Stage set for drama festival

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One of the highlights in Arran’s winter calendar is the yearly one-act festival staged by the Isle of Arran Drama Association during the last week in February, this year on Thursday February 27, Friday 28 and Saturday 29.

Eight plays are on the programme; three of them being junior plays. The festival will kick off with ‘Bye Baby Bunting’, performed by Whiting Bay Youths and directed by Allan Little. ‘Albert’, produced by Sheila Gilmore, is one of two entries from Shiskine Drama Club, sporting a cast of young adults. Whiting Bay Club of Drama and Music stages the last play on Thursday, ‘Prats’, written and directed by local playwright Andy McNamara.

Lamlash Junior Drama will take to the stage first on Friday with the comedy ‘Murder Thricely’ written and performed by Colin MacDonald. They will be followed by ‘Mirror, mirror’, a comedy directed by Jerry Arthur. Lamlash Drama will end the evening with a comedy directed by Maureen Smith, ‘The Baby Machine’.

The festival’s last day will show us ‘Jump Off’, a high comedy, performed by Shiskine Junior Drama under the direction of Sheila Gilmore, and ‘Curses, Foiled Again’, produced by Allan Nicol and performed by Whiting Bay Club of Drama and Music.

This year’s adjudicator, Dave Bennet, has more than 40 years of stage experience and has also directed award winning plays. He has taught acting, directing and technical theatre to degree level, and as an SQA external advisor he is also ensuring that quality standards are met across the UK in these areas.

Dave Bennet is a frequent adjudicator at Scottish drama festivals. He is also the chairman of the Scottish Association of Speech and Drama Adjudicators and artistic director within his own theatre company. Therefore, it is very much appreciated that he is fitting the Arran Drama Festival into his surely busy timetable, and we are sure that directors, actors and the audience will not only enjoy his comments but also learn a lot from them.

Drama on Arran has a long history. Quite a few young people who started out as actors in one of the junior plays at the festival, are now acting professionally on the stages around the country. Some appeared in TV series like The Athena or Sex Education, or on the big screen in films like Mary Queen of Scots or 1917. You come across them in radio plays and you can meet them at the Fringe or even on the red carpet in Cannes. But they all have in common that once they stood on the stage during an Arran Drama Festival.

With this in mind, we’re looking forward to a three day festival with a varied programme that will showcase the great theatrical talent on the island.

                                                                                                                 Assja Baumgartner


All the award winners at the 2019 drama festival with their trophies. 01_B09awards01