Stage set for 72nd Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival at the Barn Theatre
PUBLISHED: 11:10 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:10 29 February 2016
The curtain rises on the 72nd Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival today (Monday).
The annual theatrical feast opens at the Barn Theatre, with the competition reaching its climax on Saturday, March 5 with the final two plays and awards ceremony.
All but two of the festivals have taken place at the theatre in Handside Lane.
Barn artistic director Coral Walton said: “The present committee has been contemplating refurbishing or replacing the awards, all beginning to look their age, but on reflection how can we ditch cups with so much history behind them?
“The Youth Committee Cup presented to the senior group placed first, was donated in 1945 [the previous year the festival was non competitive], by Welwyn Garden City’s Youth Committee when the town was new and the community developing.
“The festival still remains a wonderful platform for young people to show their work and share with others.”
Teams of youngsters from Barnet, Brookmans Park, East Finchley, Hertford, St Albans, Buntingford, Watford and Stevenage, as well as home teams from WGC, will compete this year.
“Over the years the creativity displayed has been truly inspirational,” added Coral.
“The festival is always a wonderful week rich in dramatic ideas. Of course the other huge plus is the educational value of such an event.
“There’s something magical in watching youngsters bloom with new-found confidence and pride.”
This year’s various prizes will be handed out after the second of Saturday night’s two one-act plays.
This year sees a new award, the star-shaped Adjudicator’s Award, given by festival adjudicator Christopher Baglin for any worthy happening during the week.
Tickets for the festival are available through the Barn website at www.barntheatre.co.uk at £10 each, with a reduced price of £6 for groups of six or more.
They can also be obtained from the Barn box office on 01707 324300 – open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday – and also on any show/festival night from 7pm to 9pm at the Barn.
FESTIVAL RUNNING ORDER
* MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29
JCoSS (J): Darkwood Manor – Chris Harrison
Chancellor’s School (J): The Tempest – William Shakespeare
RHS Youth Players (S): Fleurs pas les Fusils (Flowers not Guns) *
* TUESDAY, MARCH 1
Archer Academy (J): Medea – Liz Lochhead
Chancellor’s School (S): 45 Minutes – Anya Reiss *
CoTeens (S): Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer adapted by Phil Woods with Michael Bogdanov.
* WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
Pump House CYT (S): Blackout – Davy Anderson *
Barn Avant Garde (S): Just – Ali Smith *
* THURSDAY, MARCH 3
Barn Hedwig (J): Hood – Katherine Chandler
Phoenix YTC (S): Girl Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen – Adaptation
* FRIDAY, MARCH 4
Pump House CYT (J): Gargantua – Carl Grose
Barnwell School (S) The Missing – Devised
Stagefright (S): Growing Pains – Andra Bishop
* SATURDAY, MARCH 5
Beaumont School (J): It Snows – Bryony Lavery, Steven Hoggett and Scott Graham
Freman College (S): Valentine’s Day – Bethany Cox
[* Caution: may contain strong language]