Our 2018 Winners!


Vice Chair of the Pewsey Parish Council David Smith presents the Athelstan Players with the Betty Peck Rosebowl for the winning play for their performance of ‘Dig for the Diggers’, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

And the winners are….The Athelstan Players with ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney!

Another fantastic festival is over for another year! We’re just about coming up for air after the excitement of last weekend to bring you news of our winners and photos of the awards presentations.

The full list of winners for the 2018 Festival is as follows:

The BBC Wiltshire Audience Award:

Winner: Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskcomb Brown

BBC Wiltshire’s James Thomas (far left) presents the Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society with the BBC Audience Award for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The June Thompson Memorial Cup for Dramatic Endeavour

Winner: RWB Productions for ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford

Nominations:

  • Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Societyfor ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskcomb Brown
  • The Athelstan Players for ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney

The Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett Steve Bucknell presents Paula Clifford of RWB Productions with the June Thompson Memorial Cup for Dramatic Endeavour for ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Matthew Herring Award for Originality or Achievement in Technical Theatre

Winner: Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskcomb Brown

Nominations:

  • RWB Productionsfor ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford

 

The Swindon Advertiser Award for an Original Production

Winner: Lechlade Players for ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson

Nominations:

  • Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Societyfor ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskcomb Brown
  • RWB Productionsfor ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford

Vice Chair of Pewsey Parish Council David Smith presents Tara Thompson of the Lechlade Players with the Swindon Advertiser Award for Best Original Production for ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Beryldene Hunt Cup for Best Performance by a Junior Actor

Winner: Deanna Aspell as Dottie in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

Nominations:

  • Daniel Lancaster as Kane in ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, performed by Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society

The mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett Steve Bucknall presents the Beryldene Hunt Cup for Best Performance by a Junior Actor to Deanna Aspell of RWB Productions for her performance as Dottie in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Brenda Lilley Loving Cup for Best Performance by a Youth Group

Winner: Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskcomb Brown

The Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett Steve Bucknall presents the Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society with the Brenda Lilley Loving Cup for Best Performance by a Youth Group for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

 

The Joan Cheshire Trophy for Best Adult Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner: Megan Mills as Sue in ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Linn Brittney, performed by The Athelstan Players

Nominations:

  • Denise Humphreys as Nell in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

The Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett Steve Bucknall presents Megan Mills of the Athelstan Players the Joan Cheshire Memorial Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Sue in ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Lester Trophy for Best Adult Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner: Daniel Lancaster as Kane in ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, performed by Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society

Nominations:

Neil Strange as George in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

The Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett Steve Bucknall presents Daniel Lancaster of Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society with the Lester Trophy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Kane in ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

 

The Audrey Suter Trophy for Best Adult Performance by an Actress

Winner: Katie Dyet as Charlotta in ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson, performed by the Lechlade Players

Nominations:

  • Victoria Maskell as Ethel in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

 

The Audrey Suter Trophy for Best Adult Performance by an Actor

Winner: Bob Charman as Mick Feeney in ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney, performed by The Athelstan Players

Nominations:

  • Richard Cleghorn-Brown as Firs in ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson, performed by the Lechlade Players
  • Ian Laurie for Bill in ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

 

The Peter English Award for Best Direction

Winner: Christine Mace for ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney, performed by The Athelstan Players

Nominations:

  • Nettie Baskomb Brown for ‘White Gold’ by Nettie Baskomb Brown, performed by Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society
  • Paula Clifford for ‘The Boy I Love’ by Paula Clifford, performed by RWB Productions

Vice Chair of Pewsey Parish Council David Smith presents Christine Mace of the Athelstan Players the Peter English Award for Best Director for ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Charles Grace Cup for the Runners Up

Winner: Lechlade Players for ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson

Vice Chair of Pewsey Parish Council David Smith awards Andy Pritchard, director of the Lechlade Players with the Charles Grace Cup for the Runners Up for ‘Not a Soul in the Place’ by Tara Thompson, hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

The Betty Peck Rosebowl for the Winning Play

Winner: The Athelstan Players for ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynn Brittney

 

Our winners the Athelstan Players and our Runners Up the Lechlade Players now go forward to represent us at the All England Theatre Festival Quarter Finals in Weymouth on Saturday 7th April. For more details click HERE

PLEASE NOTE – despite what the website says, the afternoon session starts at 2pm and the evening session starts at 7pm. Tickets on the door.

 

The Athelstan Players have also bagged themselves a coveted slot at the Swindon Fringe Festival on Saturday 14th April, 2.30pm at The Phoenix Theatre, New College Swindon. For all the details click HERE

 

Our fabulous adjudicator Alison Haines from the Guild of Drama Adjudicators (GoDA) with Daniel Lancaster of the Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society who won the Best Supporting Actor Award – usually awarded to an adult! hj1act 2018 (Photo credit: takeonestudio.co.uk)

 

So that’s it for another year. Huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who took part in what was a fantastic festival! We’re looking forward to 2019!

