Shooting the prize-winning playwrights!

September 21, 2010

Newport Playgoers' five winning playwrights (left to right): Phil Mansell, Kevin Myers, Neil Chapman, David D Thomas and Mark Hardwidge

Some people believe all playwrights should be taken out and shot.

Which is just what we attempted to do with the winners of the play-writing competition organised by Newport Playgoers on the theme of golf. 

However, instead of a firing squad we used a camera, and to make life even trickier we shot them on a roundabout.

The reason? There were golf flags, bunkers and plenty of greenery to serve as a backdrop – courtesy of the forthcoming Ryder Cup. There were also passing cars and lamp-posts to contend with. Not to mention the fact that in terms of a good press photo there is precious little to link golf and writing.

So, armed with five writers, five golf clubs and a laptop we spent an hour on a sunny September Sunday striking a variety of golfing writer poses, the results of which can be seen here.

With the photos taken (by ace snapper Caroline), we retired to the Dragonfly for a pint and a lively chat. Most convivial!

The Hole In One Act Play Festival is at the Dolman Theatre from 12 – 16 October. For more information and to book tickets, phone (01633) 263670.  More information is available online at

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Crazy about Golf Course Turning up for Dramatic Photoshoot!

September 2, 2010
The 'Bunkered' photoshoot

Dave Lovatt, creator of the crazy golf course, is pictured (centre) with Playgoers Bruno Cook who plays ageing hippy Dylan in the play ‘Bunkered’ and Lauren Brown who was modelling for the photoshoot. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

When Newport Playgoers needed to take photos on a crazy golf course for a new play they are staging they were amazed to find one turn up, as if by magic, on their doorstep.

“It was unbelievably good luck,” said the play’s director, Caroline Drewett-Mansell.

“A brilliant crazy golf course was built on the riverbank for the Big Splash weekend. It was the perfect setting for the photoshoot to promote the new play ‘Bunkered’ which is part of  The Hole in One Act Play Festival we are staging in October. We spoke to the owner of the course and discovered he also works in the theatre in Bristol. He was very helpful and let us use his course for our photos.”

 “I was only too pleased to be of assistance,” said the course’s creator and owner Dave Lovatt. “This is the first time we’ve used our new crazy golf course and we’ve been amazed at how friendly, fun-loving and welcoming the people of Newport are. When I’m not building crazy golf courses I’m working in the theatre – and my production of ‘Carny Village’ is at the Riverfront on Saturday 4th September,” he added.

The crazy golf course is the setting for ‘Bunkered’ by Phil Mansell, one of four new one-act plays which will be premiered at the Dolman Theatre in October. The plays were the winners of a golf-themed play-writing competition organised by Playgoers and judged to be the best by Wales’s top playwright Frank Vickery.

The other new plays, which to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport, all take an innovative and unusual look at golf, are ‘Out of Bounds’ by Neil Chapman, a Pinter-esque look at the absurdities of life, Surviving the Century’, by Kevin Myers, which focuses on the planning of a golf club’s centenary celebrations, and  ‘Futagolf’, by Mark Hardwidge and David D. Thomas, about a couch potato who is given a free session on a virtual reality golf course.

See: Four New Plays Showcased at Dolman Theatre:

 The Hole In One Act Play Festival is at the Dolman Theatre from 12 – 16 October. For more information and to book tickets, phone (01633) 263670.  More information is available online at