Groups vie to upstage each other at Saltburn Drama Festival

Last year's winning play Frederico
Last year's winning play Frederico

Some of the best drama companies from the region are going head to head in Saltburn’s Drama Festival this week.

Amateur groups have taken to the stage at Saltburn’s Community Theatre with performances on Thursday March 16 and Friday March 17 andawards presented on Saturday March 18.

Part of the All England Theatre Festival, the winner of the festival goes through to the semi-final of the competition also held in Saltburn over the weekend of May 6 and 7.

Sheenah Taylor, chairmain of Saltburn Drama Festival, said: “Each play must be set, performed and struck in one hour. It demands a very creative approach – from the writing right through to staging – but it does produce some very exciting theatre.”

There have been five entries this year from Scarborough’s Cresta and Bananadrama groups; Northallerton’s Allerton Players; Holmside Productions from Durham and Saltburn’s 53 Drama Group.

“The groups play their cards very close to their chest so we never know until close to the time what the performances will be. It adds to the excitement,” said Sheenah. In the spirit of the event, Saltburn ‘53 are keeping mum about its. “The only thing I will say is that it features a cast ranging in age from 11 to 82 but I would just urge people to come along to as many evenings as they can and help celebrate the huge talent we have in the North East.”

Saltburn 53 will be hoping to match last year’s achievement when they won a string of awards for their production Federico – a play written by 53 member Sue Pierce about the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca who was executed by nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. The group went on to compete in the semi-final of the competition at Port Sunlight.

The awards evening is a chance for all the groups to relax and enjoy some musical entertainment, before the trophies are presented. Programmed by Saltburn 53’s Musical Director Andrew Pierce, it’s a hugely entertaining evening of song, dance and music.

“Entry is free to weekly ticket holders and if you haven’t been before, we’d love you to join us.”

Tickets are on sale from the theatre, Book Corner and online at www.saltburnarts.co.uk Curtain up is at 7.30pm each evening with doors at 6.45pm except Saturday’s award ceremony which starts at 7pm.