Writer Presents Newly Published Play to Dolman Theatre Library

November 18, 2014

Newport writer Phil Mansell, who has recently had plays published, presented the first copy off the presses to the library at the Dolman Theatre where the play was first performed.

Phil Mansell presents a copy of his play ‘According to Claudia’ to Chris Burrows who runs the library at the Dolman Theatre.

Phil Mansell presents a copy of his play ‘According to Claudia’ to Chris Burrows who runs the library at the Dolman Theatre.

Phil handed over his play ‘According to Claudia’ to Chris Burrows who runs the library, which houses hundreds of plays, for Newport Playgoers.

“It was my way of saying thankyou to Newport Playgoers for having the faith to select this play to open the latest season back in September,” said Phil.

Phil and his wife Caroline, who directed the play, receive the Award for Theatre Show of the Year

Phil and his wife Caroline, who directed the play, receive the Award for Theatre Show of the Year

Since being produced at the Dolman the play has gone on to win the award for Theatre Show of the Year in Newport’s lively entertainment and lifestyle magazine Voice. Phil and his wife, Caroline, who directed the play, went to the presentation evening at the Celtic Manor Resort to receive the award.

Recently, Phil has had two more plays published. ‘Poor Yorick’ was a winning entry in a competition run as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project and was performed at both the 400-seat Dolman Theatre and Blackwood Little Theatre. Another of Phil’s plays, ‘Bunkered’, was one of the winning entries in a competition judged by Welsh playwright Frank Vickery.

Phil's three published plays

Phil’s three published plays

All three plays are now available on Amazon and Silvermoon Publishing, which specialises in plays aimed at the huge market among drama companies in the UK, America and Australia, will be promoting Phil’s work to thousands of potential performers worldwide.


Prize-winning Playwrights take Centre Stage

October 20, 2010
Winners of the Hole in One Act Play Festival onstage at the Dolman Theatre

The Deputy Mayor of Newport, Cllr Margaret Cornelious, and her consort Mr Ken Cornelious, presented the prizes to the winning playwrights (left to right) Neil Chapman, David D Thomas, Kevin Myers, Mark Hardwidge and Phil Mansell

Five writers were awarded prizes for their plays at the culmination of a highly successful festival of new writing at the Dolman Theatre.

The plays were the winners of a competition organised by Newport Playgoers Society to find new writers for the theatre and were judged by Wales’s leading playwright Frank Vickery to be the best of over 40 entries challenged to take an innovative and quirky look at golf.

Golf Play Winner Kevin Myers

The Deputy Mayor of Newport, Cllr Margaret Cornelious presented the first prize to Kevin Myers for his play ‘Surviving the Century’

Top prize went to Kevin Myers, from Cardiff, for his play ‘Surviving the Century’, about a golf club’s efforts to avoid being re-developed to make way for a new ring road on the eve of its centenary celebrations.

Runner-up prizes went to Neil Chapman, from Chepstow, for his Pinteresque play ‘Out Of Bounds’ and Phil Mansell, from Newport, for ‘Bunkered’, about a down-at-heel crazy golf course’s attempts to revive its flagging fortunes.

The highly commended prize was given to ‘Futagolf’, a hilarious and innovative play set on a virtual reality golf course, by David D Thomas and Mark Hardwidge, from Pontypridd.

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“The standard of entries for the competition, which was organised to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport, was extremely high, and selecting four for this festival of one act plays was no easy task,” said Playgoers President, Bruce Campbell.

“Luckily we were able to call upon the considerable skills of playwright Frank Vickery as a judge, and the result was a fascinating mixture of plays which provided a real theatrical treat.”


Top Stars and Writers Support Premiere of New Plays at Dolman Theatre

October 7, 2010

Michael Sheen, Alan Ayckbourn, Helena Bonham Carter and Dame Judi Dench are just a few of the famous names who have sent messages of support for a festival of one act plays taking place at the Dolman Theatre next week (12th – 16th  October).

Phil Mansell with messages from celebrities

Phil Mansell with some of the signed photos of support from writers and stars.

The Hole in One Act Play Festival, inspired by the Ryder Cup being held in Newport, features four brand new plays chosen by Wales’s top playwright Frank Vickery from over 40 entered in a competition to find new writing talent. Taking an innovative and quirky look at golf, the plays include a couch potato who is given a free virtual reality golf session, the tale of how a down-at-heel crazy golf course attempts to revive its flagging fortunes, and a Pinteresque look at life, golf and everything.

