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Long career in theatre leads to writing play

Published date: 24 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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AN ACTOR who normally spends his days ensuring the smooth running of a university campus has written his first play after a 30-year career in theatre.

Mark Newman, a drama and English graduate from the University of Chester will see his debut play, Useless Beauty, performed at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, in February.

The black comedy drama, consisting of a four-strong cast, tells the story of an evening’s events when a married couple invite two friends around for dinner.

As the wine flows the evening takes a series of unexpected turns. Following a long spell of acting and directing for the stage, Mark decided to turn his hand to writing his own play after being inspired by the work of colleagues and friends from the world of theatre.

Mr Newman, who works as a campus services manager at Glyndwr University, Wrexham, said: “I’ve written a few novels over the years, although they’ve never been published, so putting pen to paper is something I’ve always done – but never for the stage, until now.

“I started writing it last year and we performed two 20 minute segments to a selected audience to gauge where it was at.

“You can never be too sure how good a play is until it has been performed in public for the first time, but the feedback from the excerpts was good so hopefully it will be a success.”

Mark has been working with Tip Top Productions for more than 15 years.

He appeared in The Sociable Plover as the birdwatching social misfit Roy Tunt, followed by the much acclaimed revival of Bouncers by John Godber.

In this he was joined by other members of Tip Top’s original cast of 12 years ago to recreate their respective roles. He joined Glyndwr University 13 years ago from Chester’s former Gateway Theatre, where he worked as a deputy house manager.

“The cast is made up of people I’ve worked with before,” he said.

“The play has a few shocks along the way but there’s a lot of humour too.

“Whatever happens when it gets to the stage, it has been a really interesting and rewarding exercise in putting my money where my mouth is. After all, I should have some idea of what works on stage when I’ve been involved with the theatre as long as I have.”

Useless Beauty runs at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, from Thursday, February 13 to Saturday, February 15.

All performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are priced £7.

l For information about Useless Beauty and all forthcoming shows at The Forum Studio Theatre and online booking visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.

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