Drama on the Coast!

Drama on the Coast!
Stephen Hayter (right) & Brian Hallard

This weekend the Princess Theatre hosts the One-Act Drama Festival and the running order has been announced.

When the curtain closed on the 2019 Hunstanton One-Act Drama Festival, plans began immediately for the 2020 competition. Unfortunately, Covid 19 had other ideas and everything had to stay on hold until this July. The 1st , 2nd and 3rd to be precise when the town welcomes back its famous amateur drama contest.

Festival Director, Stephen Hayter returns for his 3rd year at the helm and a few changes to the Festival committee line-up ensures that the show goes on and never becomes stale. “All our competing groups from 2019 and before have had a terrible time during the lockdown,” says Stephen. “Unable to put on plays, they have struggled for revenue to finance such things as competition.”

Stephen adds: “We have been doubly blessed this year. The HDFA have allowed us our full grant of £1,500 and Mr Brian Hallard of the Princess Theatre has waived all charges for the use of the venue. This means not only can we offer free entry for theatre groups but we can also offer free advertising in our programme to those who have supported us in the past. Everyone needs a hand right now and we are simply taking Mr Hallard’s breath-taking generosity and passing it on.”

The result of this has delivered one of most exciting line-ups of productions the town has ever seen. Not only does the list of entrants include some of the finest group in the area but the number of original scripts being performed is unprecedented. The names include The Boston Playgoers, ManNic Productions, the Wisbech Players and the Sutton Bridge Players as well as accomplished youth groups from Ratzcool and Hunstanton regulars, Smithdon High School.

Treasurer, Anna Hayter says: “We decided our audiences also deserve some extra help this year and so we have also put aside a little money to subsidise the ticket prices. A single afternoon or evening session is just £7.50 (£2.50 for the Sunday night Gala Awards Ceremony) and a season ticket for all 5 sessions for only £20. Where else could you possibly see such quality amateur entertainment for less?”
The Hunstanton One Act Drama Festival opens on Friday 1st July at 7.30 with all performances taking place at the Princess Theatre. Tickets are available now from the Princess Box Office on 01485 532252 or go to www.princesshunstanton.co.uk .

The running order for the weekend is as follows:

Friday 1st July from 7.30pm

2022 kicks off with the grand Opening Ceremony. Helping the u3a celebrating their 40th year, we continue with Mary Mackie & the Hunstanton u3a Play Reading Group. The first half concludes with a 20 minute interval. The second half of our Friday night entertainment features The Sutton Bridge Players with an original composition called ‘The St. Valentine Introductory Agency.’

Saturday 2nd July from 2.30pm

Our first matinee session will commence with a selection of monologues from Alan Bennett’s ‘The Lady in the Van’ presented by Aby Johnson and friends. After an interval of 20 minutes, you will be entertained by Smithdon High School with ‘Bang Out of Order’ from the Sixth Form Students.

Saturday 2nd July from 7.30pm

Our final competitive evening session (don’t forget Sunday night’s Gala Award Ceremony) begins with Margaret Neal and The King’s Lynn u3a with another exhibition from their own play-reading group…called Queer Street. We continue with a Tobias Nicholls original composition ‘Business As Usual’ presented by ManNic Productions. Another 20 minute interval will give you a chance for refreshment and perhaps catch a legendary Hunstanton sunset from the terrace. To conclude, one of our most successful groups from 2019, The Boston Playgoers’, with a Kei Bailey original called ‘’Sunny Side Up’.

Sunday 3rd July from 2.30pm

Due to the usual vagaries of our competing groups, we have had to fill Sunday’s matinee to the gunnels. Three enormously talented groups starting with Wisbech’s Right Angle Theatre’s Youth group, Ratzcool, with ‘Burying Your Brother under the Pavement!’ There will be barely time to your catch your breath before we proceed with The Heckington Players’ and another previously unseen piece called ‘Done and Dusted.’ Another one of our signature 20 minute intervals leaves only the Wisbech Players with a competition piece intriguingly entitled ‘Sunny Hunny presents ‘Strictly Sex Factor on Ice!’’

Sunday 3rd July from 7.30pm

The Hunstanton One-Act Drama Festival Red Carpet Gala Award Ceremony.

Not unexpectedly, we will be announcing the winners and dishing out the silverware. Although, by popular demand, we will be, once again, presenting the Impromptu Play Reading Competition. Open to anyone in the auditorium who has bought a ticket (£2.50 for this evening session), who will be asked to give a radio-style presentation of a script they have never seen before! It proved quite a hoot in 2019, so we decided to do it again!

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