Playgoer’s Season Finale will be Absolute ‘Nunsense’!

June 2, 2015

Newport Playgoers are set to end their 92nd season of plays with an award-winning musical extravaganza that started life as a series of greetings cards. 

The Little Sisters of Hoboken prepare to entertain audiences with a show to raise funds to bury their fellow nuns who were poisoned by the convent cook. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The Little Sisters of Hoboken prepare to entertain audiences with a show to raise funds to bury their fellow nuns who were poisoned by the convent cook. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The comic nuns proved so popular that their creator, Dan Goggin, turned them into a cabaret and then expanded that into a full length theatre production.

‘Nunsense’ ran for over 3,500 performances and won the Best Off Broadway Musical award.

The musical romp tells of the Little Sisters of Hoboken and their crazy antics after the convent cook serves up some dodgy soup resulting in 52 nuns dying of botulism.

Sister Amnesia (Eloise Rossiter) rehearses her ventriloquist act. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Sister Amnesia (Eloise Rossiter) rehearses her ventriloquist act. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Luckily a few of the nuns were busy playing bingo and were spared this terrible fate. But to their horror they realise the convent hasn’t the funds to pay for the funerals.

The Mother Superior decides she and her fellow nuns will use the left-over set for a production of ‘Grease’ to stage a variety show packed with hilarious show-stopping song and dance numbers to raise the money for the funerals. There follows a hail of fun and frolics as they try to achieve their aim.

The season opened with 'According to Claudia' by local playwright Phil Mansell. The play won Best Theatre Show award presented by entertainment and lifestyle magazine Voice. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The season opened with ‘According to Claudia’ by local playwright Phil Mansell. The play won Best Theatre Show award presented by entertainment and lifestyle magazine Voice. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The season has been another success for Playgoers who own and run the city’s 400-seat Dolman Theatre.

Beginning with ‘According to Claudia’, a play by local writer Phil Mansell, it included the thriller ‘Deathtrap’ and three plays commemorating the First World War including last month’s funny yet thought-provoking ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’.

One of the highlights of the season was the  thriller 'Deathtrap' (PHOTO:PHIL MANSELL)

One of the highlights of the season was the thriller ‘Deathtrap’ (PHOTO:PHIL MANSELL)

Playgoers are already looking forward to next season which begins in September with ‘Up Pompeii’ the stage version of the show that Frankie Howerd made such a hit on TV.

'Blackadder Goes Forth' was one of three plays commemorating the outbreak of World War One. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ was one of three plays commemorating the outbreak of World War One. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Other forthcoming attractions include ‘The Ladykillers’ based on the classic Ealing comedy and ‘The Graduate’.

 

‘Nunsense is at the Dolman Theatre from 17 – 20 June at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. For more information or to book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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Take Centre Stage at Playgoers’ Auditions

February 24, 2015

Aspiring actors have the opportunity to audition for Newport Playgoers on Saturday 7th March –  and be cast in forthcoming productions such as ‘The Ladykillers’, ‘Up Pompeii’ and ‘The Graduate’.

Playgoers present a wide range of productions including farces such as Joe Orton's 'What The Butler Saw'. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Playgoers present a wide range of productions including farces such as Joe Orton’s ‘What The Butler Saw’. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Anyone who fancies treading the boards in a range of productions from farce to classic drama is invited to come to the open auditions which take place from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

'Killer Joe' was one of the highly successful productions in the Dolman Studio Theatre, (PHOTO:PHIL MANSELL)

‘Killer Joe’ was one of the highly successful productions in the Dolman Studio Theatre, (PHOTO:PHIL MANSELL)

Talented actors and actresses can show they have what it takes to be a valued member of Newport Playgoers Society and play a role in ensuring the 400-seat Dolman Theatre remains a thriving hub of activity in the city centre.

“Everyone’s welcome to come along and prove that Newport’s got talent,” said Playgoers spokesperson Phil Mansell.

'The Vicar of Dibley' was one of Playgoers' recent successful productions. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

‘The Vicar of Dibley’ was one of Playgoers’ recent successful productions. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Being part of Playgoers is a lot of fun – and a great way to meet new friends. We stage nine productions every year so there’s never a dull moment.”

For more information about the open auditions and joining Newport Playgoers, contact the Dolman Theatre on 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.


Sixties Shocker Comes to the Dolman Theatre

January 22, 2014

Nymphomania, transvestism, incest, blackmail and bribery are just a few of the ingredients of next month’s offering from Newport Playgoers.

