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You are here: Home > The Writer's Compass > Events & Opportunities > Events > Wonderland Theatre Book Club with Alice Coghlan - Go Round the World in Classic Plays!
Wonderland Theatre Book Club with Alice Coghlan - Go Round the World in Classic Plays!
Fri 20 Oct 2023 to Tue 29 Jul 2025
The Wonderland Theatre Book Club is a lively online Book Club for writers and artists who want to ignite their potential by reading important plays together. Every Tuesday fortnight, we share ‘Challenges’ we have written in response to the ‘prompt’ of this classic play.

Founded in 2021, by Director, Dramaturg and Playwright Alice Coghlan and inspired by her twelve years as a Literary Reader, at Ireland’s National Theatre the Abbey Theatre, our Book Club meets a primary need for emerging writers, theatre and film makers: to hone and expand our understanding of our craft by studying important plays in the creative company of our peers.

Every Tuesday during the school year, we meet online at 5-7.30pm GMT to analyse the stagecraft of a great play from around the world. At our first Book Club of the fortnight, we read and study key scenes so as to identify the craft we can apply to our own writing today. Then at the second Book Club of the fortnight, we share our 900 word ‘Challenges’ we have written in response to the ‘prompt’ of this play, and the techniques its playwright employs, with our peers.

Our Book Club is international with writers from California to Germany. Those of us based on the island of Ireland also love to meet up for theatre nights out together and to support one another in production.

In 2024 we are planning to produce regular ‘Challenge Nights’ where professional Irish actors will perform the best of our challenges in Belfast, Dublin or online.

For more information and the cost of joining the current Book Club, please email Alice Coghlan.

‘Around the World in Classic Plays’
Over 2023-2025, our theme is Around the World in Classic Plays. Yes it is time to investigate some of the greatest plays ever written. This Autumn in the spirit of Jules Verne we will set out from our islands eastwards to first explore Europe. Then we will move south to Africa for Winter 2024 before moving ever further east to India and the Far East. From here it’s Autumn in Oceania, winter 2025 in South America and Summer 2025 in Central and North America.

We have chosen these particular plays and playwrights as these plays are considered to be some of the most important plays ever written in that country. Very often they are in dialogue with our own traditions such as naturalism, Ancient Greek myth or the Elizabethan stage. This begs the question why, in turn, should we not be in dialogue with their mythology, masks, dance drama, philosophy, musical storytelling and aesthetics? How could our work evolve if we tried to tell one of our ideas in their way? What can we learn of their language, culture and history that could ignite brave new worlds in us? And what of their adaptations into opera, musical and film?

Our work is going to be exciting. Our curiosity endless. And as ever the craic will be mighty!

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