Following the successful opening of the Manchester Fringe Festival with a self-written romantic comedy, Puddle Theatre is now offering its platform to local comics and scriptwriters.
The new theatre company has diverged from its previous scripted style of performance, and is diving into a stand up night in Manchester, with auditions being held for aspiring comedians on 9 August at Hope Mill Theatre.
Puddle’s co-founder Lucy Wrigley said “it’s all about giving a platform to students and recent graduates that are in the same place we were a year ago”.
The event, titled A Splash of Comedy will include successful auditions ranging from standup routines, to clowning, and even songs. Wrigley said: “We already have a few comedy monologue auditions which I’m excited about as that’s not the type of work people typically get to try out at these kinds of nights.”
Confidence boost for Puddle Theatre
Consisting of ex and current students from Salford University, the company was started after Wrigley won the Liam Byrne Award Fund. The award began in 2020, and was started in memory of a Salford ‘Contemporary Performance’ graduate by his family, following his death in China. The award gives successful applicants free rehearsal spaces at the university, as well as £500 to help them begin their creative career.
A tutor had recommended that Wrigley apply for the award, which involved sending a video to the Byrne Family explaining how the funding would be used and how it would benefit her career and life as a graduate. She said: “The funding gave me the financial means to start working on my project, but it also gave me a huge confidence boost that I felt I really needed after I graduated.”
From this, Wrigley took a script she had written for her university playwriting class and decided to adapt it from a two character, ten minute short, into a one act play. After months of adding and rewriting characters, rehearsals, and researching hidden flower meanings, Smell the Roses was fringe-ready.
Sold out debut for Smell the Roses
The play was performed earlier this month at the King’s Arms Pub, with the unique idea of an original cocktail created specifically for the show.
The show’s opening night was sold out, with the two following performances being almost at capacity. David Cunningham, reviewer for British Theatre Guide, has described the piece as “a quality production with a good cast” but criticised it for its short runtime.
Making waves in the theatre scene
Puddle Theatre is now planning its next project and is on the lookout for other writers wanting to get their start in the theatre world. The company is offering casting, promotion, and organisation services to creatives who have a script they want produced and performed.
Wrigley said: “We’re already reading through scripts we’ve been sent from writers and trying to narrow down what the project after this will be. We’re excited to work with new people and continue to grow the Puddle Theatre family.”
With one show completed, a second one being planned, and an evening of comedy coming soon, the first year of Puddle Theatre Company seems to be going swimmingly.