Drama as Ex-Cop Becomes a Criminal!

Former policeman Bob Brown plays retired villain Ray who argues with his old partner-in-crime from 1960s London, Michael, played by Will Smith-Haddon.

A former policeman has gone crooked to become a murderous gangster in the latest production from Newport Playgoers Society.

 Bob Brown plays ruthless killer Ray, one of two 1960s villains who try to retire to the Costa Del Crime, in ‘Going Straight’ by Richard Harris, which is at the Dolman Theatre from 15th to 19th February.

“It’s a real challenge playing a crook who is perversely proud of his criminal past in 1960s gangland London,” said 55-year-old Bob, who was in the police force for 30 years before retiring.

 “I’ve done a lot of musicals with various local societies over the years – so many that I was nick-named ‘The Singing Detective’! I joined Playgoers to try my hand at more straight drama. Playing villains is always more interesting. Having been the good guy in real life, when I was on the beat in Caldicot, Cwmbran and Monmouthshire, it’s nice to play the part of a crook and experience life on the dark side!”

The past comes back to haunt former villain Ray (Bob Brown) when he visits a villa on the Costa del Crime with his wife Brenda (Clare Drewett) (Photo: Phil Mansell)

In ‘Going Straight’, Bob’s character takes his wife to visit his old partner-in-crime who is living in style in his luxury villa in Spain. Their trip coincides with a visit from a TV researcher who is making a film about the1960s underworld. Her questions puts a strain on the gangsters’ friendship as the past comes back to haunt them.

 The play’s director, Catherine Cook, said, “This is a very taut, and often funny drama with a real air of tension and suspense. It will offer audiences an opportunity to work out the twisting plot and guess the outcome. As it is about tough London gangsters I should point out that it contains some strong language as well as flash lighting and gunshots.”

 The Mayor of Newport, Councillor Bill Langsford, has shown a keen interest in local amateur theatre and will be joining the audience at the 400-seat Dolman Theatre, where ‘Going Straight” by Richard Harris will be on from 15th to 19th February. Performances begin at 7.15 pm with an extra matinee on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. For tickets ring the Dolman box office on 01633 263360 or 01633 656757. More information about this and other Playgoers’ productions can be found at www.dolman-theatre.co.uk and www.newportplaygoers.wordpress.com

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