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BACKSTAGE

The Week Ahead

Liam O’Grady’s Black Box Roulette and Tom Jensen’s Swine Fever are among four short plays having rehearsed readings by Page to Stage London at the Water Rats, Kings Cross, at 7.30pm on Monday 26th February. Each reading will be followed by feedback.

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Mansel David writes:

“I am reviving my Solo Performance Take Desire Away, adapted from the Poems and Letters of A.E. Housman: 7pm on 23rd February 2024 at The Charterhouse.”

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The Playground Theatre in West London will honour multi-award winning playwright Gail Louw with a five-week season presenting two of her new plays, along with one celebrated revival.

Anthony Shrubsall directs the world premiere of Rika’s Rooms from 5th to 10th March.

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The book launch for Peter Carty’s novel Art will be from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday February 28th at the Owl bookshop, 207-209 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2JU. AWL members very welcome! Please RSVP to pc.carty AT gmail.com.

Art (Pegasus Publishers) is about the antics of the YBAs in Hoxton in the 1990s. It is the Financial Times top pick for best new debut fiction. It’s also in The Independent’s round-up of the best new books for February.

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Melanie Ensor is the writer of the short comedy film Tried and Tested with an all-AWL cast - Rachael Bellis, Mansel David & Peter Saracen, directed by Martin Szalla. Click below to see the film on YouTube.

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Christopher Owen’s latest book, Looking for Joan, is now available from publisher Troubador and in bookshops.

“In Looking For Joan the story Misconnections, so sad and funny and horrible, and brilliantly constructed... A Day At The Cricket is a gem” (David Buckton, retired BBC Music producer, director, writer).

One of the stories, Cyril Eyes Full Of Drink, has received an Honourable Mention (in top 5) in the prestigious Costa Story Prize. A Day At The Cricket in top 50 with the BBC International Story Award.

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Vaughan Evans writes:

“In May I shall drive an ambulance, packed full of medical and other supplies, to Lviv. To have the honour of undertaking that drive, of doing a bit, a little bit, to help the beleaguered people of Ukraine, I need to raise £7,000.

For that I need your support.

The wonderful charity, Medical Lifelines Ukraine, has delivered over 50 ambulances to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of February 2022. These have proved invaluable in helping the injured not only near the front line but throughout the country, where indiscriminate bombs have been falling, bringing down civilian housing and infrastructure in a Russian campaign of terror.

Please may I ask you to click on the link below and donate whatever you can to their cause. Every little bit will help.”

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Fiona Tong reprises her role as Gertrude in the TNT Theatre/ADG Europe production of Hamlet with ADG Europe/TNT Theatre touring Europe and Latin America until May 2024.

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Rebecca Bugeja writes:

“I am currently in a touring theatre show Murder Trial Tonight 2 throughout the UK and Ireland until July this year. We opened at Sadler’s Wells, and will be back in London at The Adelphi Theatre on 20th February and then at The Aldwych on 17th March. No other London dates as of yet, apart from the outskirts like Beck Theatre in Hayes, Wycombe Swan, Windsor Theatre Royal and Bromley for example, but I will let you know if any others do get added! I’m the understudy for 3 large parts, but playing a small role of Court Usher otherwise when not covering anyone.”

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Further Events in the Month Ahead

Short plays by Richard Fitchett, Charlotte Jennings and Tom Jensen will be performed in the Bread and Roses Theatre’s new writing showcase on 2nd March. Follow the link to The Platform for details.

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Following successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and in Maidenhead, Rowland D Hill’s play Draining the Swamp, previously read at AWL, runs from 29th February to 2nd March at the OSO. Rowland D Hill plays Sir Oswald Mosley.

Plans for the Draining the Swamp tour are progressing nicely. After the OSO the tour takes in Beccles Theatre, Dorchester Corn Exchange, Swindon Arts Centre, Cornerstone Didcot, Brentwood Theatre, Oxford Playhouse Studio and Stables Theatre Hastings.

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Future Plans

Vaughan Evans’ play A Rude Awokening runs at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington from 16th to 20th April. Harry Saks directs.

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Fluff, co-written and performed by Tayla Kenyon, is scheduled for Theate503 on 22nd & 23rd July. The show won Best New Piece at Birmingham Fringe Fest 2023.

“Kenyon is a captivating performer and a superlative storyteller, delivering the humour and the emotions with equal levels of intensity.”

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Services

Viv Lake has done quite a bit of research into theatrical and family history and accumulated a lot of information which might prove useful to other AWL members who have been looking into family or theatrical history.

She has lists of information such as stage names and aliases, biogs, obituaries, where they are buried, census returns which mention performers, old theatrical companies and theatres, actor-managers, and photocopies or pdfs of very old playbills, as well as text from theatrical journals and newspapers, most of which are from the Georgian and Victorian eras, and earlier, in Great Britain and America.

If you’re interested in Viv doing just a basic search for free through her files, please speak to her at an AWL meeting, or email her via her AWL page.

Stephanie Connell is an award winning web designer who has been creating websites for the past seven years. Each website is handmade and specific to the client’s requirements and is therefore unique. She will guide you through the process and provide design and practical suggestions where necessary. She offers aftercare service which she feels is just as important as the creative process. A discount to AWL Members only.

AWL Members who have had their websites created recently: Carolyn Pertwee, David Hampshire, Julia Haythorn and Hedley England

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