"On The Third Day" by Kate Betts - winner of The Play's The Thing

"On The Third Day" by Kate Betts - winner of The Play's The Thing

Winning play of Channel 4's The Play’s The Thing has been announced as On The Third Day by Kate Betts.

It receives its world premiere at the New Ambassadors Theatre, on Thursday 22 June 2006. The play is already in previews. It is directed by Robert Delamere and stars Maxine Peake, Paul Hilton, Tom McKay

Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Channel 4, it has designs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Paul Anderson, projections by Jon Driscoll, with sound and music Adam Cork.

London. Alone and unattached. A young woman catches the eye of a stranger in a bar. Before the night has ended they will have told each other secrets that will change their lives forever. Kate Betts' debut stage play takes us from the depths of underground caves to the infinite reaches of the solar system and into the shattered heart of a broken family. On The Third Day reveals once again that the most memorable journeys are across the terrain of the human soul.

The play is currently booking until 2 Sep 2006.

51 year old Kate Betts juggles her teaching job at Chichester University and her busy home life, a down-to-earth working mum looking after her 3 children Tom (21) and Rob (17) and Lucy (19), as well as her husband and her mother. She has acted in amateur dramatics and worked with the writers group at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. With an MA in Creative Writing, Kate is Associate Lecture in English at University College Chichester.

The Channel 4 series, The Play’s the Thing launched a search for a budding British playwright in the hugely competitive world of commercial theatre. Judges - West End producer Sonia Friedman, Literary Agent Mel Kenyon and Actor Neil Pearson - chose Kate Betts as the winner after whittling down more than 2,000 submissions from previously un-produced writers.

It is hoped that the series will highlight the complexities of bringing a first time playwright’s first play directly into the commercial West End - an extremely rare, virtually unparalleled event in over 50 years. Research infers that on 22nd June 1956 there were approximately 16 new plays being performed in the West End, all of which had the benefit of a run elsewhere. On that date there were 8 Musicals, 5 revues and 23 Plays. On 22nd June 2006 there will only be one new play in the West End – On the Third Day. On that date there will be 23 Musicals/revues and 10 Plays.

As the winning playwright, Kate Betts will experience all the drama of public scrutiny and first-night nerves as the curtain goes up on press night, not only on her stage debut, but her West End debut. Every step of the way has been filmed for the accompanying Channel 4 series, following the search for a new, first time, British playwright, from first day of rehearsals to set building to the opening night. The remaining two parts of the four part Channel 4 Series will be shown on 19 June at 10pm and 24 June at 8.15pm.

The three finalists were Iain Wetherby, an advertising copy writer from London and Steve Gardner, a supermarket worker from Manchester together with Kate Betts.

The 30 short-listed playwrights were: Alex Allston (Bristol), Alexsandra Herbert (St Leonards on Sea), Alice Grix (Stamford, Lincs), Anne Dilley (Morecambe, Lancs), Annette Brook (London), Ben West (London), Emma Crowe (London), Florence Bell (Hampton, Middlesex), Gerry Howell (Petts Wood, Kent), Hendryk Korzeniowski (Lancaster), Iain Wetherby (London), Ian Bell (Harrogate), Jacob Tindle (London), Jenny Lincoln (Bungay, Suffolk), Jesse Quinones (London), Kamlesh Gupta (London), Karen Restaino (Sheffield), Kate Betts (Sidlesham, Chichester), Kirsty Bray (Alnwick, Northumberland), Linda Walker (Hove, East Sussex), Marios Alando Davies (London), Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky (London), Nigel Ward (Biddenham, Bedfordshire), Nina Woods (West Wickham, Kent), Paul Burgess (Belfast), Richard Tyrrell (London), Roy Buckland (Croydon), Ruth O’Callaghan (London), Steve Gardner (Manchester) and Tom Mitchell (London).

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