Festival of Arts playwriting competition short list announced
- By Elaine Bird
- 04 August 2021
- North-West Norfolk
All of the entries were beautifully written and every single one of them was a potential winner - but only three could be shortlisted.
One of Hunstanton’s biggest arts offerings was forced to keep a low profile during the pandemic. The One-Act Drama Festival cancelled its 2020 offering at short notice and the 2021 edition was not a viable option. However, the organisers came up with an alternative and the playwriting competition was launched.
The event was open to anyone and everyone and the rules followed a similar line to the normal requirements. The piece submitted had to have at least three speaking parts, have an estimated running time of between 25 and 45 minutes and it must never have been performed for an audience previously. In addition to the obvious prestige, the winner will receive a first prize of £200.
The interest astonished everyone, and, with the closing date for entries passing on July 1st, the judging began.
Festival Director Stephen Hayter said: "I allowed myself a full month to read and re-read the wonderful submissions that had been received, and I thought that would be plenty. The one advantage of having a deadline is that it does focus the mind … on the other hand another couple of months would have been useful.
"In picking my shortlist of three, I have to say, I am not arrogant enough to suggest that I have picked the best, that is so subjective … I can however testify that I have picked the ones I liked the most and that is the very best I can offer!
“I was delighted that multiple Original Script winner, Steve Harper from Downham Market agreed to be the adjudicator for the competition. He has a sideboard full of trophies for writing and presenting high quality original drama at the Hunstanton Festival and I can now report those 3 shortlisted pieces have been dispatched to Mr Harper."
The three One Act Plays on the short list are:
(in the alphabetical order by title)
ADVERSE CAMBER by KEI BAILEY
OLGA FROM VOLAGRAD by DAVID MORRIS
TAKING FLIGHT by RICHARD CRAWLEY
The winner will be announced at the beginning of September.