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.


Great opening night for No Holds Bard!

March 16, 2012

The No Holds Bard festival of new one act plays enjoyed a very good opening night – with above average audience numbers for a Thursday.  The plays combine stand-up comedy, bloody sword fights and romantic mix-ups to give a modern take on Shakespeare’s plots and turn them into plays for today.

The festival showcases four plays that won a competition run by Newport Playgoers as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project. Sponsored by our local newspaper, the South Wales Argus, the ‘No Holds Bard’ festival is at the Dolman Theatre from 15th – 17th March. For a taste of the plays check out the photos below:

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Argus Sponsors Festival of New Plays at the Dolman Theatre

March 2, 2012

The South Wales Argus is sponsoring a festival of new one act plays that combine stand-up comedy, bloody sword fights and romantic mix-ups to give a modern take on Shakespeare. The ‘No Holds Bard’ festival at the Dolman Theatre from 15th – 17th March, promises to be an evening of lively entertainment that makes Shakespeare totally accessible for today’s audiences and turns his plots into plays for today.

A scene from 'Roman and Julia' by gary Dooley

A tender moment between two people (Rose Bissex and Daniel Penfold) who meet in 'Roman and Julia' by Gary Dooley

The festival showcases four plays that won a competition run by Newport Playgoers as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project. One play will go on to be staged at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre – and possibly to Stratford as part of the World Shakespeare Year celebrations.

Two of the plays – ‘Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell from Newport, and ‘Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers of Cardiff– are by writers who are no strangers to having plays staged at the Dolman. Kevin’s play ‘Surviving the Century’ and Phil’s play ‘Bunkered’ were two of the four winners of a highly successful golf-themed writing competition organised to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport.

A scene from 'Poor Yorick' by Phil Mansell

Yorick (Will Smith-Haddon) and Hamlet (Chris Powell) plot revenge and job opportunities while Queen Gertrude (Sue Morgan) looks on in ‘Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell.

The other two winning plays to be performed as part of the festival are ‘To Sleep Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker and ‘Roman and Julia’ by Gary Dooley.

“The aim of the competition was to give a new twist on Shakespeare and create plays that today’s audiences will enjoy and connect with,” said Playgoers’ President Richard Dymond, “I hope the people of south Wales will come along and enjoy an evening that looks set to be full of fun and surprises.

A scene from 'Only Words remain' by Kevin Myers

A mysterious elderly man (Chris Bissex) meets a woman from his past (Lillian Hynes) in ‘Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers.

”We are particularly pleased and proud that our local newspaper, the Argus, has kindly sponsored the three night festival of one act plays,” he added.

A scene from 'To Sleep Perchance to Die' by Russell Walker

The Dreamer (Luke Bowkett) faces another scary moment as he lives the actor’s nightmare over and over again in ‘To Sleep Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker.

Tickets for the ‘No Holds Bard’ festival, which is at the Dolman Theatre from 15 – 17 March, can be booked by phoning the box office on 01633 263670 or visiting dolmantheatre.co.uk.

 


Welsh Writers’ Plays Selected for Royal Shakespeare Company Project

January 12, 2012

Plays by two writers from Wales have won a competition to be staged at Newport’s 400-seat Dolman Theatre – with the possibility of going on to be performed at Stratford as part of the World Shakespeare Year celebrations.

Winning Playwrights

Winning playwrights Russell Walker, Phil Mansell and Kevin Myers

‘Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell, who lives in Newport, and ‘Only Words Remain by Kevin Myers of Cardiff, are two of four one act plays that won a competition organised by Playgoers as their contribution to the nationwide Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project which has over 260 amateur dramatic companies from all over the UK taking part. Both plays will feature in the ‘No Holds Bard’ festival which will be staged at the Dolman Theatre from 15 – 17 March.

Phil Mansell’s play ‘Poor Yorick’ tells how Hamlet’s jester tries to pioneer stand-up comedy but fails and is forced to return to Elsinore to get his old job back, only to become embroiled in Hamlet’s plans for revenge. Complete with busty tavern wenches, domineering mothers, ghosts and the invention of the exploding whoopee cushion, it promises to be a laughter-packed production.

“I was really pleased that my play was chosen for this prestigious event,” said Phil. “The aim of the competition, which had entries from as far away as America, was to give a modern take on Shakespeare and create something that today’s audiences will enjoy and find totally accessible. I hope the people of southWaleswill come along and enjoy an evening that looks set to be full of fun and surprises.”

