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The Week Ahead

Adam Courting plays Prospero in the Open Bar production of The Tempest in pub gardens until 1st October.

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Tom Pauk writes:

The 2 minute 45 second version (!) of A Suffolk Man starring Tim Bentinck (David Archer from Radio 4’s The Archers) as both Matthew and George was broadcast on Friday 11th September on BBC Radio Suffolk, during the evening show. Click the link to hear on BBC Sounds. The play begins 150 minutes into the show.

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A film of And Tomorrow’s production of Death of a Hunter by Rolf Hochhuth at the Finborough Theatre in 2018 is being screened free on YouTube from 7th September to 7th October.

AWL members involved are Edmund Dehn (Hemingway) Anthony Shrubsall (director), Sarah Lawrie (producer) & Peter Sutton (translator from the German). The play deals with the last hour of Hemingway’s life before his suicide.

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Julia Haythorn writes:

Rare Fortune Productions are delighted to have been given the opportunity to re-open the theatre space at the OSO.

Brief Encounters is a collection of 5 short plays by AWL writers Tom Jensen, David Hampshire, Carolyn Pertwee , Nicolas Ridley and Sally Sheringham. Maurice Thorogood directs and Julia Haythorn produces. It’s an all-AWL cast too: Robin Miller, Gregory Cox, Susan Casanove, Alexander Jonas & Jeremy Drakes.

In this unknown future we are doing our best to encourage the audience back to the theatre. The raked seating will be removed and the audience will sit cabaret style at small tables either in their family groups or bubbles or socially distanced. We will use the whole studio space so there will be lots of room, and also two intervals to allow easy movement around the theatre building.

We felt we wanted to do something to help the OSO get back to being a performance space and it is great that so many AWL members are involved.”

Friday 25th September 8pm; Saturday 26th September 4pm & 8pm

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Are you lonely or bereft without AWL meetings? Then join Liz Felton’s on-line meetings, hosted by Liz Felton every Monday from 20th July.

Strictly AWL members only. Contact Liz for details:

Here’s an extraordinary all-AWL lockdown project. It’s Les Amuse Bouche, “a Morsel of Molière” from The Social Climber, Paddy Gormley’s adaptation of Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.

Director Anthony Shrubsall and film editor Brian O’Connell worked together to set high technical standards for lock-down video. Brian ensured that the actors, Peter Saracen, Hélène Le Bohec, Simon Brandon & Mary Drake, understood and applied new self-filming techniques that would pave the way for a coherent edit, while using their own equipment such as mobile phones. Anthony directed the scene as if preparing for a full production, taking the actors off book in the process. And Brian pulled it all together, with further input from Anthony’s musician friend Stefan Potiuk.

The Social Climber was first read at AWL in 2011, and subsequently premiered by Logos Theatre Company in a four-week run Upstairs at the Gatehouse. The 2011 reading and production were directed by Kenneth Michaels. Then as now, the role of Jourdain, the eponymous social climber, was played by Peter Saracen.

Les Amuse Bouche includes a monologue specially written for Jourdain in the original production.

Watch the video on You have to register to see it, but registration is free.

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Richard Fitchett’s Boxsets and Tom Jensen’s The Last Taboo can be heard on The Scene Podcast, produced by Get Over It Productions.

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Brian Abbott writes:

I have been “distance working/writing/researching” on a theatre project for Newham, North East London, which had to be changed to an audio project because of the current situation.

It’s now a set of four ten minute monologues/dialogues, covering the history of the people of Newham from the 15th century, but mainly 1916 through to 2021 (post-Covid, hopefully).

Our fellow AWL member Joan Blackham has done a fantastic performance of the opening one.

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A monologue by Dermot Murphy performed by Laura Fitzpatrick, for cornerHOUSE, cH-online.

Life is tough under lockdown. A mother tells her best friend about her concerns for her ten-year old son, and how she feels let down by his school. Is there anything she can do about the situation?

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A monologue by Dermot Murphy performed by Adil Hassan, for cornerHOUSE, cH-online.

Malik wants to earn some pocket money, but it’s not that easy, especially with those two around. Is there any way to keep what he gets?

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Click the link below for a YouTube video of Paddy Gormley’s submission to the OSO’s This House Is Now Open initiative. It’s a performance of Paddy’s Mistaken Identity by Isabella Mansell and Phoebe Mansell, directed by Timothy Coleman.

All AWL members are invited to join the initiative. Visit the OSO website or contact Paddy for further details.

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With children and extended families across the borough not being able to meet up during lock down, Richmond Council is launching a series of virtual bedtime stories with volunteers from Richmond Talking. Click the link to hear Robin Miller reading Counting Sheep by Pippa Chorley.

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Click below to hear Maurice Thorogood performing Lord Cut-Glass from Dylan ThomasUnder Milk Wood. Sound design is by Paddy Gormley. Listen through headhones to experience the full effect.

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Simon Brandon writes:

I am currently creating a short light-hearted comedy film called: Last Fish Finger In The World, which I hope will bring a few smiles and chuckles. The film is being filmed during lockdown and stars AWL members: Carolyn Pertwee, Edmund Dehn, Gregory Cox, Robin Miller, Simon Fisher-Becker, Hilary Field, Susan Casanove, Alexander Jonas and Simon Brandon. More details on a social media release date soon.

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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Ten minutes of audio fun: Felicity Jolly and Martin Cort perform annieverysorry, written by Paddy Gormley and subsquently adapted in the light of the first reading at AWL last year. Follow the link below to hear the recording. It’s a play for radio, so shut your eyes.

Click for website

Further Events in the Month Ahead

Teresa Jennings sings at the Jazz Tea at the OSO on 11th October.

Enjoy your Sunday afternoon with a great four-piece band playing easy going jazz and Latin numbers, with two different singers. Enjoyment guaranteed!

The café and bar will be open, serving a variety of hot, cold and alcoholic drinks with an array of delicious cakes and treats.

Book with confidence. If your performance is cancelled or COVID-19 regulations prevent you from attending, we will offer you a full refund.

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Peter Saracen will be playing Adam and Barnaby Taylor Jack in Short Memory by Richard Roques, a new play about Alzheimer’s, short selling and Handel’s Messiah at the Waterloo East Theatre, observing the Government Guidelines.

Tuesday to Sunday, 27th October to 15th November

Future Plans

Kate Glover writes:

We are sad to announce that our run at the OSO Theatre has had to be cancelled on account of the pandemic. But we are also delighted to announce that we will be having a rehearsed reading of Kate Glover’s Mayflower: They Knew They Were Pilgrims on 22nd November 2020. The performance, by eight professional actors, will be directed by Kenneth Michaels. It will be an afternoon matinee. Exact time to be confirmed.

This means that we will be commemorating the arrival of the Pilgrims off the coast of Connecticut almost exactly 400 years to the day.

The performance will take place at All Hallows by the Tower, Byward Street, London EC3R 5BJ

Rare Fortune Productions production of Life Changes by Carolyn Pertwee has been postponed until Spring 2021.


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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