Canal Street Online Manchester

We chatted to Actor Mark Newsome

We chatted to Actor Mark Newsome

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival takes place next month, and will provide the city for four weeks low cost, dazzling theatre. 

One of those is one-person play, Blackpool, What A Shit Place To Die. It stars Mark Newsome and is written by Phil Pearson. We caught up with Mark to find out more. 

Can you summarise what the play is about? 

The play is about a weekend in the life of Billy Costello.

He’s young, gay, depressed, autistic actor with a drug problem. He has a devastating row with his family after being outed in Aldi and gets on the next train out of Manchester. It is heading for Blackpool.

A one-person play must be exciting but also a scary prospect. How are you feeling?  

I’ve wanted to write a one-man show for a while now. I like to take risks and push boundaries and I’ve got a story to tell. It’s very personal to me and has something to say. I feel like because it’s my own experiences, I had to be the man to do it.

Obviously, I’m waking up at 4am every morning in a cold sweat, but by 4.30am I’m thinking ‘fuck it, I’m doing it!’

What attracted you to the play?

I was already in the process of developing the idea for the show before I met the writer Phil Pearson. He saw me in a show at 53Two in Manchester six months earlier, then he emailed me asking did I fancy working together. We clicked straight away and decided to work together and the rest is history.

There's so much good theatre in Manchester, what makes this piece stand out for audiences?

Well, it’s not shit. 

It’s raw, honest and real. It is hard-hitting on the emotions. Completely, brutally honest. It talks about issues that aren’t usually raised in theatre.

Hopefully, it’ll make the audience thank and feel about things differently. 

It looks at gay life in a different way. It’s not all Nicki Minaj concerts, Grindr and feather boas it’s also loneliness, despair and despondency.

If you were a fairground ride in Blackpool, which one would fit your personality? 

The old Alice in Wonderland ride.  I went on it and it was just like my actual life.

Summarise in five words why people should come and see you in Blackpool, What a Shit Place to Die?

It’s heartbreaking, raw emotional truth.

Blackpool, What a Shit Place to Die is The Three Minute Theatre, Manchester from 19 – 20 July and can be booked here 

By Glenn Meads for Canal St Online








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