A successful weekend

Down here in Weston-super-Mare we are members of the local Blakehay Actors’ Company, the resident company at The Blakehay Theatre – probably sounds a bit grander than it is but we strive to be professional in output even if amateur in wages!

posterOver recent years I have begun writing plays and the latest of the Head Case, has just had a rather successful run at the Avon Association of Drama’s One-Act play festival, winning Best Original Play and Best Production and earning the Best Actress award for Fran. Nominations were also achieved for one of the other actresses, for technical production and for directing. We also won four raffle prizes over the three days of the festival!

The script had also won the RAFTA One-Act Play Award prior to its first performance which was at The Blakehay Theatre last week. Click on the poster to be taken to StagePlays where the script (and performance licences!) can be obtained – the first 10 pages are available to read for free.

Head Case is a mystery play for three women. A blind sculptress is reconstructing the head of a dead girl for her Police Detective sister when she finds herself interrupted by a stranger. The play has been described as a real ‘page turner’ and received excellent audience feedback and adjudication comments. Original cast: Frances Iles, Rebecca Fuller, Gaye Shepherd.

The success of Head Case follows up on last years performances of my one-act Towpath. Again, we won the Best Original Play, Festival and Best Actress awards and were invited to perform at the NDFA British All Winners.

TowpathTowpath is a poignant comedy for four women of mixed ages. As with Head Case you can obtain the script and licences by clicking on the poster image – in this play, a women is found sitting alone on a canal bank where she is joined by a group of strangers, each with a tale to tell. Again, good audience feedback and adjudication comments were received; the adjudicator at the AAD Festival lived on a canal boat! Original cast: Frances Iles, Rebecca Fuller, Gaye Shepherd, Paula Luke.

Earlier plays include a short monologue called South Harrow which was written and recorded for the Urban Scrawl project. You can listen to the recording onlineI also won the RAFTA One-act Play Award with Keepers but that has yet to be performed though the script can be found on ScriptCircle.

Full AAD Festival 2013 results can be found on the AAD website … the AAD 2012 results (Towpath) are also available with production photos.

Currently I am working on some monologues and duologues plus a childrens’ story (based on a poem in Head Case) but I also need to look to the defence of local titles with a new play next year … now, where’s my ideas book?!


  1. Review in AAD Newsletter “Prompt”: “The festival ended as it had begun with an entry from Blakehay Actors’ Company – this time HEAD CASE an original play by Robert Iles, and as with their winning entry last year Robert had written an absorbing play that provided excellent parts for women with natural dialogue and interesting story line. A versatile chap this Robert – besides writing, directing and stage managing the production he also created the very important prop of a terracotta bust. Frances Iles impressed in the demanding part of Eileen, the blind sculptress as did Gay Shepherd, her police officer sister sharing her flat as a refuge from a broken marriage. Both actresses truly inhabited their parts and surroundings – great skill lies behind such naturalness.” – http://promptmagazine.org.uk/index.php/category/festivals/

  2. Towpath will be being performed in Pewsey, March 2013 and the Swindon One Act Play Festival (11th Apr 2013) – details of the PVADS production here http://www.pvads.net/

  3. A review of the PVADS production of Towpath “Towpath was heart-warming, and I didn’t want it to end. I could sympathise with each of those characters” https://www.facebook.com/PVADS

  4. Quoting from the Swindon Advertiser … “Towpath is a comedy directed by Martin Clifton, and is written by Robert Iles. PVADS began in 1926 and has been entering the festival for more than 10 years. Martin said: “Towpath is about a homeless women, a deserted wife, a nervous bride and a lonely widow who meet on the canal bank and form an unlikely friendship. The all-women cast form a great vehicle for this comedy drama from a very new dramatist.” – http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/leisure/leisure_art/10341805.Curtain_rises_on_Harold_Jolliffe_One_Act_Play_Festival_in_Swindon/?ref=erec

  5. Couple of nice nominations for the PVADS production of Towpath … its a good play for actresses 😉 http://www.swindonweb.com/hj1act/results2013.htm

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