The Harold Jolliffe One-Act Play Festival is presenting eight plays over three days with an exciting mix of storylines and genres.
Assistant Festival Director, Fenella Harrop, says, “In 2014 we’re reflecting the centenary of the First World War with some gritty dramas and three entries with wartime themes.
"We have a poignant adult drama, an enthralling youth entry and an entertaining second youth entry which looks at life in the trenches from a very unexpected point of view!
"Altogether we have five dramas, two comedies and a thrilling comedy-drama as well!”
For anyone wanting a varied night of theatre, HJ1act is just the ticket, says Fenella.
“Each of the three sessions provides a rich mix of drama and style.
"On our opening night, Thursday, 10 April, Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatic Society bring us a comical thriller where five strangers gather in an office to meet the same man for entirely different purposes and find they are locked in.
"Trapped, they must work together to discover why they are there and what on earth is going on! It’s a great way to kick-start the festival and we’re very happy to see PVADS return again this year with such a gripping opening play.
"Next up we welcome festival newcomers The Lechlade Players with a comedy about a security guard and a tramp who find they have more in common than either of them would have suspected.
"We’re also delighted to welcome back the Athelstan Players with a fascinating drama based on a true story that takes us inside a plague-ridden village.
"Through the self sacrifice and bravery of the villagers we see a moving and inspiring story unfold. It’s a great way to end our opening night!”
HJ1act audiences can, once again, rely on seeing plenty of new productions.
“For lots of reasons, theatre companies are stretching themselves with new writing and at HJ1act we’ve got a lot of new, unpublished plays being performed. Four of our eight plays are unpublished and great examples of new writing.”
"This year’s HJ1act sees a full session of three youth plays! We’re delighted to see so much young talent at our festival; particularly in the year we lost our President, Joan Cheshire, who was such a passionate advocate of youth theatre.
"We welcome two original plays by Nettie Powell of Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatic Society entitled ‘Call to Duty’ and ‘Of Lice and Men’.
"Our third entry is from the New College Stage Company who once again bring us the best of their drama students with the self-devised and often hard-hitting ‘Piégé’."
Give it a go!
“One of the many aspects of HJ1act that I enjoy, is how accessible it makes theatre”, says Fenella.
“For anyone reading this, who’s saying to themselves, ‘Humph. Theatre’s all posh and expensive, isn’t it?’, then my answer is ‘NO!’ HJ1act offers everyone a fantastic opportunity to give theatre a go, watching talented local performers give their all, and for just a tenner! I struggle to think of a night out that presents better value than HJ1act!”
Pictured, from top:
Whole Hog’s winning performance of ‘Funny Ha Ha’ by Matthew Clift and Becky Cann
From left: Darren Little, Matthew Clift and Becky Cann who holds the Beck Peck Rose Bowl for the Winning Play.
Whole Hog Productions’ “Funny Ha-Ha” by Matthew Clift and Becky Cann.
From left: Becky Cann and Darren Little.
The Herculean Players, from Lyneham, and their production of “For King and Country, and Me” by Iris Bartle.
“Blood” by Nettie Powell, performed by The Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society Youth Section.
Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society’s comedy, "Towpath" by Robert Iles
“Wet Work” by Darren Little, performed by Whole Hog Productions.
From left: Darren Little and Matthew Clift.
All images by Smile Photography.
The Harold Jolliffe One Act Play Festival is hosted by The Swindon and District Theatre Guild
The Guild is a registered charity no. 272571