Quirky Bird Theatre win through to the Semi-Finals!

If you’re a keen hj1act watcher you’ll already know the great news that Quirky Bird Theatre are Quarter Final Winners!


Quirky Bird Theatre win at the AETF Southern and Mercia Division Quarter Finals, for their performance of ‘Tusk, Tusk’ by Polly Stenham, 23rd April 2016 (Photo credit: Ashley Heath)

The celebrations following our fantastic festival finale at hj1act 2016 had barely died down before we were off again for the next round of the All England Theatre Festival just one week later.

These were Saturday’s AETF Quarter Finals for the Southern and Mercier Divisions.

Appearing at the Bouverie Hall in Pewsey were five companies who had won through from their respective first rounds. We all know our fabulous hj1act winners were Quirky Bird Theatre and runners-up were Lechlade Players (read more HERE).  The other teams competing were Oasis Youth Theatre with ‘I Love You Mum’ by Mark Wheeller, Southampton University Players with ‘Fumed Oak’ by Noel Coward and The Shaftesbury Players with ‘100’ by D. Petterle, N. Monaghan and C. Heimann.

It was a packed day full of wonderful theatre which GoDA adjudicator Alan Hayes hailed as a celebration of winners who should all be very proud of what they have already achieved.

Quirky Bird Theatre triumphed again with ‘Tusk, Tusk’ by Polly Stenham winning the Joan Cheshire Trophy for the Winning Play. Rosie Walker who plays Maggie in ‘Tusk, Tusk’ also won the James Grout Trophy for Best Youth Actor.


Quirky Bird Theatre director Anna Friend receives the Joan Cheshire Trophy for the Winning Play from adjudicator Alan Hayes of GoDA, Southern and Mercia Divisions Quarter Finals, 23rd April 2016

Adjudicator Alan Hayes praised the Quirky Bird Theatre cast’s achievement saying ‘these were very fine performances from such young actors who showed skills beyond their years’.


Rosie Walker of Quirky Bird Theatre receives the James Grout Trophy for Best Youth actor from GoDA’s Alan Hayes for her performance as Maggie in ‘Tusk, Tusk’ by Polly Stenham, Southern and Mercia Division Quarter Finals, 23rd April, 2016

Our hj1act runners-up the Lechlade Players were also winners on Saturday taking away the Edward Taylor Trophy for Best Acting. Coming in as runners-up in the festival once again they impressed the adjudicator with their comic timing,  great use of physicality and rapid-fire delivery of Chekhov’s quick-witted farce ‘The Proposal’.


Dominic Valentine receives the Edward Taylor Trophy for Best Acting from adjudicator Alan Hayes, GoDA, for Lechlade Players performance of ‘The Proposal’ by Anton Chekhov, Western and Mercia Division Quarter Finals, 23rd April, 2016.

Other winners on Saturday were….

The David Bushby Trophy for Best Direction won by Bridget Wilkinson for ‘Fumed Oak’ by Noel Coward, performed by Southampton University Players

The Peter Haddon Trophy for Technical Excellence won by Oasis Youth Theatre for ‘I Love You Mum’ by Mark Wheeller

Congratulations to Quirky Bird Theatre, Lechlade Players and all the teams who performed on Saturday!

Special thanks also to the festival organisers and to Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society who hosted this event so brilliantly.

The Semi-Finals

Quirky Bird Theatre now go through to the semi-finals at The Merlin Theatre in Frome on Saturday 7th May, just two short weeks away.  The Lechlade Players also have the chance to go through but their selection process is a little more nail-biting. They must wait for all the other quarter final’s results to come in! The marks will then be added up and the highest scoring runner-up will be the lucky group who moves on to the semis. We’re keeping everything crossed and will let you know as soon as we do.

If you would like to go along and support our amazing winners, here are all the details….

The Western Area Semi-Finals of the All England Theatre Festival (more HERE)

Date: Saturday 7th May 2016

Venue: The Merlin Theatre, Bath Road, Frome, Somerset. BA11 2HG (more HERE)

Adjudicator: Jan Palmer-Sayer, GoDA (more HERE)

Tickets: One session £10.50 , two sessions £16.00

Buy tickets….

Online HERE

By phone on (01373) 465949

On the door (from 45 mins before the performance)

The Merlin Theatre has free parking and disabled access.

The groups and running order will be confirmed very soon so watch this space!


Quirky Bird Theatre celebrate their quarter final’s win. Congratulations and see you at the semi-finals! (Photo credit: Ashley Heath)


UPDATE:  Lechlade Players have made it through to the semis on 7th May!! The marks from all the other quarter finals have been added up and they are the highest scoring runners-up. They’ll join Quirky Bird Theatre at the Merlin Theatre in Frome. Congratulations! 


NEXT UP: The Semi-Finals


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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 hj1act@gmail.com  So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!

The Harold Jolliffe One-Act Play Festival supports  SWINDON 175
Celebrating 175 years since the birth of Swindon as a railway town
Find out more HERE and HERE


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Posted in 2016, Adjudicators, Companies, Plays

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