The Wonderland Theatre Book Club is a lively Book Club for writers and artists who want to ignite their craft by reading important plays together.

Each fortnight we analyse the playwrighting and stagecraft of a great play from Ancient Greece to the Modern Stage. At the first Book Club we study 4-8 scenes together so as to identify what we can learn from this playwright for our own writing today. Then at the second Book Club of the fortnight, we share the short works we have written in response to this play with our peers. Every Bookclub series has a theme – for our fourth series it’s ‘Getting Romance!’

Led by Director, Dramaturg and Playwright Alice Coghlan and inspired by her twelve years as an Abbey Theatre Literary Reader, Wonderland Theatre Book Club meets a primary need for emerging artists – to hone and expand your understanding of your craft by studying important plays in the creative company of your peers.

Getting Romance

Getting romance will challenge the writer or creative artist to plot how two protagonists become unique and authentic individuals through love. This involves creating a community, heroes and heroines, a context, two desire lines, two or more spines, inner and outer characterisation, inner and outer opponents, highs and lows and much, much more. More than anything by getting romance you’ll be getting structure, getting characterisation and getting work. For what are we without love? And there’s a lot to love about love.

For more info please email

Feedback on Wonderland Theatre Book Clubs

I have attended a number of Alice’s courses (Techniques of Adaptation,  as well as her ongoing Wonderland Theatre Book Club). Alice is enthusiastic, professional and extremely generous in imparting her seemingly limitless knowledge of the  world of  theatre in a fun and interesting way. I would not have considered play writing without her expert advice and encouragement.  With the help of the Book Club I’ve completed my first draft of my Spanish Armada epic on which I have already engaged Alice to work as my Mentor. Thank you Alice!

Lesley-Ann Hogan Co Meath

The Wonderland Theatre Book Club has regularly been a highlight of my week. We read a wide range of plays, and I’ve loved the close analysis of the texts we do as a group. Alice’s practical reading of the texts has been invaluable to my craft, deepening my understanding of playwriting and theatre making. The exercises which Alice sets really challenge my writing skills and have spurred on whole new projects for me. The group is both supportive and creatively exciting; I couldn’t recommend it enough to other writers and artists.

Laura Morgan Belfast

The Wonderland Theatre Book Club has proven to be a huge help to me in my writing. The group is very inspirational and the material we look at is stimulating and informative. I have looked at so many aspects of our craft. This   is so important as ideas are nothing without a  good bedrock. Alice has years of theatre experience and thus she is a huge asset to us writers – enabling us to view playwrighting from the other side, the director and audience perspective.  The Club always has how to communicate effectively with an audience in mind. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough for anyone interested in working and writing in theatre.

Tara Maria Lovett Co Cavan.

Getting Romance: A Timetable

Tuesday January 11th

Metamorphoses and Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love)  by Ovid

Tuesday January 18th

Writer and artists’ share their creative responses to Ovid’s poetry and stories.

Tuesday January 25th

Two Noble Kinsman by William Shakespeare

in collaboration with John Fletcher.

Monday January 31st

Writer and artists’ share their creative responses to Two Noble Kinsmen

(If possible we’re meeting on a different day as Tuesday Feb 1st is Alice’s birthday.)

Tuesday 8th February

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Tuesday 15th February

Writer and artists’ share their creative responses to Romeo and Juliet


Tuesday 22nd February

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostaud

Tuesday 1st March

Writer and artists’ share their creative responses to Cyrano de Bergerac


Tuesday 8th March

Camille or La Dame aux Camilias  by Alexandre Dumas and today’s even better known operatic adaptation La Traviata by Verdi

Tuesday 15th March

Writers and artists’ share their creative responses to Camille


Tuesday 22nd March

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Tuesday 29th March

Writers and artists’ share their creative responses to A Doll’s House

Tuesday April 5th

Finale Day The splendid day when we share and celebrate all the ‘final drafts’ of our work over the course of this Bookclub.

Getting Romance 2: Twenty and Twentieth century

It is hoped that our quest for romance will continue after Easter with Bookclub 5 quite spoiled for choice with plays like these already on the longlist: Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill, The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, The House by Tom Murphy, The Homeplace by Brian Friel, Barefoot in the Park by Neill Simon, Porgy and Bess by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin and I Alice by Amy Conroy.