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Brian Woolland worked as a van driver, a farm hand, a wine merchant and a photographer; as a teacher in mainstream education and in a therapeutic community for maladjusted adolescents before becoming an Advisory Teacher for Drama.  

He then took up a post at the University of Reading, where he taught on BA (Ed). BA, MA degrees and on PGCE courses.  On the BA he taught on a wide range of courses, specialising in educational drama, theatre production, Early Modern theatre, and modern American theatre.

In 2005 he resigned his post as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television in order to focus on writing and working freelance.  

He is widely published as an author of educational and academic books, where his specialism is theatre of the early modern period.  He has also had considerable success as a playwright – with ten plays commissioned and produced by professional companies, and four of those published in book form.

A Terrible Madness premiered at the Helen McPherson Smith Theatre, Ballarat, Australia on 13th October 2011.

His most recently produced plays, When Nobody Returns and This Flesh is Mine were produced as part of the season of Plays of Love and War and  ran in repertory for three weeks in October / November 2016.  This Flesh is Mine usesThe Iliad as a starting point. It previewed in Ramallah, Palestine on 8th May 2014; and opened in Battersea, London, on 19th May.  The play was co-produced by London based Border Crossings and Ashtar Theatre of Ramallah, Palestine.  It was revived in Autumn 2016 and ran in repertory alongside When Nobody Returns at Acklam Market Theatre Bay off Portobello Road from 22nd October to 6th November. For full reviews see relevant pages on this website: When Nobody Returns and This Flesh is Mine.  

Brian regularly leads theatre workshops and teaches creative writing, but spends most of his time working as a writer, and theatre director.  His work on Ben Jonson and his publications in the field of educational drama have been highly acclaimed.  

He has written two novels, Dead in the Water (2010) and Tunnel Vision; and is currently working on a third, Ghosts Might Grieve, set in early seventeenth century London.

He jointly leads a series of 4-Day courses on the art of writing for theatre, WRITE THEATRE.

Brief Resumé


August 2005 to present
Self employed – writer, theatre director and educator

2003 – 2005
Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Drama, University of Reading

1985 – 2003   
Lecturer in Drama, University of Reading

1979 – 1985
Arts Centre Director, Fareham, Hampshire

1977 – 1985  
Advisory Drama Teacher Fareham and Gosport area of Hampshire


Double Tongue was commissioned by Border Crossings with an Arts Council of England New Writing Award.

Koestler Award for Stand or Fall

see relevant pages on this site

Brian Woolland's research productions have been cited and referred to in several books and journals including: Ben Jonson and Theatre, the Revels Plays edition of The Magnetic Lady and the Cambridge University Press Collected Works of Ben Jonson.

Conference papers have included Master Jonson meets Comrade Meyerhold for the American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR) CUNY, New York, November 2000.

Public Lectures include: Ben Jonson and the British Theatre Since 1900 for the Society for Theatre Research. April 2002.

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