Newport writer’s play set to raise curtain on season

PLAYWRIGHT: Phil Mansell working on his next piece. Pic by Phil Mansell

REHEARSING: Actors go through a tense moment in ‘According to Claudia’. Pic by Phil Mansell

First published in Gwent news

AUDIENCES at the Dolman Theatre, Newport, will be treated to some homegrown writing talent this September as actors perform a play by Newport writer Phil Mansell.

Mr Mansell, 63, from St Julians, Newport, is a retired press officer.

The St Julians man He is excited to see his play, According to Claudia, launch the new season by Newport Playgoers at the 400-seat theatre. Dolman Theatre.

He fought off competition to be selected by the society’s artistic committee to open a line-up which includes plays by Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, Ira Levin, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton.

Mr Mansell, whose wife Caroline will be directing the production, said: “I feel honoured and proud that my play has been selected to be among work by such illustrious writers. The play is a comedy drama about the secrets that emerge when a family gathers to celebrate the 80th birthday of a crusty Oxford don. His daughters fuel the fire by bringing along partners who include a crime writer and a former East End gangster returning in disguise from the Costa del Crime.

“I now have a publisher interested in publishing this and several other plays.”

He has won other play-writing competitions and had five books for teenagers and children published in the Netherlands and Denmark.

This is the latest success Mr Mansell has enjoyed as a writer.

His play 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 Dolman Theatre and at Blackwood Little Theatre.

Newport Playgoers Society, based in the Dolman Theatre, is the main amateur dramatic group in the city. It was established in 1924 and had administered the Dolman Theatre since 1967.

According To Claudia is at the Dolman Theatre on Newport’s Kingsway from September 10 to 13 at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

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