whats on

Chester Little Theatre season includes city man's debut play

Useless Beauty opens on April 14 at Newtown venue

The cast of Useless Beauty (from L-R, Richard Hulse (Alex), Jo Perry (Kate), Anna Sweeting (Helen), and John Turner (Martin) in rehearsals at Chester Little Theatre, Chester

A new playwright, whose day job is to help run the University of Chester campuses, will see the characters in his own play come to life on the Chester stage.

Operations manager Mark Newman will see his debut play Useless Beauty performed in the Salisbury Studio at Chester Little Theatre, as part of the club’s 2016 season.

Consisting of a four-strong cast, the play is described by Mark as a darkly comic drama of bad manners and good wine.

It 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 as long buried painful truths and past events come to the surface.

The play features theatre club regulars John Turner as Martin, Jo Perry as his wife Kate, and newcomers Anna Sweeting and Richard Hulse as Helen and Alex.

Following a long spell of acting and directing for the stage, Mark decided to turn his hand to writing his own play three years ago after being inspired by the work of colleagues and friends from the world of theatre.

He said: “I’d 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 I wrote Useless Beauty. You can never be too sure how good a play is until it’s been perfomed in public for the first time.

“But, the feedback from its premiere at The Forum Studio Theatre two years ago was very good and so I’m delighted that it is being given another outing in a new venue with a completely new cast.”

A drama and English graduate from the University of Chester, Mark, a former deputy front of house manager at The Chester Gateway Theatre, has been a popular figure in the Chester theatre scene for more than 15 years.

Useless Beauty's creator and director Mark Newman

Mark has acted and directed extensively with Tip Top Productions and more recently Chester Theatre Club.

Most recently he appeared in and directed Habeas Corpus for Chester Theatre Club and directed their recent production of Peter Nichols’ Passion Play.

Useless Beauty runs at Chester Little Theatre in Gloucester Street, Newtown, Chester, in The Salisbury Studio from Thursday, April 14 - 16.

All performances start at 7.30pm. (There is full disabled access to the studio and new toilet facilities have recently been installed on the ground floor).

Tickets are £7/£6(concs).

Full details and online booking at www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk or via TicketSource on 03336663366 (booking fees apply).

View full mobile page