An extra blog post from the Jolly Lion today to cover the ‘wash up’ for the South Devon Drama Federation festival. Members of Federation Societies across South Devon gathered at the Carlton Theatre, Teignmouth this evening to enjoy short scenes from this season’s entries before the awards were revealed.
Adjudicator Leon Winston found his way around the following entries, with links to the Jolly Lion’s reviews from earlier in the year:
Daisy Pulls It Off – Buckfastleigh Drama Group
The Country Wife – South Brent Amateur Dramatic Society
Winston described it as a good year for the Federation, saying that it felt like a festival year. With mostly period plays, only Bovey Tracey performing a contemporary piece, but that raising its own exciting challenges by bringing new writing to a local audience.
He noted that it was the fortieth year of the festival, observing that forty years ago three of year’s entrants took part. The Shiphay Amateur Dramatic Society presented ‘The Crucible’, the Teignmouth Players entered ‘Romanov and Juliet’ and the Buckfastleigh Drama Group brought ‘Barefoot in the Park.’
Looking at the importance of local groups he commented on how amateur theatre is often the first taste of stage for many, and that audiences supporting amateur groups often only see theatre at an amateur level. He gave weight to the importance of setting the tone of the evening right from the start, and not letting your raffle take centre stage over the performance!
For directors he suggested that attention should be paid to the manners of a period piece, whilst actors were encouraged to explore the journey their characters make through the play to be performed.
Encouraging everyone, he said the South Devon groups should keep going, as our productions are as strong as those he sees in other parts of the country. He noted that there’s more to the South Devon stage than Agatha Christie – well, hurrah to that!
He introduced the adjudicator for next season, James Harper, before moving on to the awards…
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Rob Lord – Shiphay Amateur Dramatic Society
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Dawn Griggs – Buckfastleigh Drama Group
BEST ACTOR – David Gent – TOADS Theatre Company
BEST ACTRESS – Kirsten Munro – Bovey Tracey Players
BEST VISUAL – South Brent Amateur Dramatic Society
LETHBRIDGE CUP (Best Costume in Performance) – Ken Hayden Sadler – Teignmouth Players
PAUL WONNACOTT AWARD (For Stage Presence) – Melanie Halls – Buckfastleigh Drama Group
ADJUDICATOR’S AWARD – Meg Horton (awarded for the importance of the audience)
BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION – Death of a Salesman – TOADS Theatre Company
Apologies for only papping two of the winners with their awards. I will have to try harder next year!
But for the best overall productions, a big congratulations to the cast of ‘Death of a Salesman’