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Local Playwrights to Shine on Rugby's Stage

Nick Marsh. Photo by Martin Pulley.

Talented local playwrights are having their work brought to life on stage, in a new initiative from Rugby Theatre.

Black Box Productions will see two short plays written by Rugby dramatists performed on the Henry Street venue’s main stage – and audiences can enjoy them both in one evening for just £5.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to witness theatre in the making,” says Rugby Theatre’s promotions director Wendy Kay. “We’re thrilled to be shining a spotlight on Rugby Theatre’s talented local writers, while also offering audiences the chance to watch two gripping new plays for just £5.”

Set in 1960s’ East Germany, 'Uncle Eric' tells of the unexpected return of a prisoner of war, long presumed dead, and the repercussions this has on his only surviving relatives.

Author Nick Marsh says: “It's a great honour to have a play performed on Rugby's main stage and, not having been involved in rehearsals, I'm looking forward to seeing it myself! Although WW2 is a favourite theme of mine, I'm mainly interested in the moral dilemmas faced by ordinary and oft-forgotten people. Uncle Eric is about the importance of remembering the dead in a world that has changed almost beyond recognition.”

Wendy Goulstone. Photo by Martin Pulley.

The second play, 'On The Train', joins a busy Avanti West Coast train service from Rugby to Birmingham New Street, offering a funny and poignant insight into the hidden lives of passengers: their tragedies, dreams, and why they behave the way they do.

“Trains are in my blood,” says the play’s author Wendy Goulstone. “I was born and brought up beside the LMS London to Edinburgh railway line, and the Royal Scot used to rattle my Mum’s ornaments every day at 2pm. 'On the Train' should be great fun, with lots of quick costume changes, and I hope the audience feel transported along all the twists and turns. And perhaps you’ll spot at least one topical problem on the railways that has been bridged since I wrote it. Enjoy the ride!”

Each one-act play lasts between 30 and 40 minutes, with a 20-minute interval in between. The shows will be staged on a stripped back, minimalist set, giving the venture its name Black Box Productions.

The plays were selected from a wealth of scripts written by members of Rugby Theatre’s Writers’ Group, and are directed by Rugby Theatre’s apprentice directors, with a combination of new and experienced actors bringing the intriguing stories to life.

Black Box Productions takes place on 20-21 March, with both plays showing each evening. Tickets cost £5 and are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or  


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