"On The Third Day" to close early 29 July 2006

"On The Third Day" to close early 29 July 2006

On The Third Day by Kate Betts, winner of Channel 4 series "The Plays The Thing" has posted early closing notices for 29 July 2006 at the New Ambassadors Theatre. (The play was booking to 2 Sep)

It received its world premiere at the New Ambassadors Theatre, on Thursday 22 June 2006, following previews from 15 June, to mostly poor to average notices from the popular press. NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Pretentious, obscure load of nonsense ." PAUL TAYLOR for THYE INDEPENDENT says, "I couldn't really believe a word, even while recognising the sincerity of the writing." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "A raw, wild, uneven piece that reveals a degree of theatrical imagination." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Unexpectedly impressed." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Refreshingly bold and even original."

It is directed by Robert Delamere and stars Maxine Peake, Paul Hilton, Tom McKay

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 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.

Sonia Friedman , Producer, said: "Producing a play by a first-time writer in the West End was always going to be a fascinating challenge, which is why I agreed to participate in the Channel 4 series The Play's The Thing. Plays produced in smaller subsidised theatres which run for six weeks and are seen by smaller audiences than the ones enjoyed by On The Third Day are routinely seen as a success. That is why I believe that a seven-week run for a production of a new play by a first-timer writer in the West End playing to audiences of 51% per cent should be seen as an achievement. I would also like to add that The Play's The Thing has been a very useful exercise in stimulating a debate about new work by new writers in the West End. I am very grateful to Channel 4 for devoting so much of their mainstream schedule to a programme about theatre, the West End, and new writing. "

Jan Younghusband, C4's Commissioning Editor Arts and Performance, said:“Kate Betts play has been very well received by audiences and we are delighted by the reach of the series which has spawned new writing initiatives throughout the country. I would like to thank the cast and production team and Sonia Freidman for a first rate production and television series. Channel 4 is delighted to support new writing talent and theatre.”

Kate Betts said: “It was an honour to have my play chosen as the winning entry for The Play’s The Thing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Sonia Friedman, Steven Pimlott, Robert Delamere and with a cast and technical team that were so completely devoted to and enthusiastic about On The Third Day. I have learned a lot from these professionals, and this valuable experience will not only help me with my future writing but will, I hope, encourage, inform and stimulate other new writers out there who are passionate about writing for the theatre.”

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