Kevin has twice been awarded the Olwen Wymark Award by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain for his support of other writers.
He has spoken at the Canadian Dramaturg Society at their AGM and helped hundreds of dramatists, prose writers and poets put the right words in the right places.
He offers a wide package of support to writers including:
- One-off readings (which will include at least three readings of the text, video feedback, followed by written notes)
- Whole project readings (many readings, many meetings, supporting writers from early stages to completion)
- Mentorship (regular meetings - online or real – to talk about whatever is required. It might include dramaturgy on a script, support with getting work on/published, conversations about writer priorities or work/life balance. This is clear, friendly, organic, long-term support.
Prices on request.
I have worked with Kevin as an actor, a writer, a director and as a dramaturg. I think this has helped him develop an extraordinarily depth in his ability to understand the craft of telling stories. He is also a natural educator and is always curious to tease out the ambition of others.
Kevin knows how to get to the heart of things. He has an uncanny ability to quietly ask the right questions at the right moment, to win the confidence of those around him and to always be mindful of a play's audience.
Kevin is funny and clever and kind. He wants the people around him to be the best version of themselves that they can be and cares about the world. He is also very, very human and knows the value of making tea, listening and connecting to the world.
Kevin worked with us as a dramaturg on a play about a man that sang into the rain in a country in which they trampled the bodies of their loved ones into the marsh. We knew, in the middle of the script, was a poetic, moving, human story from a writer more used to writing poetry and travel reviews. And we found it because the writer trusted Kevin to work with him on shaping, editing and reframing his ideas to create Brave Folk. A production that found its audience and toured nationally twice.
Director Farnham Maltings, House & Caravan
I have a tendency to be attracted to writing about the more niche ends of geek culture, and Kevin is especially talented at finding the universal human condition within whatever sci-fi nerdiness I am currently obsessed with, and unravelling multiple ways in which audiences can find meaningful connections with my art without having even the vaguest knowledge or interest in the actual subject matter. It is always about the story, the characters, the feelings, and the truth. Kevin has worked with me now on half a dozen different, unconnected projects, as either Director, Dramaturg or Mentor. Kevin is kind, clear with his communication, focussed, and excellent at creating fantastic, immersive work. He is brilliant with language, using words economically and powerfully, at emotive but naturalist dialogue, and moving stories forward. As hard as Kevin pushes me to make the best stuff I can, the experience is always massively enjoyable. Creating with Kevin is huge fun, and a time I always eagerly anticipate us sharing.
As a mentor, Kevin is generous and challenging. His mentoring is intuitive and responsive. He somehow knows when I need an extra push, a bit of encouragement, or both. There is a feeling of being seen and held. From it, I feel I can launch myself further than I've been able to before I met Kevin—I take more risks in my writing and in sending my work out, my ideas are flourishing more boldly and wildly, my writing feels boundless. No idea is dismissed as unachievable or silly—during our brainstorms, Kevin questions the idea in a way that lets me see the project from a different perspective, which is invaluable. He's also full of industry savvy and points me to people and companies that might be doing what I want to do.
As a dramaturg, Kevin is both relentless and encouraging. He helps me unearth the layers of the play that I'm not even aware of, to make connections between what I'm writing in one project with another project or with another creative work out in the world. He's open to non-traditional play structures, experimental works, physical and visual theatre. He's always keen to read the plays I'm interested in and helping me understand what about that play struck a chord. I find this sort of critical thinking rather a challenge so Kevin's help on this is amazing.
In a recent digital writer-in-residence for Writing on the Wall (the international writer-support organisation based in Liverpool, UK) Kevin carried out over 30 one-to-one sessions with writers. This is the unexpurgated feedback:
- The one-to-one session was an amazing opportunity to discuss my work and hear from a leading industry expert on how to proceed, and the opportunities and pitfalls. I can't wait to attend all the other sessions in this series. I am very grateful to Kevin and WoW for the chance to attend this course.
- The 1-2-1 session gave me a new insight into a piece of work that I have been stuck on. Kevin asked the right questions to help me become unstuck and find my story, The session was just the right length. Events like these are really important, to keep playwrights motivated and advance their skills in new forms.
- It was a fantastic session with Kevin - I really appreciated the time that he had spent beforehand reading my submission in order to discuss my work with me and provide such useful insight and feedback.
- Interesting and practical feedback from Kevin who was very knowledgeable and easy to chat with.
