The 2017 Elmbridge Drama Festival drew to a close on Saturday 11th March in the Cecil Hepworth Walton Playhouse, with the presentation of awards by the festival adjudicator Jill Colby, a long-standing and highly respected Member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators.
Jill praised the variety of drama and high standard of performance in the competition that included one act drama performances by five groups over two evenings. Two of the five participating drama groups (Drama Queens and Chameleons) were first time entrants in the festival, having travelled from Cambridge and Kilburn respectively. The other entrants were Bishopstoke Players from Eastleigh, Hampshire and long-standing challengers Runnymede Drama Group and Woking College Theatre Company.
Runnymede Drama Group (RDG) won the Richard Davis Best Play trophy for their production of “Pvt. Wars” by the American playwright James McLure, with a sensitive and humorous portrayal of the strained relationship between three Vietnam ‘veterans’ in a US army hospital. This production also collected individual awards for Best Actor (Josh Smith) and Best Youth Actor (Maxwell Usher).
RDG narrowly beat the inventive Woking College Theatre Company production of “Bed” by Jim Cartwright which won the Runners Up trophy in addition to a host of other awards for Best Director (Claire Nevers and Gina Marshall), Best Under 21 play, Best Actress (Rachel Brabon) and the Technical Merit trophy and Adjudicators trophy (Richard Bagnulo).
The award for best original work was deservedly won by Drama Queens with their performance of “Untucked” by Teresa Hennessey, featuring two colourful and ‘larger than life’ drag artists. The Best Supporting Player was awarded to 17 year old Ruby Joy of Bishopstoke Players.
The 2017 Elmbridge Drama festival was generously supported by the RC Sherriff Trust and Charity of Roberts Phillips. Runnymede Drama Group will represent the Elmbridge Drama Festival in the Eastern Area Final of the All England Theatre Festival, to be held in the delightful Barn Theatre Oxted on Saturday 27th May 2017. See attached flyer for full details.
Ian Thomas Chairman, Elmbridge Drama Festival