The next round: this Saturday in Royal Wootton Bassett

Even though we’ve said goodbye to hj1act for another year, that’s not the end of things by any means.  Our winners and runners up are set to perform again in the next round of the All England Theatre Festival this coming weekend.

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The Athelstan Players perform Honeymoon Suite at hj1act 2015 (Photo: Ian Laurie, Take One)

If you’ve been keeping an eye on all things hj1act or indeed if you were lucky enough to actually be there, you’ll know that this year’s champions are The Athelstan Players and runners-up are Marlborough Young Actors (who are also our Junior Champions) who took home plenty of silverware at our Festival Finale awards ceremony.  Read all about it HERE, HERE and HERE.

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Marlborough Young Actors perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at hj1act 2015  (Photo: Ian Laurie, Take One)

What you may not know is that hj1act is a first round of the All England Theatre Festival’s (AETF) annual one-act play competition. Those who win through get the chance to perform again, in front of new audiences and different adjudicators and if they do well, can continue on right up to the English and National Finals!  We’ll talk  more about them very soon but first let’s look at what’s coming up this weekend.

This Saturday, 25th April,  at the Memorial Hall in Royal Wootton Bassett the next round of the AETF will take place and it’s actually the quarter finals! What’s more, YOU can be there to see it. Competing for a place in the semi-finals there’ll be the two teams that won through from hj1act 2015 who’ll go up against two more teams who won through from the Codford One-Act Play Festival, held a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s the skinny…..

There’ll be two sessions of two plays each, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Afternoon Session, starting at 2.15pm

The Athenaeum Limelight Players

with ‘Little Grimley Presents Strictly Sex Factor (on Ice)’

by David Tristrum

Little Grimley Amateur Dramatics Society faces a threat to their very existence. Reality TV shows have ravaged Saturday night audiences, but chairman Gordon has a cunning plan: their very own Saturday night blockbuster. All they need now is an audience, some contestants, four judges……and some ice.

There will then be an interval, followed by:

The Athelstan Players

with ‘Honeymoon Suite’ (extract)

by Tony Layton

Aging and fading pop star Jet Rush checks in to the bridal suite with Pat, his new wife. The marriage is, for him, a sham; another publicity stunt in an attempt to re-invigorate his flagging career. Pat though, has loved him since the moment they met but has never seen the love returned. A bittersweet journey into the honeymoon suite sees Jet plan his triumphal comeback. Will his plan work? Will he ever really appreciate Pat?

This extract is entitled ‘Something Old, Something New’ and is the first act of the larger three-act play.

There will then follow an adjudication of these two plays by the adjudicator Paul Fowler from The Guild of Drama Adjudicators (GoDA).

Evening Session, starting at 7.00pm

Marlborough Young Actors

with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

by William Shakespeare

The Marlborough Young Actors take on this classic tale of fairies and love and with the help of a lot of wigs and music they will weave this magical story into something quite unique. High energy with lots of fun, frolics and the occasional bit of cross-dressing. It’s Shakespeare but not as you know it!

There will then be an interval, followed by:

Woolstore Country Theatre

with ‘What’s for Pudding’

by David Tristram

It is a typically quiet and boring Saturday night for a middle-aged couple like Mary and Jack, until the doorbell rings. What follows is a series of comic revelations as their dull routine is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Maureen, Ted and Dennis. Then drink begins to flow….

An adjudication of these two plays by the adjudicator Paul Fowler from GoDA follows before a summary and announcement of the winner and presentations of the trophies.

Tickets are £7.00 per session or £10.00 for both sessions. You can buy tickets on the door.

Set your SatNav for  The Memorial Hall, Station Rd, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN

£10.00 for four plays in one day is ridiculously good value for money so get along to Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday and show our hj1act 2015 winners some love.  Who knows, they might win their way to the semi-finals.

See you there!


NEXT UP: The Semi-Finals


To make sure you keep up to date with all things hj1act, don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ this page & our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our website.   Hit ‘SHARE’ and ‘RETWEET’ so your friends list can keep up to date too.

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  So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!

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