- Kevin was excellent. He provided constructive feedback and great encouragement for my work. It has been reassuring and really supportive to be able to access this level of feedback.
- Brilliant and super helpful. Looking forward to the other events with Kevin.
- Kevin provided wonderful feedback. A good sprinkling of praise but lots of aspects I can work on too. It was a pleasure to spend 40- minutes in his company.
- Great to be able to get some feedback on a short script and have a one to one with a respected writer.
- Wonderful session, so useful!
- This was a great focused 1 2 1 following on from Kevin's workshops/events I'd attended. I'd adopted just about every tip I could and written as much as I as able to as a first bash. The 1 2 1 addressed some important questions re: further progression. What may need to be avoided, what more is required etc. etc. Really informative, stimulating and hopefully the boost required to move forward onto the next stage. I'm really getting a lot out of this residency.
- I still can't believe how lucky I was to get a one-to-one with Kevin! He kindly read my piece and gave me advice not just on that scene but also overall advice on the rest of the play I had in my head. He made me realise what was missing, what could be removed and how to come to a more solid play in terms of plot and how to avoid exposition. It was so good; I took tons of notes! Thanks again to all at Wow and to Kevin.
When writing 'After Rain' for Theatre Factory, Kevin was my writing mentor through the whole process. Kevin consistently proposed the right questions and completely change my approach to writing the piece, and writing in general, allowing me to reach depths and complexities with the story that would have gone unexplored beforehand. I could not have created 'After Rain' without Kevin's assistance.
Also, thinking about where 'After Rain' was in the first few drafts and where it ended up, it's crazy.
It can be an act of courage giving your play to a dramaturg, but with Kevin I do so every time with confidence. I know I'll receive constructive and insightful comments coming from Kevin's vast experience and expert understanding of the playwriting process. He gives clear and detailed feedback and is extremely approachable.
Late in 2019 I was introduced to Kevin as someone who could potentially take a collection of verse and spoken word that I had written,and turn it into a theatre production. The collection was called ‘The Price of Land’ and with Arts Council support it toured the North of England in early 2020.
When I met Kevin I know that he recognised just how sparse my knowledge of theatre convention and process was. He kept me closely involved throughout the development of ‘The Price of Land’, making changes to the developing script and offering background content information to inform how it was growing from the page. In doing this he provided me with a priceless education in how theatre is made and the roles and relationships that are vital to its success. As a mentor he is nothing short of exemplary.
The key word I would use in describing how Kevin works is respectful. He never veered from an approach that treated me, my script, the actors and everybody else who was involved in the development and subsequent tour, with total respect. This made the rehearsal environment one of joy and creative endeavour, so that any problems were quickly addressed and a work-through found. I am deeply grateful to Kevin for making my first experience of making theatre one of massive learning and great pride.
Geoff Cox - Writer and Co-Producer of “The Price of Land” 2019-2020
For the last 12 months I have struggled to write a full play. The ideas are there but getting it down on paper in a coherent and entertaining way has alluded me. I've had so many false starts and foolishly submitted versions for competitions which understandably have been rejected so to have a 121 session with an experienced playwright is exactly what I needed. I mistakenly sent the latest full draft to Kevin (not the first 10 pages as requested) ahead of the 121 session and he generously read the whole play. As a result, I was fortunate to have a conversation with someone who had carefully read this piece and could offer insights and suggestions that unlocked the creative process and allowed me to see the play clearly for the first time in months. It was a great opportunity to really drill into the burning questions of the piece and to find out what I didn't know about it. I've had a real lack of confidence in my writing for a long time and the pile of rejections has bolstered this, so it's a wonderful moment when a peer, someone you respect and can take constructive criticism from, tells you that you are a playwright by highlighting all the positive elements of the piece and how it works as a play. I'm now working on the next draft, feeling positive and enjoying the redrafting process. Kevin's approach is professional and friendly, and writers from every stage of their career will benefit from his experience and support.
Kevin was a brilliant playwriting mentor for me, as he really worked with me on my own terms to help me create the play I wanted to make. I worked with him on the development of 'A Different Tune', a community play that toured around the Lake District with the Brewery Arts Centre. He really listened to me and the ideas that I had and helped craft them into a full-length play. He suggested exercises I could use, gave me pointers and was always there for a supportive and constructive chat. Without his guidance, I definitely wouldn't have been able to write the play!
Elis Shotton. Playwright.