Dr Prentice (Chris Bissex) needs to be restrained by his assistant (Stuart Moss) when he tries to examine new secretary Geraldine (Chloe Williams) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Dr Prentice (Chris Bissex) needs to be restrained by his assistant (Stuart Moss) when he tries to examine new secretary Geraldine (Chloe Williams) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

What The Butler Saw was the last play by Joe Orton, a playwright who loved to shock.

In fact, when it was first produced, this play appalled and enraged audiences with its blatant sexuality and attacks on authority and conventional morality.

Mrs Prentice (Nicky Davies) is shocked when she sees Police Sergeant Match (Stuart Moss) is only wearing his helmet. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Mrs Prentice (Nicky Davies) is shocked when she sees Police Sergeant Match (Stuart Moss) is only wearing his helmet. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

 

Set in a private psychiatric clinic, this black farce features a range of zany characters including a naked bellboy from a nearby hotel, a young woman looking for a secretarial job who ends up used, abused, and naked, a philandering husband, a sexually hungry wife, and a doctor from headquarters who is crazier than everyone and sees sexual perversity in any situation.

Geraldine (Chloe Williams) ends up naked when she is interviewed for a job at a psychiatric clinic (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Geraldine (Chloe Williams) ends up naked when she is interviewed for a job at a psychiatric clinic (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Orton used the new found freedoms of the 1960s to take a surreal look at the world around him, fusing witty word-play with a lunatic zeal,” says the play’s director Ray Stone. “This play, which many regard as one of the funniest ever written, still has the power to shock and have us roaring with laughter.”

What The Butler Saw’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 19 – 22 February at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.  


Proving Laughter is the Best Medicine

June 2, 2012

Add the wit of legendary Liverpool poet Roger McGough to the comic shenanigans of a classic French farce and the result is a real laughter tonic guaranteed to banish the blues.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Argan (Richard Dymond) feels another ailment coming on, to the amusement of his brother Beralde (Chris Bissex-Williams). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

McGough’s modern take on Molière’s play ‘The Hypochondriac’ is this month’s presentation by Newport Playgoers and centres around the antics of Argan, a perfectly healthy and wealthy gentleman, who is convinced he is seriously ill. In fact, he’s so obsessed with taking medicine for imaginary ailments that he’s blind to the naughty goings-on in his own household.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Saucy servant Toinette (Claudia Barnes) helps Argan (Richard Dymond) with another imaginary medical problem. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

In a neat twist, his most effective cure does not come in a bottle or a bedpan, but in his sharp-tongued servant, Toinette, who has a cunning plan to reveal the truth and open her master’s eyes.

Roger McGough updates this classic Molière comedy, turning prose into verse with a witty edge. A scathingly funny lampoon on both hypochondria and the ‘quack’ medical profession, this tour de farce with its very public enemas gives the action the look of a 17th-century costume romp that could easily be re-titled ‘Carry On Up the Colon’.

Playgoers will be taking the production to the outdoor Minack Theatre in Cornwall next month so there’s another chance to see it in the unique setting of the amazing theatre in the cliffs.

Prescribe yourself a real laughter tonic and see ‘The Hypochondriac’ at the Dolman Theatre from 12 – 16 June at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or 656757.  More information is available online at www.dolmantheatre.co.uk


Playgoers Present a Political Farce

January 10, 2012

Abbie Thomas, Lyndon House and Chris Bissex in a typical madcap moment from Newport Playgoers’ production of ‘Out of Order’

Audiences will be able to discover why MPs need so many spin doctors next week when Newport Playgoers stage their latest production, ‘Out of Order’ by the master of farce, Ray Cooney.

Richard Willey, a Government Junior Minister plans to spend the evening with one of the Opposition’s typists at a fancy hotel just round the corner from the Houses of Parliament. However, things go wrong when he discovers a dead body in their room – and further disaster unfolds in the shape of an intrusive waiter, the MP’s wife and the secretary’s husband.

“The play is a roller coaster ride of laughs which demonstrates that the real ‘weapons of mass destruction’ for a government are to be found on their very own backbenches,” said the play’s director Rosemary Bissex. “We hope people will come and enjoy a rollicking good comedy that’s the perfect antidote to the post-Christmas winter blues.” ‘Out of Order’ is at the Dolman Theatre from 17th – 21st January.

For tickets, phone 01633 263670 or visit http://www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.