This year’s British All Winners Drama Festival in Hertford is the 43rd time the event has been held. It was inaugurated in 1974 in Stoke on Trent as an opportunity to celebrate the ‘Best of the Best’ by inviting the winners of one-act plays and full length plays that had won NDFA festivals around the country to come together competitively for one last time at the end of the festival season. Later, in 2005, the All Winners Festival began to include a youth section too for groups who had won youth festivals or sections.
It is not unusual for the winner of the full-length section of the festival to have come from the local Hertford Theatre Week, and indeed last year’s winner, Bomber’s Moon, presented by the Heath Players had won Hertford in April 2015 – testament to the quality of amateur theatre in Hertfordshire.
In addition to jointly-organising the British All Winners Festival with an established drama festival, the National Drama Festivals Association also organises a playwriting competition for unpublished one-act plays performed at NDFA festivals. The annual winner gains a trophy, The George Taylor Memorial Award, a £250 cash prize, and an option for a publishing deal. The play is publicly read during the week of the All Winners Festival.
So, if you would like to take advantage of the opportunity to see the one-act and full length plays that have won drama festivals around the UK over the past year, and to hear the winning play from the playwriting competition, then make a note in your diary to get tickets for the 43rd British All Winners Drama Festival. 25th – 31st July 2016 at Hertford Theatre.
Monday 25th July at 7.30pm (One Act Plays)
FEATS – University Players, Hamburg with Invasion by Jonas Hassen Khemer, translated by Frank Perry
Warwickshire Festival – Lighthorne Drama Group with Lifecoach by Nick Walker
Lighthorne Festival – White Cobra Productions with Housebound by Simon Mawdsley
Tuesday 26th July at 7.30pm (Full Length Play)
North Staffs Festival – MADS Theatre with
The Hound of the Baskervilles
adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel by Steve Canny & John Nicholson
Wednesday 27th July at 7.30pm (One Act Plays)
Guernsey Festival – GADOC with Watching the Magpies by Les Clarke
Woking Festival – Another Theatre Company with Faceless by Heather Dunmore
Cambridge Festival – Clavering Players with The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish by David Tristram
Thursday 28th July at 7.30pm (Full Length Play)
Hertford Theatre Week – Legion Players, Isle of Man with
by Marsha Norman
Friday 29th July at 7.30pm (One Act Plays)
Isle of Man Festival – Rushen Players with I Dream Before I Take the Stand by Arlene Hutton
Spelthorne & Runnymede Festival – Back to Front Theatre with Last Train to Nibroc by Arlene Hutton
Somerset County Drama Festival – Teignmouth Players with Faking Genuine by Austin Hawkins
Saturday 30th July at 7.30pm (Full Length Play)
Isle of Man Festival – White Cobra Productions with
by Justin Butcher
George Taylor New Play AwardOn Saturday 30th July at 11.00 there will be a rehearsed reading of the winner of the George Taylor New Play Award, Thank You for Protesting by Paul Adam Levy, and performed by members of the Hertford Dramatic and Operatic Society. This will be followed by an informal presentation about the challenges and rewards of assessing festival plays by our adjudicator for the week, Jan Palmer Sayer, GoDA.
Sunday 31st July at 3pm (One Act Plays)
The Purple All Stars – Using creative arts to deliver equitable health messages. (Non-competitive)
Birmingham BFAME Festival – Total Arts Community Theatre with Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare, adapted by Rebekah Fortune
Leverhulme Festival – Hand in Hand Theatre with RIP Mr Shakespeare by Keith Hill, Bev Clark and William Shakespeare
Purple All StarsAlso, you will see that Sunday afternoon’s plays will be preceded by a performance by the Purple All Stars, which is a local group with learning disabilities who use creative arts to deliver equitable health messages.
The Awards Ceremony will follow these two plays, and their adjudications.
Please note, this list is provisional and may be subject to change.