We had an exciting programme of plays this year, including five new plays and some old favourites.
WELWYN DRAMA FESTIVAL 2015
Monday 18 May
Our festival opens with the WGC Youth Drama Festival Senior winners
Company of Teens present The Wardrobe by Sam Holcroft
Set within the interior of one wardrobe, we see how children through history, from the court of Elizabeth of York to 2014, use the confined space as a place of safety and refuge from the world outside.
This will be followed by the winning play from the Southern Counties Festival 2015
Alternate Shadows present The War Room by Chris Brake
They won’t fight on the beaches, they won’t fight on the landing grounds, they might even surrender. Britain is at war with her closest ally and the bombs are flying as fast as the barbs in ‘The War Room’.
Tuesday 19 May
Local team Barn Theatre Club present Scenes from
The Arabian Nights, written by Mary Zimmerman (Adapted from the book of the Thousand Nights and One Night)
In this excerpt from Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the Arabian Nights, Scheherezade is married to Shahryar, but avoids the murderous fate of her predecessors by fascinating Shahryar over many nights with the story of the Madman, who foolishly snubs the romantic advances of Perfect Love. Funny, saucy and entertaining.
[SCENES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS is produced by special arrangement with Bruce Ostler, BRET ADAMS, LTD., 448 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. www.bretadamsltd.net. THE ARABIAN NIGHTS was originally written and directed by Mary Zimmerman for the Lookingglass Theatre Company.]
We welcome back Wareside Entertainers with their presentation of
Last Panto in Little Grimley by David Tristram
The Little Grimley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society is on its last legs. Their membership has dwindled to four, audiences are even less and there is nothing in the kitty. Drastic action is required, so Gordon (with the not so willing help of Joyce, Margaret and Bernard) prepares to stage a ‘sex panto’. Witness their trials and tribulations as they desperately try to revive the society in this brilliantly witty comedy.
Wednesday 20 May
Another successful team from the YDF, led by award-winning Director Lou Wallace,
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls will be performing Act 1 of Daisy Pulls It Off by Denise Deegan.
Winners of the 2013 Welwyn Drama Festival, Tiger Theatrical Productions,
present Bill and Ben by Richard James
Ben Jonson is spending his last day in his condemned cell, after killing an actor in a duel. He has a surprise visitor – William Shakespeare, who comes to plead with him to perform a ‘neck-verse’ – reciting a Psalm that may save him from the noose. But what does Shakespeare have to gain?
Thursday 21 May
The award-winning, Cambridgeshire-based Bawds return with a New Play penned by Sean Baker – Is This Seat Taken?
A laugh out loud comedy that examines the inner workings of romantic relationships. It explores the themes of enduring love, keeping passion alive, and what it is that pulls some couples together and pushes others apart.
From Letchworth, the team that opened the very first Welwyn Drama Festival, The Settlement Players present After Midnight – Before Dawn by David Campton
Six nameless characters have been sentenced to death for Witchcraft, and await their dawn execution in a dank dungeon in an unnamed castle, in an unnamed town in 1690. Five of the characters are upset and lamenting their unjust fate, whilst one declares she will not hang, the Devil looks after his own. The others decide she is a witch and beg her to tell them how they may gain Satan’s protection. There follows a dark and unsettling story that builds to a violent and shocking conclusion. Be careful what you wish for….
Nomansland Theatre Company return for a second year with another New Play – Terms and Conditions Apply by Peter Hale
Michael is a traitor. He wants to escape from the protection of Our Glorious Leader. Are Super Mario and Cillit Bang to blame?
Friday 22 May
Newcomers Longsands Drama Company present a New Play The War Time by Sean Lang
A new play offering an original depiction of WW1 as a present day school trip makes history real and personal.
Old friends, and winners of the Margaret Osborn Trophy last year, Clavering Players bring us another thought-provoking piece, Act 1 of Me and My Friend by Gillian Plowman
A funny and extremely powerful play that explores the relationship between Bunny and Oz who have recently been released from a psychiatric hospital into ‘Care in the Community’. What does it take in a stressful life to make us crack? This play handles an important and sensitive topic with humour and insight.
From Southend-On-Sea, Pier Players present The Last Bread Pudding by Nick Warburton
The committee of an amateur drama group is meeting to discuss a new play. Not only do their various opinions differ, but they also affect the development of the play itself.
Saturday 23 May
Company of Ten from St Albans present The Visitation, the latest play by award-winning local writer Jane Fookes – New Play
Gerald’s quiet enjoyment of Holst’s Mars – Bringer of War augurs renewed hostilities when son Martin and his girlfriend turn up out of the blue.
Our great friends from Wales, and last year’s winning team, return to defend their title. Players’ Theatre (Wales), bring us a rugby-themed play Embodiment by Jeremy Hilton Davies
Franklyn is, like most Welshmen, passionate about rugby football. When the Welsh team is doing far from well against other nations (no names mentioned here) he decides something must be done!
Our festival will finish with the final adjudication and Award Ceremony.
Find out more about the awards!