OOB Final 30 Countdown – Keith Burton

It’s day five of our Final 30 countdown, and we’re happy to introduce Keith Burton!

Keith Burton is writer in residence at The Pateley Playhouse. He has had his plays performed at The Playhouse, Pateley Bridge and The Frazer Theatre, Knaresborough. He has written three award winning short plays: The Journey – Runner Up – Geoffrey Whitworth UK Playwriting Competition 2013; Predictive Text – Runner Up – Geoffrey Whitworth UK Playwriting Competition 2014; Selling Up – Semi-Finalist All England Theatre Festival 2015. Keith started writing plays in 2010 following a career as a Chief Education Officer.

1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

2010 following a career as a Chief Education Officer – see below

2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

On one of my last regular commutes by bus into work, a journey with normally the same people on board, two new people got on together. They were strikingly different as travelling companions and stood out from the regular commuters. I was fascinated by the young man who was loud and strangely excited about travelling into the City Centre. I spent the remainder of the journey wondering who they were and why they were travelling that day. The result was my first play: ‘The Journey’. It was originally intended for radio; but developed as a stage play.

3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Clever, varied, developing, quiet, imaginative.

4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

Matthew Graham and Peter Moffat.

5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I rarely read books.

6. What are some of your favorite plays?

PygmalionThe Taming of the ShrewAn Inspector CallsTalking HeadsBedroom Farce

7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

I have to date written six plays: two other short plays [Selling Up; and Predictive Text] and three full-length plays [Grounds for Divorce; The Better Part of Valour; and Who’d Have Thought It?]. The last full-length play will be performed this November. All my other work has been performed, mainly at the ‘The Playhouse’, Pateley Bridge where I live. Synopses can be found at www.keith-burton.uk and pictures and reviews can be found at www.pateleyplayhouse.co.uk. I have chosen to date not to publish any of my plays.


His play The Journey will be performed on August 12th at 6:30pm. A gripping, thought-provoking and moving story, ’The Journey’ is set on a bus as the lives and relationship of two characters, LAD and GRAN unfold. The nature of their journey, events on the bus and what ultimately happens at their destination unleash a force-field of emotions and reveal a deeply troubling conclusion.