Twenty-five years after of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a collaborative project between award-winning dramatist Peter Arnott, Prof. Laura Bradley of the University of Edinburgh, and ex-BBC filmmaker Susan Kemp set out to explore the issues surrounding censorship and East German theatre.

Peter used Laura’s research to create a play entitled ENSEMBLE, and Susan made a documentary film about the development of the script and process of taking it to an audience.

You can read extracts from Peter’s script and view photos of the Scottish tour here.  Susan’s film, WRITING ENSEMBLE, premiered at the Glasgow Film Theatre in 2017 and has since been screened at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Leeds Picturehouse. The next screening will be  at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on 18 November 2018, as part of the Being Human Festival.

View the trailer for WRITING ENSEMBLE here. If you are interested in arranging a screening, contact

The project was developed in collaboration with the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh.

Image : BArch Bild 183-85946-0003 / Christa Hochneder

Tales from the Archive

Why did the East German authorities try to keep censorship secret? What problems and opportunities did this create for writers and theatre practitioners? And what role did theatres play in the 1989 protests?

Secrets of censorship »

Theatre and the fall of the Wall»

About the Project

In just twelve months, we have created a new play and a film about East German theatre censorship.

The film, WRITING ENSEMBLE, will be premiered at the Glasgow Film Theatre, 6 pm, Wednesday 9 November.

About the project »

Playwright’s Blog

Peter Arnott kept a monthly blog as he engaged with the research and developed his play.

Read the blog


Christoph Hein, The Knights of the Round Table
dir. Klaus Dieter Kirst, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, 1989
Image courtesy of H.-L. Böhme