A playwright and professional ghost writer who’s worked with some of the biggest names in football has thrown the spotlight on the world of theatre.
The Committee, a hilarious new observational drama by Peter Read, will be premiered at the Stiwt theatre in Rhos, near Wrexham, at 7.30pm on Friday, June 19, with matinee and evening performances on the Saturday.
It’s hoped the play will help kick start the idea of establishing a reparatory theatre company that can take plays from the Stiwt on tour.
Among the cast is a young actor, Joe Scatley, 22 who’s appeared in a host of TV roles in popular shows like Midsomer Murders, Holby City and Doctors.
The author, Peter Read, who lives in Rhos, has acted as ghost writer to a number of footballing legends including Everton manager Roberto Martinez, Swansea boss Gary Monk and former Wrexham hero Dixie McNeil
Peter’s first play was about the glory years of Wrexham Football Club when McNeil was in his pomp as a rampaging, high scoring centre forward.
Dixie or Me was premiered at the Stiwt in 2004 and since then Peter has written another 18 plays – and he says his latest work is his best to date.
Peter explained: “The idea for The Committee came from the current manager of the Stiwt Theatre, Gavin Sharpe. I worked with him and wrote the script. We have then put together a cast of nine locally-based actors.
“We want to build a rep company that can take plays like The Committee out on tour and further promote The Stiwt. We held auditions and those people that came along who were good enough got the part whatever their experience.”
Peter, who hails from Rhos and has been a professional playwright and ghost writer since 2004, added: “The Committee is about an imaginary theatre which forms an Events Committee to freshen up its programme. They ask a young man, Darren, who is full of ideas to head the committee.
“It’s then all about the characters, including a secret millionaire, to pull together but an unexpected twist puts the new programme, and the theatre itself, under threat. The result is, I hope, hilarious with more than a hint of realism.”
“I’m really pleased with the cast we have put together and rehearsals have been going really well.
“This is a comedy drama for Rhos and I hope audiences come along and enjoy what will be a really funny and enjoyable performance packed with laughs. The cast have really put their all into the play and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
According to Stiwt manager Gavin Sharpe, he approached Peter Read to write The Committee as he wanted to put on a play for local people as well as build up a rep company.
He said: “The Committee is all about the characters that we all meet, at least anyone who has sat on a committee on a day to day basis. I worked with Peter and we picked out characters that we know are on almost all committees and he then constructed the script.
“Peter has done a fantastic job and the script is truly hilarious. I play the role of Malcolm, a secret millionaire, who comes in and ultimately tries to save the theatre.
“The cast is a mix of semi-professional and amateur actors and I think everyone has gelled. It’s a pleasure to work with them and I know audiences are going to be delighted by what is an amazing and very funny drama.”
Joe Scatley, of High Wycombe, is studying who is studying Television and Performance at Glyndwr University.
He plays The Committee’s leader Darren and is really looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction to “an exceptionally funny comedy drama”.
Joe, who already has several TV credits to his name having appeared in two episodes of Midsomer Murders as well as roles on Doctors, Holby Blue and Living It, on CBBC, said: “I previously worked with Peter Read after I played the lead role in Billy Liar at Llangollen Town Hall.
“He asked me to keep in touch about future projects and then contacted me about joining cast of The Committee. I play Darren, who leads the committee. It’s amazingly funny and a really, really good comedy.
“I enjoy working at The Stiwt and I’m also appearing in Into the Woods with Limelight Productions at the start of June. The plan is to graduate from Glyndwr University and become a professional actor.”
Deborah Jones, of Rhos, who teaches Welsh at St Joseph’s School in Wrexham as well as working part-time at the Stiwt Theatre, is also in the cast of The Committee and plays Karen, a creative poet full of wacky and way-out ideas.
She said: “I used to do a lot of acting many years ago and more recently played the role of Mrs Ogmore Pritchard in Under Milk Wood. That gave me a taste for being back on stage and I decided to audition for The Committee although initially I only came along to help out.
“The Committee is really, really funny and the audience will recognise so many of the characters from their own experiences. The biggest problem in rehearsals has been trying to keep a straight face and deliver the lines without laughing too much.
“I certainly think audiences are going to really enjoy this comedy drama. I still find it hilarious and that’s after hearing the same lines over and over again during rehearsals.”
Tickets for the evening performance are £10 with concessions at £8 and tickets for the matinee performance on Saturday, June 20, costing £7. For more information visit www.thecommittee.stiwt.com and for tickets call the Box Office on 01978 841 300 or visit www.stiwt.com