“As the plays were the winners of a competition designed to encourage new writing for the theatre, I decided to contact prominent people in the arts to lend their support to the festival,” explained Phil Mansell, whose play ‘Bunkered’ is one of the plays featured.

“To my delight we’ve had a great response, including a message from Sir Alan Ayckbourn, signed greetings from Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Prunella Scales and James Bolam – and a postcard from Alan Bennett apologising that he has no photos but sending his best wishes and hopes everyone has a grand time.

”West End star Connie Fisher wrote to say she might even pop in to see the plays as she lives in the area and her husband loves golf.”

'Bunkered' photo

Businessman Bulstrode (Alex Wilson) shows his secretary Poppy (Sam Jones) how to play crazy golf in 'Bunkered by Phil Mansell

Phil’s play is about the owner of a crazy golf course which is in dire straits because it’s at the downmarket end of a recently revamped seafront and unable to compete with the exciting and glitzy new attractions at the other end of the bay.

“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember,” said Phil, who as a student at the London Film School, wrote and directed movies and has since worked in  a variety of creative roles in advertising and PR. “Seeing my play brought to life by  some of the best local acting talent has been amazing. I’m now determined to have more of my plays staged at the Dolman, and am currently writing a novel and working on ideas for a TV sitcom.”

Playgoers President, Bruce Campbell, said, “The standard of entries for the competition, which was organised to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport, was extremely high, and selecting four for this festival of one act plays was no easy task. Luckily we were able to call upon the considerable skills of playwright Frank Vickery as a judge, and the result is a fascinating mixture of plays which promises to provide a real theatrical treat.

“Having good luck messages from such prominent actors and writers is the icing on the cake,” he added.

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 www.dolman-theatre.co.uk and www.newportplaygoers.wordpress.com.

 


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 www.dolman-theatre.co.uk

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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: http://wp.me/p1057I-2A

 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 www.dolman-theatre.co.uk


Dolman Theatre Showcases Four New Plays

August 26, 2010

Hole in One Act Play Festival PosterThere’s a rare opportunity to see four new plays which will be premiered at the Dolman Theatre from 12 – 16 October.

The plays are the winners of a competition organised by Newport Playgoers Society to find new writers for the theatre and were judged by Wales’s leading playwright Frank Vickery to be the best of over 40 entered for the competition.

 To tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport, the plays all take an innovative and unusual look at golf.

  •  ‘Out of Bounds’ by Neil Chapman is a Pinter-esque look at the absurdities of life; ‘
  • Bunkered’ by Phil Mansell, recounts the flagging fortunes of a down-at-heel crazy golf course;
  • Surviving the Century’ by Kevin Myers, focuses on the planning of centenary celebrations of a golf club;
  • ‘Futagolf’ by Mark Hardwidge and David D. Thomas, tells of the adventures of a dedicated couch potato who is given a free golfing session on a virtual reality golf course.

 “The standard of entries for the competition was extremely high, and selecting four for this festival of one act plays was no easy task,” said Playgoers President, Bruce Campbell. “Luckily we were able to call upon the considerable skills of playwright Frank Vickery as a judge, and the result is a fascinating mixture of plays which promises to provide a real theatrical treat.”

 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


Pregnant Pauses and Laughs Galore in ‘Family Planning’

July 28, 2010
Newport Playgoers in rehearsal for 'Family Planning' by Frank Vickery

Elsie (Lillian Hynes) has her ironing interrupted by gin-drinking nymphomaniac Maisie (Nicky Davies)

Playgoers’ new season is all set to start with ‘Family Planning’ by Frank Vickery.

I popped into rehearsals  to see how it was progressing and managed to snap some of the cast in action. They looked as if they were having a marvellous time working with first-time director Rosemarie Chick.

This comedy about how a young girl, Tracy (Abbie Thomas) deals with telling her family that she is having a baby, looks set to be a successful curtain-raiser to the new season in September.

“I play Maisie, a love-starved nymphomaniac who has only had sex once,” said Nicky Davies who also appeared in Vickery’s ‘One’o’clock from the House’ which kick-started last season with laughs galore.

It’s not only the plot that has some wonderful  twists and turns. The wise old Gran, who is confined to bed and is onstage throughout, is played by a man – Playgoers stalwart Julian Powell.

For more details, go to: http://wp.me/P1057I-10/