good and it really did make us laugh out loud at some points and evoked emotion at other points.                                                                                                                                                                                               Claire McGarvey.  Neet Co-ordinator.  Middlesbrough F. C.

What they said about…The BORO’s 37 mins.

Get along to Middlesbrough College this evening (7pm kick off) if you possibly can for this emotional rollercoaster by Alan Spence. Nah! That is a cliche – this play is anything but a cliche – it is the wild and wonderful, frustrating and frightening Boro story. Sadness and heart break, ecstasy and agony on and off the field. From liquidation to Location, Location, Location. Pak Do Ik to Premier League. Parmos to Corus closure. Big screen highlights of some memorable football action. But also a gritty drama that is intertwined with the football but in a most unexpected and dramatic way. Karaoke in the Shakey was so funny. But the alienation of a dislocated family was no laughing matter at all. I saw at least one person dabbing away at tears in the audience. Get down to Middlesbrough College tonight – the theatre is through the main doors, town entrance. 7 pm kick off. I think it is £6 in. But it is amazing actually – knocked me out. If you can do get to see it. Definitely worth it.

Am going to hoof this again because it was just so good.

Rob Nicholls. fmttm website editor.

                                                                            “There is some swearing so they reckon not suitable for kids.”                                                         A bit like a football match then Rob?

Cleveleyssmoggie Posted on 17/07/2010 17:34 Boro’s 37 Minutes – See it tonight

Is it only tonight Rob. Would like to see this but I’m away until Wednesday.

asredastheycome Posted on 17/07/2010 17:37 Boro’s 37 Minutes – See it tonight

I can vouch for how good the play is too. Worthwhile for the video clips alone. A must for any boro fan. If you have given up your season ticket, watching this would have you rushing down to the ticket office.

caz_boro Posted on 17/07/2010 21:25 Boro’s 37 Minutes – See it tonight.