Due to a cancellation we have availability for a school group May 18-22nd 2020 – ideal for a post-SATS residential!

Writing for Performance – residential course for adults – Easter 2020

Writing for Performance

Residential course at Kench Hill, April 13th – 17th 2020
Tutor: Sara Clifford

How is a script constructed? What is the best way of telling your story? What is satisfying for an audience?
Sara will take you through the journey to write a ten minute complete play, or an extract from a longer play. Through a combination of exercises, workshop collaboration, critical analysis, peer learning and professional guidance, you will learn how to:
– Generate ideas for plays or to develop your existing idea.
– Create strong believable characters that have a life within the play.
– Create challenging ‘journeys’ for your characters.
– Make your idea theatrical and dramatic, how best to tell your story.
– Understand the dramaturgy of what you and others write ie how a play is constructed, from the dramatic to the post dramatic, from monologue to verbatim text.
– Develop an understanding of the scenography of a play, ie how it is put ‘on its feet’ and the collaborative nature of rehearsals.
– Develop your understanding of the interaction between play and audience.
– Understand the process of redrafting.

Sara will create a supportive and creative environment, and ensure you receive the maximum benefit whether you are an experienced writer or new to script writing.

We will combine reading extracts from existing dramatic texts with practical workshops and guided writing sessions, to nurture your understanding of the playwright’s craft in order to produce your own new work.
Alongside the group tuition, she will also offer each participant a one to one tutorial about their work.
By the end of the course, you will have a strong script or extract ready to be shared in a script in hand reading. You will have gained confidence in developing ideas for a play, and an understanding of character, journey, dramaturgy, scenography and editing.

For those with little or no experience who would like a structured introduction to the subject and support in developing a short script

Sara Clifford originally studied English, and has an MA in Screenwriting. She has been a script reader/dramaturg for over twenty years, and teaches writing for performance at Goldsmiths, Central School of Speech and Drama and Brighton University. Sara has written over thirty plays; was finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award; and Writer in Residence at Brighton University.
In 2019, she was in receipt of Arts Council funding to write a new play, Flo’s Gals; and was Writer in Residence for the Inn Crowd project for the South Downs National Park (
More information at:

Feedback from the 2019 retreat:
What an absolutely amazing and inspirational tutor, Sara, a great listener, entertainer and a compassionate being. Can’t believe I started writing a play of a subject so close to my heart. Thank you Sara.
It was indeed a great course and a lovely few days, I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s company. Also loved staying at Kench Hill and going on those outings.
The amazing creativity and the plays we each wrote at first reading in Kench Hill 2019.

Kench Hill Retreat Timetable
Monday 13th April * please note this is Easter Monday*
Arrive in the afternoon. Supper together
Evening – First session, bringing the group together and initial writing exercises
Tuesday 14th April – Wednesday 16th April
10 – 1pm Group writing tuition
1pm lunch
2- 6pm free – writing and leisure time (writing exercises will be set)
6- 7.30 approximately – tutorials ( 30 minutes per person) – plus one extra tutorial one night for the 10th person
7.30 Supper
Thursday 17th April
10 – 1pm – read through of 10 minute scripts and extracts, group feedback
1pm lunch
From 2pm – departure

· £350 all inclusive of shared accommodation and all catered meals for up to 10 participants
· Deposit of £100 to secure a place, to be paid as soon as possible but not later than January 31st 2020
· Balance of £250 to be paid by 31st March 2020
Bank details for BACS: Sort code: 40 06 27 Account number: 61135708
Sara Clifford E: T: 07759 287768

Kench Hill Writing Course 2020 flyer


See our new School visits video

Thank you to Hackney Council’s Communications and Media team who created this new video highlighting our work with school groups.

Trustees required

We are seeking dynamic Trustees to join our dedicated Board, to take Kench Hill Charity into the next stage of growth. Are you passionate about the value of outdoor learning and the benefits of nature for health and well-being, especially for children and young people from areas of urban deprivation? Can you bring skills to sustainably develop this small, but thriving Centre? We are looking for individuals with particular experience in marketing, fundraising, property and business management.  Can be local or London-based. Meetings currently held quarterly at Kench Hill or in Hackney. Contact for further information.

Country Adventures Short Breaks 2020 -Mini-holidays for special children & their families!

NEW DATES 2020: March 6-8th; May 26-28th (Half-Term); August 14-16th 

Register for our popular Country Adventures Short Breaks.  Aged 5+, particularly Autism. Siblings and carers welcome too. The final programme is chosen with the participants. Hackney families registered with Short Breaks can use Individual Budgets to fund the trips.  Support is given with transport to Kench Hill from London. From £50 per child inclusive of catering, accommodation and activities for 2 nights. Register your interest with us so we can let you know the next dates available.Email your details to

Happy Birthday Kench Hill!

Kench Hill Centre has now been operating as a residential education facility with Hackney schools for 40 years!
We celebrated our birthday with staff from Benthal Primary School during their INSET Away day.

Collect and Connect to Nature with Tesco Bag for Help

£4 000 was raised at Tesco’s Tenterden Store for the continuation of our Collect & Connect to Nature project for local schools. The money has funded a series of day visits for all classes at Tenterden Infant and Junior Schools.

Wittersham CE Primary Reception class dig for worms



Kitchen garden


Our fun activities

millfields_largeWhatever the weather, a week at Kench Hill is packed with things to do and memorable experiences.  Bring the curriculum to life with engaging, practical lessons that stimulate real learning.  A country walk becomes a great adventure, while team games such as orienteering foster personal development.