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BBC Radio Kent interviewed Penny Culliford on 30th March about her latest play Grimaldi’s Last Act, commissioned by Nadia Ostacchini’s Tricolore Theatre Company.

Grimaldi won fame as a clown in the early 19th Century, rising to the then equivalent of today’s A-List. Penny’s text draws on the biography by Grimaldi fan Charles Dickens.

Click below to hear the interview, which includes excerpts from the audio version of the show, performed by Edmund Dehn and directed by Anthony Shrubsall. Note that the item begins 39 minutes into the recording.

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Listen to David Forest’s new song, The Son that I Wish I’d Had

David Writes: “I wrote the music and lyrics during Lockdown to express my thanks to the exercise instructor who four times a week kept me (now in my 90th year) moving and remaining independent throughout the pandemic. It makes me feel good!”

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Henry Dawe has had a second comedy collection published by TSL Publications. Entitled Thirty Pieces of Pottiness, it contains fifteen sketches, ten shorts and five monologues. The material could be of interest to members wishing to stage an evening of entertainment, but Henry hopes that it may also raise some cheer in lockdown for anyone who comes to it just as a reader. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, please click below.

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Stephen Riddle plays Arthur Krause in The Outcast Creatives’ production of 13 Seconds in Kent State, a 5-part drama mini-series about the historic shooting of Kent State University students on May 4th 1970 and the civil trial that followed in 1975. The cast of more than 40 actors includes Jason Flemyng, who will appear in the final episode.

The Zoom medium will be utilized, but presentation will be enhanced with audio and visual effects. Each episode will run for approximately 75 minutes. 13 Seconds in Kent State will be performed live FREE of charge - on YouTube at 8pm on Sunday nights from April 11th until the beginning of May.

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Tony Diggle writes:

You may not be able to perform live or get your plays performed during lockdown, but you can get them published and read. I have just published two of mine, Show me the Money (a city comedy) and Facing the Enemy (a play about fear and conflict) through Troubador Publishing Ltd.

Show me the Money was read at AWL in 2012, and it was the success of that reading that persuaded me to take it further. I subsequently produced it at the Chelsea Theatre in 2013 with many of the original AWL cast.

The plays are available from the publisher (link below) both in hard copy and as e-books. The hard copies are also available from me, and the e-books are available across a wide range of platforms.

Here’s to a return to live readings and performances later this year!

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Christopher Owen’s book, America Awaits Us, My Lovely and other stories is now published by Troubador Publishers. Available from bookshops (bookshops open again!), from online retailers and Troubador Publishers. The stories are set in the UK, France and America.

‘Beautifully written and really evocative of a particular time and place’ Emily Trahair, Editor, Planet Magazine.

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Melanie Hughes and Nadia Ostacchini invite you to the free online zoom (circa 1 hour) event on the 27th April at 6pm (GMT), hosted by Dr Marcella Pelligrini Sutcliffe at academic writing retreat Chapelgarth.

Dr Claudia Baldoli will interview Melanie about the historical background to her book, War Changes Everything, which deals with the Italian community in the tumultuous years between the two world wars.

Nadia will read extracts from the book as we paint a picture of a community “Caught Between Two Worlds” in a juxtaposition of history and memoir.

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Jane Walker’s monologue A Dark Place features in Part 1 of SINGULAR VOICES, three original pieces produced by Spontaneous Productions.

Pay-what-you-can starting at £1.

A freak accident in Whitehaven, Cumbria, 1922, has repercussions for a whole community, and one woman in particular.

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Rare Fortune Productions presents its second all-AWL post-lockdown production at the OSO in Barnes: Waiting in the Wings.

This collection of short plays by Sally Sheringham, Frank Mariani, Nicolas Ridley, Robin Miller, Julia Haythorn, Carolyn Pertwee and Tom Pauk, presented to a socially-distanced audience, is all about waiting in one way or another - something that seems very appropriate as we all become used to waiting for a return to normality.

The cast, comprising Carolyn Pertwee, Robin Miller, Julia Haythorn, Gregory Cox, Jeremy Drakes, Sam Alan & Lucy Penrose, is directed by Maurice Thorogood.

4th & 5th June at 8pm; 5th & 6th June at 4.30pm.

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BESTheatre have produced an online reading of David Hampshire’s play Funny Turns, which was first read at AWL in 2019. The two-act reading is free-to-view, with donations encouraged to benefit the Jermyn Street Theatre Reopening Fund.

The play, set in a theatrical boarding house in 1935, is introduced by Joanna Lumley.

The cast features AWL members Georgia Riley, Crissy Mullen, Lewis Rae, David Forest and David Hampshire, with Linda Thorson, Gary Wilmot, Gay Soper, Andrew Wincott and Timothy Bentinck (Adam Macy and David Archer in The Archers).

We hope the play will raise both some smiles and some spirits during this challenging time.

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Susannah Finzi writes:

Out of the Wings is a collective of Spanish and Portuguese translators, directors, actors, theatre-makers & academics who over the last five years have become among the very best of my colleagues and friends.

From 23rd February, we’re holding an online celebration Winter Warmer, showing over four evenings some of what we normally do at our monthly meetings at Kings College, London and our annual summer festival at Omnibus Theatre‚Ķbringing theatre in translation to the English speaking world.

More about Out of the Wings and details of the online event at the link below.

Do join us for one or more of the sessions. It’s free, you don’t have to speak Spanish or Portuguese, and everyone is welcome!

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Christopher Owen’s play A Family Affair is to be adapted by Muhammad Imran Fatani in his ‘Native Desi Language Style’ and performed in his Directional Course Project at the National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi, Pakistan1

Brian O’Connell is the percussion section in The Jabliners’ smile-inducing Thank you, NHS video: Away we go, let the vaccine flow. The video, produced by Surrey Border Movie Makers, features strong O’Connell family resemblances.

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Short Memory by Richard Roques, which was due to play at the Waterloo East Theatre in October, has now been postponed indefinitely.

Are you lonely or bereft without AWL meetings? Then join Liz Felton’s on-line meetings, hosted by Liz Felton every Monday.

Strictly AWL members only. Contact Liz for details:

An archive recording of Carolyn Pertwee’s play The Beautiful Couple, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2002, is now availble as a free download.

The cast is Ronald Pickup, Julia McKenzie, Claudie Blakley & Ajay Chhabra. It was Gillian ReynoldsChoice, and it was Play of the Day in The Independent, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Radio Times.

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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.

John Melainey has coached audition technique for the last 20 years. It is one of the areas that many actors push to one side and yet it is a vital skill. A good audition technique is the secret to many a successfull acting career. If you feel like you go into an audition and it never seems to go the way you planned or if you leave feeling like you just didn’t do enough, or didn’t have long enough to work on the script, then the chances are that it is your audition process, that is letting you down.

Click for further information.

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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