Session 4: “Writing dialogue”

The course looks at dialogue this session, experimenting with different ways of articulating a debate between two characters. We will:

- Discover why it’s important for a play to contain characters with conflicting ideas.
- Work out how to write conversations between characters where they really listen and respond to each other.
- Start writing dialogue.


The extracts of both Sing Yer Heart Out For the Lads by Roy Williams and Carpe Diem by Ella Thompson and Blurred Lines by Nick Payne and Carrie Cracknell that support this session’s topic are available to download, and you can also listen to the dialogue from the extracts being performed by actors.


Roy Williams and other playwrights discuss dialogue in this session’s film. They discuss the function it has in a play, and talk about the differences between the way real people speak and dialogue that’s written down.

WARNING: The materials of this course contain strong language and controversial subject matter which some may find offensive.

N.B. The views expressed in the recorded interviews are those of the playwrights only, and not of the National Theatre.

The audio recording of Sing Yer Heart Out For the Lads was performed by:
Nick Holder Alan
Simon Coombs Mark

© 2002 Roy Williams
Copyright Agent: Alan Brodie Representation Ltd
Reproduced with permission from Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

The audio recording of Carpe Diem was performed by:
Olivia Vinall Ai-shah
David Kirkbride Tyler/Jacob
Lyndsey Marshall Carry
Jonathan Bailey Joshua

© Ella Thompson, Carpe Diem

The audio recording of Blurred Lines was performed by:
Lorna Brown
Amy Griffiths
Antonia Kinlay

© Nick Payne & Carrie Cracknell 2014. All rights reserved.

Sing Yer Heart Out For the Lads by New Views

Sing Yer Heart Out For the Lads by New Views

Carpe Diem by New Views

Carpe Diem by New Views

Blurred Lines by New Views

Blurred Lines by New Views