Just as we’re all winding down from the excitement of Hertford Theatre Week, we’re offered a fresh platter of theatrical delights from Welwyn Drama Festival!
Between Monday 21st and Saturday 26th May, the Barn Theatre will play host to 13 fabulous plays from a variety of theatre groups. Thought to be the longest running competative one-act play drama festival in the world, this year’s event will showcase teams from Aberystwyth, Cambridge, Enfield, Swavesy, Biggleswade and Welwyn Garden City.
Each play will be judged by Paul Fowler, of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators, who will publicly score each play, live from the stage. The festival will conclude with an awards ceremony on the final night, where the highly coveted winners’ trophies will be presented.
This year’s festival features a variety of intriguing and entertaining works:
Monday 21st May
Girls Like That (excerpts) by Evan Placey
Swavesey Youth Theatre (Cambridgeshire)
Moving between the 1920’s and the present day, Girls Like That explores the pressures on young people today in the wake of advancing technology.
Flat 2B by Kattreya Scheurer-Smith
Big Squirrel Productions (Cambridge)
Viola is an actress, which means she’s actually a waitress, in a perfect relationship with Max, the flawless fiancée. However, not everything is quite as it seems in Flat 2B.
An Order of Lunacy by Paul Adam Levy
Saint Monica’s Players (Enfield)
England, 1842 – three years before the Lunacy Act reform bill. Two mad doctors investigate a double case of female insanity at Wright Manor, but the cases are not as straightforward as they first seem.
Tuesday 22nd May
Party Night by Sean Lang
Based on a True Story (Cambridge)
Keith, a successful surgeon and Valerie, a shop manager and keen disco dancer have been together for 15 years and are very much in love. But a chance telephone call will change both their lives forever.
Wednesday 23rd May
Jesus My Boy by John Dowie
Tiger Theatrical Productions (Welwyn Garden City)
Meet Joseph, an incompetent carpenter from Bethlehem, who first noticed his wife when she came to his workshop to complain about a table he’d made; it didn’t stop him planning to marry her but things got complicated when Mary announced that she was pregnant and Joseph wasn’t the father. A funny, poignant and heart-warming version of the best known story ever, told with humour and sadness by Joseph, about his well-known son.
Glass Hollow by Simon Mawdsley
Woodhouse Players (Leytonstone)
A decomposed body is discovered in Hollow Ponds. The police very quickly have a suspect through a DNA sample but other evidence is scant and inconclusive. They need a confession – and quickly! When it comes to getting confessions one man is a living legend …
Thursday 24th May
Roll for Remission by Anna Sherratt
Cwmni Ennyn Awaken Productions (Aberystwyth)
A group of young people gather in a hospital ward to face another day of poking, prodding, pills and poison, with their fates decided by statistics and luck. A group of young adventurers meet to begin a quest across a strange land, with their fates decided by the roll of some dice. This is a tale of courage and friendship in two worlds, where battling dragons often feels easier than battling cancer.
House Proud by Paul Adam Levy
Saint Monica’s Players (Enfield)
Tenants become pitted against each other as a row breaks out over what should be acceptable in a house in modern day Britain. A comedy about the Leave and Remain Brexit campaigns.
Friday 25th May
The Cat Burglar by Sarah Ridley
Out of Ideas Theatre Company (Biggleswade)
Based on well loved Shakespearean Characters Dogberry and Verges, The Cat Burglar follows the story of kooky detective Douglas Finch and his Partner Victor as they investigate the case of Mabel, the stolen cat… But not all is as it seems…
Red Handed by John Finnemore
Barn Theatre Club (Welwyn Garden City)
The story follows Joel, who comes home early from work one day to find an unexpected visitor in the shape of Henry. An older gentleman dressed in a suit, Henry is charming, suave, intelligent, well-spoken. And he just happens to be burgling Joel’s house!
A clever, funny caper that will challenge your pre-conceptions of burglars.
Saturday 26th May (followed by the awards ceremony)
The Bridge by Gabe Torrens
Players’ Theatre (Wales)
Why is Dave on the bridge, on a stormy night? Who is the stranger? And why is he there?
The Allotment by Gillian Plowman
Drama Queens (Cambridge)
An insightful comedy with a secret.
Four women serving community orders have woven their own web of fantasy while growing vegetables on the allotment for a soup kitchen. On the allotment, they can choose who they want to be. They forget the “cruel” world outside and live in their sanctuary, with their friends.
Tickets can be purchased via the Barn Theatre website, in person at the theatre box office or over the phone on 01707 324300.
Tickets are £10 p/ night or just £38 for a festival ticket for all six nights.
For more information, head over the Barn Theatre website: www.barntheatre.co.uk
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