‘Bats’ Takes to the Stage Again

I was delighted to see that another amdram group is staging my one act play ‘Bats’.

Hedgehog Productions have put on five productions of the play in three different venues in October 2018.  This follows the very successful staging of the play by by Newtown Amateur Dramatic Society at the Powys Theatre  earlier this year, which I wrote about here.

‘Bats’ is a black comedy set in a quiet cul-de-sac, where a couple find their nice, quiet orderly lives disturbed by an infestation of bats. A string of people turn up and are mistaken for the bat exterminator. When he finally does turn up, his work is interrupted by a birthday strippergram, and by the time he gets down to business, it looks like it might be too late…

I’ve been in touch with Jim Hayman, who played the bat exterminator called in by the harassed householder in the play, and he wrote, ” I’ve based the “bat man” on Ronnie Barker’s character in ‘Porridge’.  Ann is weirdly middle England and tweedy.  Peter is very uptight, impatient and boring, even anal about  the detail he chooses as important.  Helen has bursts of emerging from her shell.

“The play demands character extremes and strong differentiation between the players. Once this was mastered, we started to have real fun with the piece and were able to draw out comedy,which would only work for certain types of characters.

He added, “We have sold out and will raise our target sum for our chosen charities.”

Very pleased to hear that.

If any other amdram (or professional) companies want to perform ‘Bats’ it’s available from my publisher Stage Scripts. I also have have several as-yet unpublished play, the details of which can be found here and on my other blog Phil Mansell Plays.

Bats Pics web

Hedgehog Productions rehearse my play ‘Bats’. Photos courtesy of Jim Hayman who played the role of  the “bat man” called in to solve the problem.

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Painting the ‘Working Class Heroes’ of my childhood

After years of doing funny scribbles with a watercolour  wash I’ve finally got into painting with oils. As always, it’s people – rather than landscapes or still life – that interest me, and so I’ve set about creating a series of paintings entitled ‘Working Class Heroes’.

This is an attempt to re-create my memories of the working men of my childhood in the back streets of 1950s Birmingham. The cloth-capped men who worked in the factories that churned out goods for the world. The men who clocked on at eight and who worked until 5.30, often doing mind-numbingly tedious repetitive jobs. They were men who smoked like factory chimneys and liked their beer. They’d been through a war (or two) and spoke their mind.

Like the factories they laboured in, these men seem to have all but disappeared. By using old black and white photographs as reference I am trying to bring them back to life. My paintings, I hope, will depict them in their favourite habitat – haunting the smoky old public bars and pubs that have also disappeared.

It’s early days yet – and I’m still trying to find a style I’m happy with – but I’ve done a few paintings that I quite like, and I’ve put them below.

A Painting by Phil Mansell

Old Man in the Corner

A Painting by Phil Mansell

Cheeky Chappy

A Pint after the Day Shift

A Pint After The Day Shift

A Chat Down the Pub 2

A Chat Down The Pub

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Premiere of ‘Bats’

Really pleased to have received confirmation from my publisher Stage Scripts that my play ‘Bats’ will be staged for the first time ever by Newtown Amateur Dramatic Society at the Powys Theatre from 5th-10th February 2018.

‘Bats’ is a black comedy set in a quiet cul-de-sac, where a couple find their nice, quiet orderly lives disturbed by an infestation of bats. A string of people turn up and are mistaken for the bat exterminator. When he finally does turn up, his work is interrupted by a birthday strippergram, and by the time he gets down to busines, it looks like it might be too late…

Poster for 'Bats' by Phil Mansell

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Playwright in residence!

I’m pleased to say that our local amdram group, Javea Players, have adopted me as their playwright in residence. This followed a recent, highly successful open day event where I had a stall featuring some of my plays and a slideshow of various production photos.

After saying that I wanted to arrange readings of some of my unpublished plays in order to get feedback, the positive response from members of JP has prompted me to arrange a date. This has been done. I’ll be posting an update after the reading. In the meantime, here’s a cutting from Javea Grapevine featuring me with a copy of ‘Poor Yorick’ which I’ll be directing for the JP summer show next year.

Phil Mansell playwright

Cutting from Javea Grapevine

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Artwork from the archives

Wending my way through some ancient folders on my laptop, I stumbled upon a multitude of my old artwork from the days when, as a freelance artist and writer, I would frame my work and sell it at exhibitions in the Southborough area of Kent. They used to sell surprisingly well – and not just to the more eccentric types!

As I am about to start painting and drawing again seeing this art was intriguing. You are invited to check them out. If there’s any you like I can do prints at a reasonable price! Just contact me.

Incident at the Rio Cafe by Phil Mansell

Incident at the Rio Cafe by Phil Mansell

'Pub' by Phil Mansell

‘Pub’ by Phil Mansell

'Sax Mad' by Phil Mansell

‘Sax Mad’ by Phil Mansell

'Waiter!' by Phil Mansell

‘Waiter!’ by Phil Mansell

'Coming up to the finishing post' by Phil Mansell

‘Coming up to the finishing post’ by Phil Mansell

'Card Trick' by Phil Mansell

‘Card Trick’ by Phil Mansell

'The Amazing Ventro & Pablo' by Phil Mansell

‘The Amazing Ventro & Pablo’ by Phil Mansell

'Card Trick' by Phil Mansell

‘Card Trick’ by Phil Mansell

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My Plays are Now Available from Stage Scripts

I’m pleased to announce that several of my plays are now available from Stage Scripts, a long established publisher of plays, musicals and pantomimes. For perusal copies and information about performance rights go to the Stage Scripts website.

stage-script-plays-1

 

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New Website for My Plays

According to Claudia by Phil MansellAs one door opens…

I was pleased to hear from the Endeavour Theatre Company in Australia who were keen to produce my play ‘According to Claudia’. This was welcome news after my publisher ceased trading due to ill health.

Just in case other theatre groups want details of my plays I’ve set up Phil Mansell Plays to provide the information they need. Feel free to peruse it!

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