Saturday 8 May to Saturday 15 May 2021
Scriptwriting with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have written some of Britain's classic television comedies, including, Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. They have also written award-winning theatre and radio plays, as well as film scripts and hit musicals.They are currently engaged in writing a series, with Michael Dobbs, (the creator of House of Cards) on Winston Churchill’s secret and mysterious wartime valet!
The comedy duo’s career began in the late 1970s and early 1980s and quickly went from strength to strength. This was because Maurice and Laurence were taught by the best: Barry Took (Round the Horne), Ray Galton and Alan Simpson (Hancock's Half Hour, Steptoe and Son), Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Likely Lads, Porridge), and later the inestimable Sir Alan Ayckbourn, whose credits are too numerous to list.
After their first four British top-five TV hit shows, Laurence and Maurice were lured to Hollywood where they were signed to write hit shows for Paramount Studios, from where they went on to win an esteemed Emmy award. So much was learnt working in the Hollywood studio system – much that will be passed on to students on their Watermill course – that when Maurice and Laurence returned to the UK they were elevated from jobbing writers to 'industry experts' and helped advise the route that ‘Light Entertainment’ would take over the next 20 years.
Laurence and Maurice formed one of the very first independent television production companies – ALOMO Productions -- creating and writing ten hit shows for the production company. They were the first to bring to UK television the idea and practice of team-writing. Many of the writers on one of their numerous shows went on to become successes in their own right, forging proud careers of their own.
After 22 years of endless TV hit comedies and dramas, Laurence and Maurice felt the time was right to change direction and concentrate on the stage. Since 2005 they have had three hit stage plays and, much to their amazement, three hit stage musicals. They are currently about to embark on a brand-new stage musical, and their TV series Goodnight Sweetheart is to become a stage musical early 2020. That year, when they will celebrate their 40th anniversary as professional screenwriters, will also see a new television comedy for Sky.
You can find out more about Laurence and Maurice on their website www.marksandgran.com
Contents of the course
Laurence and Maurice’s week-long course will show you how to craft your work from your original idea through structure, character, plot and finally script.
They will lead you slowly through what makes classic television comedy, using one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions, and most enlightening of all, studying, deconstructing and analysing films and TV series that have become 'classics'.
While the course will focus on script writing, the insights into structure, plotting, characterisation, dialogue etc. are applicable to any genre.