An actor who normally spends his days ensuring the smooth running of a university campus has written his first play following a 30 year-career in theatre.

Mark Newman, campus services manager at Glyndwr University, will see his debut play Useless Beauty performed at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, from February 13-15.

The black comedy drama, consisting of a four-strong cast, 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.

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

Cast members Richard Steventon, Dhugal Fulton, Marian Newman and Fiona Wheatcroft in rehearsals for Useless Beauty at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester.
Cast members Richard Steventon, Dhugal Fulton, Marian Newman and Fiona Wheatcroft in rehearsals for Useless Beauty at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester.
 

Mark said: “I’ve 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 now.

“I started writing it last year and we performed two 20 minute segments to a selected audience to gauge where it was at.

“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 the excerpts was good so hopefully it will be a success.”

A drama and English graduate from the University of Chester, Mark has been working with Tip Top Productions for more than 15 years.

Most recently, Mark appeared in The Sociable Plover as the birdwatching social misfit Roy Tunt followed by the much acclaimed revival of Bouncers by John Godber in which Mark was joined by other members of Tip Top's original cast of 12 years ago to re-create their respective roles.

He joined Glyndwr University 13 years ago from Chester’s former Gateway Theatre, where he worked as a deputy house manager.

“The cast is made up of people I’ve worked with before. The play has a few shocks along the way but there’s a lot of humour too,” added Mark.

“Whatever happens when it gets to the stage, it’s been a really interesting and rewarding exercise in putting my money where my mouth is.

“After all, I should have some idea of what works on stage when I’ve been involved with the theatre as long as I have.”

All performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are priced £7. Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.