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Preview: Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival at Arts Centre Washington

Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival
Arts Centre Washington
Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th March 2019

The 2nd Durham & Sunderland One Act Theatre Festival will be held over four days from 6th to 9th March at Arts Centre Washington. The inaugural festival took place at the arts centre in March last year, this year seven amateur theatre groups from around the area have entered plays.

The festival is one of 25 events being held across the country in the All England Theatre Festival, in which amateur drama groups present One Act plays. These are adjudicated, with awards presented on the final day for the best performances, and the best overall group going forward to a Northern Region semi-final. The adjudicator this year will be Sue Doherty, from Liverpool.

The 2018 festival was such a success that this year the Semi-Final will also be staged at Arts Centre Washington, and this will be held on 4th and 5th May. Between 6 and 8 winning groups from around the North of England (and possibly the Isle of Man) will assemble and perform at Washington. The group judged best overall will then go forward to the All England Final, to be held this year at Maidenhead.

Groups taking part in this years event are Washington Theatre Group, Find the River Productions, Matchbox Theatre, Royalty Theatre, Consett Phoenix Youth, Holmside Productions and the University of Sunderland’s Drama Department.

The Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival has already become noted as a showcase for New Writing and this year it will include new plays by Helen Bowie, Tom Casling, Angela Marshall and Lee Stewart. These will compete for the Allan Monkhouse New Writing Award, named after the Barnard Castle born playwright.

The Festival is sponsored and organised by Alan Godfrey, of Alan Godfrey Maps, who have published more than 3,000 historical maps for towns throughout the British Isles and continue to publish more than 80 new titles a year from their office at Leadgate, near Consett. The maps are a major source for local and family historians, and their value nationally was recognised when Alan was awarded an MBE in 2010.   Alan Godfrey was an actor in the 1970s before concentrating on his map business and continues to act and direct on an amateur basis. He will be appearing in one of the plays himself, Chekhov’s ‘The Anniversary’, to be performed on the Friday.

The Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival takes place  from 6th to 9th March at Arts Centre Washington.  Tickets cost £6 per night, or £18 for the four nights, and are available from or by calling the box office on 0191 561 3455.

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