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Richard Fitchett’s new play, Vinegar and Brown Paper – A Child’s Journey with Dickens, is on at 7:30 from 5th to 9th December at The Old Red Lion – two minutes from Angel underground station.

Richard will be interviewed on The Scene, BBC Radio London, about the play on 27th November. His slot is currently at 8.40pm. BBC Sounds link to follow soon.

Vinegar and Brown Paper is about a chance meeting between Charles Dickens and a 12 year-old Kate Wiggin, the much-loved American children’s author, on a train during Dickens’ last publicity tour of the US. It is a comical, historical and illuminating journey through the twilight of one career and the dawn of another. It is also a true story, brought to life with a smidgin of dramatic licence.

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Radio Maria features a series of Advent stories during December, recorded by Nadia Ostacchini,Kenneth Michaels & Simon Brandon. Broadcast dates for playets by AWLies are as follows:

The Olive Grove by Viv Lake: 5th December 09.30 & 19.30;

Grimory & Mudwort by Penny Culliford: 12th December 09.30 & 19.30;

A Christmas Ride in Central Park by Richard Fitchett: 19th December 09.30 & 19.30;

The Shepherds’ Play by Penny Culliford: 21st December 09.30 & 22nd December 19.30.

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Alexander Wilson-Goldsmith plays Captain Hook and Smee in Hurricane ProductionsPeter Pan, touring schools from 29th November until 23rd December.

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Catherine Harvey writes:

I’m thrilled that my adaptation of Thomas Hall Caine’s best selling novel The Manxman will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 19th November at 3pm and afterwards on BBC Sounds. It’s directed by Iain Mackness and produced by MIM.

I was also interviewed for the documentary about Hall Caine for Opening Lines which goes out just before the play at 2.45pm on Radio 4 and is available afterwards as a podcast and on BBC Sounds.

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Catherine Harvey plays Judith Lane in 5 of the 6 episodes of the series The Burning Girls on Paramount + (and other platforms).

David Forest is Jack, lonely and isolated in the Christmas appeal video for the Salvation Army.

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Avril Gaynor plays Mother Christmas at Lapland UK, in the middle of a forest somewhere near Ascot until Christmas Eve.

Gregory Cox has recently recorded Once a King by Jane Marguerite Tippett, in which he reads the diary and letters of Edward VIII in an acclaimed new account of the 1936 abdication crisis. The recording is now available on Audible: direct link below.

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The digitally mastered studio production of Paddy Gormley’s verse play 2020 Visions is now available free of charge on YouTube.

Cast: Maurice Thorogood, Sarah Lawrie, Sarah Lawrie, Olivia Busby & Georgia Riley.

For ease of listening, the audio recording has been serialised in seven episodes. The website is directly linked to YouTube, so a single click below is all you need to start listening.

In 2020 Visions, Alec, aged 80 in the year 2020, recalls the three love affairs that shaped his life: with Belinda 1960, Natasha 1980 & Lucy 2000.

Each of the characters in the past visions has a unique, personal verse scheme, and the schemes interact and evolve in the course of the play.

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Sally Sheringham writes:

“Do you have a story to tell? A drama? A comedy? A spine-chiller? A tale with a twist? Can you tell it in 700 words max? Then we’d love to read it!

Submit a hard copy of your script (your name on a separate piece of paper, please) to Sally Sheringham.

STRICTLY MEMBERS ONLY. Deadline 18th December. Only one entry per writer.”

Fiona Tong is understudying the roles of Dotty and Belinda in Noises Off by Michael Frayn at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 27th September until 16th December.

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Nirjay Mahindru writes:

“The charity I run, InterAct Stroke Support, are running a short story competition which might be of interest to AWLies.

Writers are challenged to write a short story in any genre; 1,000 words maximum. We look for positive stories that can be read in the sensitive environment of a hospital setting.

Closing date for entries: 21st December 2023.

See website for further details.”

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Further Events in the Month Ahead

Midnight Legacy: a memoir of Partition by Melanie Hughes, with readings and discussion with writer and playwright Nirjay Mahindru. Friday 22nd December, 6.30-8.30pm at The Nehru Centre, High Commission of India, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF.

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Future Plans

Following successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and in Maidenhead, Rowland D Hill’s play Draining the Swamp, previously read at AWL, runs from 29th February to 2nd March at the OSO. Rowland D Hill plays Sir Oswald Mosley; the cast also includes Dawson James.

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Mansel David writes:

“I am reviving my Solo Performance Take Desire Away, adapted from the Poems and Letters of A.E. Housman: 7pm on 23rd February 2024 at The Charterhouse.”

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Viv Lake has done quite a bit of research into theatrical and family history and accumulated a lot of information which might prove useful to other AWL members who have been looking into family or theatrical history.

She has lists of information such as stage names and aliases, biogs, obituaries, where they are buried, census returns which mention performers, old theatrical companies and theatres, actor-managers, and photocopies or pdfs of very old playbills, as well as text from theatrical journals and newspapers, most of which are from the Georgian and Victorian eras, and earlier, in Great Britain and America.

If you’re interested in Viv doing just a basic search for free through her files, please speak to her at an AWL meeting, or email her via her AWL page.

Stephanie Connell is an award winning web designer who has been creating websites for the past seven years. Each website is handmade and specific to the client’s requirements and is therefore unique. She will guide you through the process and provide design and practical suggestions where necessary. She offers aftercare service which she feels is just as important as the creative process. A discount to AWL Members only.

AWL Members who have had their websites created recently: Carolyn Pertwee, David Hampshire, Julia Haythorn and Hedley England

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