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Rep's writer in residence returns to school

20 March 2013

The Birmingham Rep's new writer in residence returned to King Edward's in March to talk to current pupils about writing and developing scripts.

Robin French (1997), has recently been announced as the Birmingham Rep's writer in residence. His first project for the Rep was an adaption of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, renamed Heather Gardner Robin's version was set in 1960's Edgbaston, and was performed at the Old Rep in March 2013.

Pupils enjoyed a workshop with Robin where they discussed how to approach taking an original play and developing it for a modern audience, and also had the opportunity to ask the writer questions about his career and the industry.

On returning to King Edward's, Robin said: "It's great to be back in Birmingham and indeed back at school, I've got a lot of happy memories from my time here. I first started writing on the school newspaper, so it feels like I've come full circle moving back to Birmingham, only now I'm writing for the Birmingham Rep."

Hannah Proops, Assistant Director of Drama, who organised the visit said: "It's wonderful to welcome Robin back to King Edward's and to Birmingham. Today has been a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn and get advice from someone who is very current in the industry.

"There's a huge amount of creative talent in Birmingham but as a city it does not get the recognition it deserves. Hopefully, with the Midlands being used as a location for programmes, such as Cuckoo, and the Rep employing exciting writers like Robin, it will put Birmingham back on the map."

Robin's love of writing started at school where he wrote for the satirical school newspaper, The Idler. He then went on to Cambridge University where he was active in the Cambridge Footlights and won two play-writing competitions. Since then he has achieved numerous success with plays for the Royal Court, where he is currently under commission, and film and television sitcoms co-written with fellow Old Edwardian Kieron Quirke (1997) including Trinity and the recent BBC3 series Cuckoo.