Mark Wheeller has been writing plays since his school days at Marlwood Comprehensive School, Bristol. As a teenager his dream was writing songs and Rock Operas … aping his hero. No band would play his songs and no-one shared his belief in “Eed Sud and The Luminous Earwigs” although if they had been formed, Mark is convinced they would have undoubtedly taken the world by storm! His plays Sequinned Suits and Platform Boots and The Rise and Fall of Eed Sud and The Luminous Earwigs from Thornbury draw on these experiences to create upbeat nostalgic comedies.
Quirky, original, funky, and funny, Mark Wheeller’s latest offering, The Rise and Fall of Eed Sud and The Luminous Earwigs from Thornbury looks at teenage dreams with an excellent portrayal of the animated characters. Set to a soundtrack from the glam rock era the show is interesting for any music fan, glam rock or not… but be warned, it will have you coming away cringing at your own memories of singing into a hairbrush whilst staring at your reflection in the mirror.
Craig Morrison of Southampton Institute Newspaper; “Mark found that if he organised plays around the songs, he could get friends to perform them. His quest for super-stardom led him in a completely different direction – writing plays. The songs (with the exception of those in the World War II Musical Blackout and one in his recent allegorical musical, Wacky Soap – A Cautionary Tale) remain unknown, but his plays have gone on to achieve success. Too Much Punch For Judy, a “hard hitting” one act anti-drink driving play has been seen by nearly a million people across the world and has achieved considerable festival success for those amateur groups who have performed it.”
Amateur Stage (after it was re-published in a revised edition.): “The play demands little in the way of settings and props. It provides exceptional theatre and staging challenges for all groups. It is heart rendering and poignant. There is no doubt that its theme is bound to take hold of audiences everywhere.”
Mark’s plays tour regularly into schools. Since 2016 they are represented as set texts for the latest GCSE Drama Examination specifications in the UK.
Those of you over 35 may be interested to know that Mark, with his wife Rachel, wrote many of the Tufty stories (Tufty’s Adventures and 12 issues of Tufty Tales comic) when RoSPA relaunched them in the mid-nineties. They live in Lymington near Southampton, have three grown up children (Ollie, Charlie and Daisy) and a Labrador called Dusty. Rachel works in the Polygon School in Southampton as the Designated Teacher for Children Looked After.
Mark retired from an enjoyable Drama Teaching teaching career in 2015 (& Youth Theatre work in 2016) to focus on his writing and consultancy work across the world.
Charles Vance Editor of Amateur Stage: “It is important that we pay due cognisance of the invaluable role that Mark plays as a socially conscious dramatist, and for me it has been exhilarating to see his work extend beyond the early commissions to write for Theatre in Education companies and within the last decade to become one of the most performed playwrights in a wide range of professional and community venues as well as in educational establishments that face so many of the social problems that are addressed in his work.”