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Writer's play on West End stage

JOURNALIST Mark Beech has seen his play performed on the London stage after winning a top writing award.

Mr Beech, 46, of Donnington Farm, was one of only three winners in the Westminster Prize Scheme for short plays, which encourages new talent.

Last week, Mr Beech's third-placed Freaks Come Out at Night was given its special one-night performance at the Soho Theatre.

The cast included Robert Mountford, a Shakespearean actor who also played Damien in EastEnders.

Mr Beech, news editor at Bloomberg Television, said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been recognised and to get my work performed on the West End stage.

"I hope the one night show will lead to a longer run later."

The play tells the story of a stag night prank that goes wrong and leaves its victim chained to a park bench. A good Samaritan comes along, but is the rescuer all that he seems?

Mr Beech said: "The psychological drama that develops has a twist in the tale."

The emerging playwright is actually no stranger to success in the West End.

An earlier play, Happy/Sad, was produced by the Soho Theatre two years ago.

He has worked for ITN and the Sunday Times and he is also the author of The A-Z of Names in Rock (Robson Books), described by the late John Peel as indispensable.

A graduate of St Catherine's College, Oxford, Mr Beech has also published a collection of poetry called Passionfruit.

This was edited by the late Howard Sergeant, who was editor of the well-respected poetry magazine Outposts.

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