After the great start to hj1act 2015 on Thursday evening (read about it HERE) we were very excited to see what our second night would bring. Festival Friday certainly lived up to expectations with more excellent performances from three local theatre companies.
To kick things off we saw The Lechlade Players with Last Tango in Little Grimley by David Tristram. An amateur dramatic company decide to spice things up to boost their audience numbers as well as their ailing coffers. Lots of really lovely attention to detail here – did you spot the copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? Rod Stewart’s classic ‘Do you think I’m Sexy?’ was an inspired soundtrack choice. Wonderfully observed characterisations and great comic timing made this a real treat and the perfect way to start the evening. Well done Lechlade Players!
Our second play was from the students at Swindon’s New College with their devised play Under the Bridge. We’ve written about this play before (find it HERE and HERE) and it was fantastic to see it on the hj1act stage. A very edgy, dark look into the underbelly of the internet, social media and the dangers of trolling. Hence the title of the play! A really snappy, visually exciting piece with excellent use of physicality and imagery. Light and sound were cleverly used to create a sense of drama and suspense and strong performances by this young cast really packed a punch. Congratulations Swindon College!
To finish up our Festival Friday we saw Friendly Theatre perform The Virtuous Burglar by Dario Fo. This was a frenetic farce with secrets and lies layered upon misunderstandings and muddles, building to a hysterical final resolution. Husbands having affairs with other peoples wives, a burglar hiding in a grandfather clock, a gun, a bottle of whisky and a pair of pyjamas all added to the mayhem. A skillfully performed play: no matter how mental things got the actors made sure to guide us through the action with sparkling performances that really crackled with energy. What a way to round of the evening! Well done Friendly Theatre!
A detailed and informative audjudication followed with each team given positive, constructive feedback from our adjudicator, Sue Doherty from GoDA.
Still not been along to the Arts Centre for hj1act 2015? Well you’ve missed some stonkingly good shows but it’s not too late to catch some more. Tonight we have our final two entries; starting at 7.15pm we’ll first see festival newcomers Bishopstoke Players with their murder mystery A Long Time Coming, written and directed by Peter Yates. Next it’s our reining champions The Athelstan Players with Act 1 of Honeymoon Suite by Tony Layton. Find out more about these two plays HERE.
We’ll finish our evening and round up the festival with our own version of the Oscars! The Awards Ceremony will take place after the final adjudications and this is where we’ll find out who has won the coveted trophies and who will go on to the next round of the All England Theatre Festival.
Tickets are on sale NOW so get yours by phoning (01793) 524481 or come along to Swindon Arts Centre in Devizes Road and buy them on the door tonight.
See you there!
NEXT UP: Festival Finale: and the winner is……..
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If you have a story you’d like us to include here in our blog, or if there’s something you’d like us to write about, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!