This year’s one-act play festival held at the Georgian Theatre Royal saw five amateur drama groups compete in one of the preliminary rounds of the renowned All England Theatre Festival (AETF).
Taking place over the weekend of 23 and 24 April, audiences were treated to a diverse range of exciting one-act presentations from across the region.
The Zetland Cup for best overall production of the Festival went to the Allerton Players for their production of These Are the Days by Shari Gledhill. Paul Staines who played Matt in this two-person drama also won the Roy Cross Cup for the best single performance by an actor and the MacGregor Cup for best set design.
The Final Dress Rehearsal, by Jack Frakes performed by The Georgian Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre took two of the awards, including the Adjudicator’s Cup presented at the discretion of the Festival’s adjudicator, Sue Doherty. Sue has worked in the field of arts education for four decades and is currently the Vice Chairman of GODA (the Guild of Drama Adjudicators). The Youth Theatre also won The People’s Award for the best overall production of the Festival as voted for by the audience.
Sedgefield Players won the Roy Cross Cup for best actress which was presented to Viv Jacobs for her role as Old Anna in And Go To Innesfree by Jean Lennox Toddie. The Sproxton Cup for best supporting actor went to Lucy Atkinson who played Young Anna.
Richmond School Theatre Company also scooped a couple of awards. Their production of The Edelweiss Pirates by Atub Kahn Din landed the Crathorne Cup for the best youth group as well as the Durham Cup for best technical achievement and stage management.
The Grundy Cup for best character performance in a supporting role was awarded to Dawn Clarkson for her portrayal of Lily in Leyburn Amateur Dramatic Society’s production of Blue Suede Blues by Diana Raffle.
The All England Theatre Festival is the only countrywide, competitive festival of one-act drama in England. The six-month-long competition is organised regionally and, after a series of preliminary, quarter and semi final rounds across the country, four ‘area’ champions compete for the English Champion title. The Allerton Players and Richmond School Theatre Company will now go through to the next round which will take place in Saltburn on 30 April.
The England final takes place at the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford on 3 and 4 June.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre receive their two awards on stage at the AETF One-Act Play Festival