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The Old Red Lion Theatre Literary Department was re-launched in January 2016.

We’re always on the hunt for new voices and new plays that grab us by the collar and make us look afresh at the world we live in.

In the past, the ORL has presented new plays by, among others, Kathy Burke, Joe Penhall, Penelope Skinner, Nina Raine, Abi Morgan, Tim Foley, Simon Longman and John O’Donovan.

Now we want to add your name to the list.

If you’re a writer with a new play that you think should be seen at the ORL then get in touch with the Literary Department.



2018 submission announcement coming soon ...


What interests us?

We’re interested in writers who fully engage with the possibilities of live theatre and who thrive off collaboration.

We’re interested in plays that dig deeper than the trivialities of modern life and connect us to individuals and worlds that we’ve not encountered before.

We’re interested in supporting the production of new work that will embrace the intimacy and intensity of the Old Red Lion space and do something new with it.


What happens to your play?

Your play will be read by an experienced literary team made up of Playwrights, Directors, Actors, Designers, Casting Directors and Dramaturgs, all of whom are currently making the kind of work that excites us at the ORL. Your play will be discussed at our monthly script meeting where we consider everything thoroughly for future opportunities at the theatre.


What can we offer?

We present monthly script readings, provide seed-commissions for specific projects and, at least once a year, present a production or co-production of our own. We want to see work on stage more than we want to see it on the page. If we can help realise this, then we will do everything we can to support and nurture your work.

We do not receive any regular private or public subsidy. It is worth bearing that in mind when approaching us. But we do have an enviable track-record of matching scripts we adore to people who can help realise them on our stage and beyond. We have exhaustive contacts both in London and regionally and an honest love for game-changing new work.

How should you submit your play?

If you think the Old Red Lion is the right place for your play then get in touch with the Literary Department. We only accept submissions via email. You can reach us at .

We aim to respond to writers within 3 months of their original submission, however, we do not have the resources to provide detailed feedback and/or dramaturgy for all submissions made to the ORL.

When sending us a play please make sure to include the following details:

  • Your name.
  • A contact telephone number.
  • Your email address.
  • Your agent’s details (if applicable).
  • The script in .pdf format. Word documents are also accepted but your script will not be read if it is not in one of these two formats.
  •  A title page and page numbers in the script.
  • Information about whether the production is attached to a Producer/Director and if it has any funding yet.

Please also note:

  • Unfortunately, and it is unfortunate, we’re not able to accept plays from writers based outside of the UK and Ireland.
  • We do not accept scripts written for television, film or radio, treatments or incomplete works, short plays under 45 minutes duration, musicals, plays not in the English Language or scripts that have already been read by the Literary Department.
  • We can’t meet with writers prospectively - we need to read some work first and will approach you for a meeting if we’re interested in developing a relationship.
  • We cannot accept more than two examples of a writer’s work.
  • New drafts and/or amendments cannot be accepted once the literary team is considering a play.
  • We’re looking for new plays. We can’t accept scripts that have already had a production run of a week or longer.
  • If you’re a theatre-maker looking to revive something with a demonstrable history of performance or to mount a new translation or a new project that is being created without a pre-written script then have a look at our Production Proposals page and get in touch.

We look forward to reading your work!

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