Newport Actors All Set for Gwent Drama Festival

Stand-up comedy, spooks and suspicion are all part of the madcap mix when three of Newport’s leading amateur theatre groups take part in the Gwent Festival of One Act Plays at Blackwood Little Theatre on Friday 27th  and Saturday 28th  April.

'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell

Chris Powell (Hamlet) and Will Smith-Haddon (Yorick) in 'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

First on the bill is ‘Poor Yorick’ by local writer Phil Mansell. One of the plays featured in the recent highly successful No Holds Bard festival, this innovative comedy tells how Hamlet’s jester attempts to pioneer stand-up comedy but instead becomes embroiled in plans for revenge.

'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell

Will Smith-Haddon in the title role of 'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“It’s really great being able to take my play to another theatre and to compete in this prestigious drama competition,” said Phil.

“My play opens the festival on the Friday night and we’re hoping for as good a response as when we performed it at the Dolman Theatre last month.

“The festival features six great plays, and with tickets priced at two for just £7 it offers a great night out for anyone who loves fresh and exciting new theatre.”

Following Phil’s play is another Newport drama group, Playgoers New Generation (PNG) who present ‘In the Spirit of Things’ by Steven Quantick.

'In The Spirit of Things' by Steve Quantick

PNG’s three witches: Charlotte Webb, Sian Elizabeth Pope and Clare Davies in ‘In The Spirit of Things’ (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

This is another comedy about “business unusual” at Incorporeal Incorporated, where the witches from Macbeth provide supernatural guidance to the mortal realm.

'Bottoms Dream' by Alan Poole

‘Bottom’s Dream’ features James Thomas, Emma Radmilovic, Ellie Tappin and Dana Symonds who are members of Dolman Youth Theatre. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

On Saturday Dolman Youth Theatre present ‘Bottom’s Dream’ by Alan Poole, which explores who really dreamt the Midsummer Night’s Dream – and what were the reactions of the mechanicals’ wives and mothers to their play-acting?

Other plays are being presented by Ad Hoc Theatre from Cwmbran and  Blackwood Little Theatre. All the plays will be adjudicated with the chance of going through to the Welsh finals in June.

The Gwent Festival of One Act Plays is at Blackwood Little Theatre from 27th – 28thth April.  To book tickets – which are just £7 with a special buy one get one free offer – phone  07930 599317  or online at

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