No Holds Bard One Act Play FestivalKevin Myer’s play ‘Only Words Remain’ is a story about love, loss and the persistence of language, exploring what happens when staff at a nursing home are faced with the puzzle of an elderly man with no name who is placed in their care.

He said, “I am thrilled to have had my play selected for the No Holds Bard festival. There are so few opportunities around for new playwrights, so all credit to Newport Playgoers for having the vision and courage to promote new work.”

Neither are strangers to having work performed at the 400-seat Dolman Theatre – Kevin’s play ‘Surviving the Century’ and Phil’s play ‘Bunkered’ were two of the four winners of a golf-themed writing competition organised to tie in with the Ryder Cup coming to Newport last October.

The other two winning plays to be performed as part of the festival are To Sleep Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker, who lives in Bristol but works at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, and ‘Roman and Julia’ by Gary Dooley from Northants. Tickets for the ‘No Holds Bard festival, which is at Dolman Theatre from 15 – 17 March, can be booked by phoning the box office on 01633 263670 or visiting www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.


Actors wanted for RSC Open Stages!

November 24, 2011

CALLING all actors! Here’s your chance to be in one of the four plays selected for the No Holds Bard festival of one act plays, which is Playgoers’ contribution to the UK-wide RSC Open Stages event.  The plays will be performed 15 -17 March 2012 on the main stage.  Each play is about 20 to 30 minutes with no more than 6 cast members. Sets will be simple, with the build starting on 12 March. 

This is your chance to be part of an exciting project co-ordinated by the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).  Its aim is to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre to re-forge the bond with the world of professional theatre.  Newport Playgoers is proud to be part of this scheme which will culminate in a national showcase of amateur performances at the RSC’s home inStratford-upon-Avon, to coincide with the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012.

 The Winning Plays and Playwrights

Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers

Only Words Remain’ by Kevin Myers

 Staff at a nursing home are faced with a puzzle when an elderly man with no name is placed in their care. But who is the mysterious Mr Smith? A story about love, loss and the power and persistence of language.

 

 

 

Russell Walker

Russell Walker

To Dream Perchance to Die’ by Russell Walker

A play exploring everty actor’s nightmare as it happens over and over and over again.

 

 

 

Phil Mansell

Phil Mansell

Poor Yorick’ by Phil Mansell

Yorick the jester is not dead – he’s on the road dying a death as he pioneers a new kind of comedy called stand-up. When this fails he is persuaded by his tavern wench girlfriend Bess to return to Elsinore and get his old job back – but when he arrives he finds there have been many changes, and he becomes embroiled in Hamlet’s plans for revenge.

 

 

Gary Dooley

Gary Dooley

Roman and Julia’ by Gary Dooley

The course of true love for an elderly couple in a nursing home runs far from smooth – until a friend lends a hand.


Calling all budding playwrights!

May 31, 2011

No Holds Bard Play-Writing CompetitionWrite a One Act play with a Shakespeare-related theme

  • Prizes of £25 for the Writers of the Best Plays
  • Best Plays performed at the 400-seat Dolman Theatre
  • Entry into RSC Open Stages Regional Showcase – with a chance of being selected for performance inStratford-upon-Avonas part of World Shakespeare Festival 2012
  • Click here to download an entry form

RSC Open Stages

RSC Open Stages is an exciting national project co-ordinated by the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Its aim is to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre and re-forge the bond with the world of professional theatre.

Newport Playgoers Society is proud to be part of this scheme which will culminate in a national showcase of amateur performances at the RSC’s home inStratford-upon-Avon, to coincide with the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012. Visit the RSC website for more information: http://www.rsc.org.uk.


Newport Playgoers in RSC Open Stages Project

April 26, 2011

Newport Playgoers Society is pleased to announce it has been accepted to take part in RSC Open Stages, which is being co-ordinated by the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

Described as the UK’s biggest amateur theatre project, its aim is to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre. 

Following the success of NPS’s Ryder Cup inspired play-writing festival, there are plans to hold another one act play-writing competition – on a Shakespeare-related theme. The best plays will be produced on the main stage of the 400-seat Dolman Theatre in March 2012. This will be part of a national programme of skills-sharing events and showcases, with amateur societies from across the UK invited to produce their own RSC branded Shakespeare themed production.

A number of productions from across the UK will be invited to perform at the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford in 2012,  alongside professional Shakespeare productions at the RSC. 

For more information about RSC Open Stages visit www.rsc.org.uk