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Debut play for Glyndŵr University’s campus services manager

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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 Glyndŵr University, will see his debut play, Useless Beauty, performed at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, in February.

The black comedy, consisting of a four-strong cast, tells the story of an evening’s events when a married couple invite two friends around for dinner.

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.

Mark said: “I’ve written a few novels of 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 have performed two 20 minute segments to a selected audience to gauge where it’s at. You can never be too sure how good a play is until it’s been performed in public for the first time but feedback from the excerpts was good so hopefully it will be a success.”

A Theatre Studies and English graduate from the University of Chester, Mark has been working with Tip Top Productions for more than 15 years and the play will be performed as part of the theatre group’s programme.

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

“I’d like to get the play reviewed if possible so I can send it off to agents or other events companies to try and get it picked up and performed elsewhere,” added Mark.

“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.

“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.”

Useless Beauty runs at the The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, from Thursday 13 February to Saturday 15 February. All performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are priced £7.

For more information or to buy tickets visit www.tiptopproductions.co.uk or call 01244 341296.

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