What writers have inspired you?
I moved to Scotland when I was 26, as I was getting my first commissions for theatre and radio, so I was very inspired by the playwrights who I met and whose work I came across here. Playwrights like David Greig, Zinnie Harris, David Harrower, Linda McLean are constantly testing the boundaries of stage writing – what stories we can tell and the way in which we tell them. And amongst my own generation, playwrights like Rob Evans who writes extraordinary things for younger audiences, and Morna Pearson whose imagination is off the charts, are writers who I would cross oceans to see. I suppose I have a natural prejudice but I think that Scotland has some of the most exciting playwrights currently working today.

What do you look for in a piece of writing?
I love narrative and character, but without passion – which I would define as an urgency to speak – there’s no point. You have to know why you are writing and communicate that.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by another writer?
I was mentored by the playwright Richard Bean when I was starting out. He said let yourself be funny and write for actors. He’s a far funnier writer than I will ever be but I always look to find light and dark in my work. And actors are the people who deliver your play to the audience. Without them, it doesn’t work.

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Research Profile on PURE


Mr Oliver Emanuel

Oliver Emanuel was born in Kent, England. He studied English/Theatre Studies at the University of Leeds before going on to complete a MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2002. After that, he set up Silver Tongue Theatre with Daniel Bye and wrote five plays for the company which toured the UK and continental Europe. In 2006, Oliver was Writer-on-Attachment at the West Yorkshire Playhouse during which he wrote his first main stage play, Magpie Park (produced in 2007).He has written over thirty plays for stage and radio and his work has been seen across the world including in the USA, China and mainland Europe. Oliver’s play Dragon won Best Show for Children & Young People at UK Theatre Awards 2014. He has lived in Glasgow since then and has written for most of the major theatre companies in Scotland.


The Lost Things (2015)
(Take Me To…) The Necropolis (2015)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (2014)
Albion Street (2014)
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (2013)
Dragon (2013)
Titus (English version/2013)
The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish (adaptation/2013)
The Spare Room (2013)
End Of The World For One Night Only (2012)
Random Objects Flying Through The Air (2012)
The Other One (2012)
13 Minutes in Cairo (2012)
Spirit of Adventure (2012)
Ancient Greek (2011)
Henry & Ingrid (2011)
Songbirds (2011)
One Night in Iran (2011)
Everything (2010)
John (2010)
The Vanishing (adaptation/2010)
Elvis in Prestwick (2010)
Daniel & Mary (2009)
This Way Up (2009)
Ship of Shadows (2009)
Videotape (2009)
Flit (2008)
Man Across The Way (2007)
Magpie Park (2007)
Shiver (2006)
Bella & The Beautiful Knight (2005)
IZ (2003)