A New Collection of Portsmouth Plays
Theatre lovers are in for another treat this autumn, with an exciting new production coming to Portsmouth in November.
Encompass has been put together by two of the city’s leading playwrights, Roger Goldsmith and Janet Rawson.
It’s a new collection of three short plays by the writers, which are set over three different time periods – the past, the present and the future.
Together, the three plays promise to deliver an entertaining evening with a great mix of drama, humour and thought-provoking themes – and a few surprises along the way!
About the Plays
“Encompass came about when Janet and I put our heads together and considered putting on three diverse plays, where the characters could be played by two actors” explains Roger.
Roger wrote two of the plays around five years ago for the Lost Theatre One Act Plays Festival, and describes them as “two very different stories about two very different people, set in very different time periods.”
The Deserter is set just after the First World War, and Jack Smith is back on civvy street. He dreams of his dead mother, and of the war, and the deserter they found in a barn…
Birth is set in the present, and Sybil reflects on how her life has changed since the birth of Rose – who she calls ‘My Rose of England’. She thinks of how happy she is, and of a man she visits in prison…
Janet Rawson’s play 2049 AD is set in the future where Derek is having an interview for an unusual and important job. The black comedy that results is a sly and disturbing take on the battle of the sexes in the future!
Janet’s play was first commissioned by Crouch End Players in London in 2000 and featured at Aldeburgh Festival in 2010. “It is quite a revolutionary piece, I think, and really interesting”, Roger says about it. “It’s a comedy of the future and – without giving too much away – touches on the subject of womb transplants and male infertility.”
Two professional actors will play all of the four roles across the different plays.
Joseph Scatley’s TV credits include Midsomer Murders and Holby Blue.
Recent work by April Singley, who was born in the US and now lives in Portsmouth, is diverse and ranges from TV in Britain’s Most Evil Killers, to stage with Shitfaced Shakespeare. April is also one of the founders of the Crowbait Club UK, which Roger says has been a revelation in the world of Portsmouth theatre – as it gives writers the opportunity to have their plays read and performed in public for the first time.
A Great Year for Local Theatre
Encompass is the third collection of plays that Roger has been involved in producing in Portsmouth this year.
Both of the first two productions enjoyed great reviews and sell-out runs at Southsea Cinema and Aspex Gallery.
Janet – who is a professional actor as well as a writer – also participated in both of these collections, and her comedy writing and acting has provided some of the biggest highlights.
One common theme that both Roger and Janet share is a huge commitment and enthusiasm for developing local theatre, and providing new opportunities for writers and actors.
As Janet says, “We hope that this production will highlight how much professional talent already resides in our island city!”
Dates and Booking
Encompass will run at Groundlings Theatre near Portsmouth Dockyard for four nights, from Wednesday 1 to Saturday 4 November at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £12 (£10 for concessions) and are available to purchase online here.
This event is suitable for ages 14+. Trigger warning, ‘The Deserter’ includes reference to a shooting, ‘Birth’ an explicit description of rape and ‘2049AD’ a sexual element.