This year’s one-act play festival saw seven talented amateur drama groups compete in one of the preliminary rounds of the renowned All England Theatre Festival (AETF).
Taking place over four evenings between 10-13 April, audiences were treated to a diverse range of exciting one-act presentations from across the region.
Dorian Gray, an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic performed by The Georgian Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre took two of the awards for best youth group and best performance by an actor which was shared between Jasper Worrallo (Dorian Gray) and Aidan MacFarlane (Lord Henry Wootten) (pictured). Written and directed by Youth Theatre Officer Aimee Shields, the production will also be showcased at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.
The Zetland Cup for best overall production went to Sedgefield Players for their production of War Brides, a powerful play by Marion Craig-Wentworth focussing on the contribution of women during war. Viv Jacobs (Maria) and Sarah Legender (Hedwig) shared the award for best actress in a principal role and Lucy Atkinson (Amelia) won best single performance by an actor or actress in a supporting role.
Sedgefield Players also won an award for best set design for their production of Beata Beatrix, a play by Gillian Plowman about two people who meet by chance in a gallery and how this meeting saves them both in very different ways.
Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society (RADS) also scooped a couple of awards. The prize for best character performance in a supporting role went to Doug Clayton for his performance of Albert in Noel Coward’s Still Life. Another play by RADS, Being Rose by Richard James, won the Adjudicator’s Cup. This is awarded at the adjudicator’s discretion and was presented to Kathryn Torbet for outstanding direction.
The Durham Cup for best technical achievement and stage management went to Allerton Players for their production of the comedy Anger Management by Robert Scott. This play also won the coveted People’s Award for best overall production as voted for by the audience. To be eligible to vote people had to have seen all seven plays at the festival.
Sedgefield Players will join the other winners of the Northern Area division in a semi-final held on 4 and 5 May at the Washington Arts Centre, Tyne and Wear. The England final takes place at the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead on 8 June.
PHOTO CAPTION: A scene from Dorian Gray, performed by The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre Festival