 

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

 

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Lechlade Players debut new play at hj1act

 

Playwright Tara Thompson, author of ‘Not a Soul in the Place’

The Lechlade Players are returning to the Harold Jolliffe One-Act Play Festival this year with the debut performance of an original piece of work – ‘Not A Soul In The Place’ by Tara Thompson.

The drama is a sequel to Anton Chekhov’s last play,  ‘The Cherry Orchard’.

Tara explains, ‘The Cherry Orchard’ tells the story of a family and a country on the verge of momentous change. A hereditary estate has just been purchased by a merchant named Lopakhin, a symbol of times to come in Russia. The family has quit and a famous cherry orchard is about to be destroyed. One man has been left behind. ‘Not A Soul In The Place’ was inspired by a conversation about what happened to him”.

Overseeing the production will be Andy Pritchard, who says, “I’m very excited to be directing the first performance of this play. Striking the right balance between the moods that shift within the piece, as in Chekhov, is a challenge. But I’m lucky to be working with a great cast”.

Richard Cleghorn-Brown, Katie Dyet and Dominic Valentine

Katie Dyet and Dominic Valentine will be returning to the Harold Jolliffe stage for this production, joined by Festival first-timer Richard Cleghorn-Brown.

The play has been in rehearsal at the Trout Inn in Lechlade, where the Players regularly perform as part of the Theatre @ The Trout programme that runs in the Marquee Theatre throughout the year.

Renowned for bringing high quality plays to our festival, the Lechlade Players look set to impress us again and we can’t wait to see this fascinating new play!

Find out more about the Lechlade Players HERE

Tickets to see this play and all the other plays on offer at hj1act 2018 are on sale  HERE

 

Up Next: The Festival gets underway

 

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

 


RWB Productions bring us a story of love and football

Neil Strange plays George

RWB Productions was formed in 2014 by Paula and Derek Clifford. At the Harold Jolliffe One – Act Play Festival that year we performed ‘There Just Has To Be a Better Way’ written by Derek and  it won The Swindon Advertiser Award for an original production. This play has consequently been published by Cressrelles which is very exciting. As it is a play about 3 footballers joining up as PALS during WW1 we are very much hoping that another group will perform it this year.

Both Derek and Paula write and direct  but this year Paula has written, and is directing their entry. Four years on from the first RWB entry and to mark the centenary of the end of the war Paula has written another play about footballers and their loved ones. This is a story of love and football set in late 1917 during the third battle of Ypres at Passchendaele. Whilst their men folk are away fighting the women are working in a munitions factory and playing football during their breaks. As the play unfolds we see how football plays an important part of all their lives.

Ian Laurie as Bill

Paula says she enjoys the research side of play writing. “This part of the process can take much longer than the original writing. The research can uncover all sorts of interesting information and can at times reshape the script”

RWB Productions perform four times a year in a very different setting. A railway carriage on the Blunsdon and Cricklade Railway where they present murder mystery evenings. These evenings are great fun for actors and audience alike. The theme of the evening is changed each time so it is a lot of preparation but that’s part of the fun. People booking to see the Murder Mystery get a train ride ‘with a difference’ and a meal back on Blunsdon Station. The train journey lasts approximately 8 minutes each way and the ‘Murder’ has to be timed just right at the end of the return journey. We have had a lot of fun over the three years that we have been presenting the Murder Mysteries and a lot of great feedback from ‘audiences’ with some people booking for more than one evening in the year.

The Murder Mystery evenings take place during the summer months and at Christmas, then its back to the more serious side of drama to produce the next hj1act entry.

L-R: Victoria Maskell playing Ethel, Denise Humphries as Nell and Neil Strange as George

We’re always very excited about new writing here at hjHQ so we’re really looking forward to RWB Productions bringing their new to play to our festival!

 

Find out more about RWB Productions HERE

Follow them on Twitter HERE

Tickets to see this play and all the other plays on offer at hj1act 2018 are on sale  HERE

 

Up Next: The Lechlade Players

 

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

 


The Athelstan Players return to hj1act

The Athelstan Players rehearse ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynne Brittney, hj1act 2018

It’s been three years (where does the time go?) since the Athelstan Players took our festival by storm with their multi-award winning production of Honeymoon Suite ‘Something Old, Something New’ by Tony Layton which won all the way through to the English Finals in 2015.

We’re very happy to welcome them back this year with their production of ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynne Brittney. Director Christine Mace gave us some more details:

‘The Athelstan Players hail from Malmesbury, Wiltshire. The group was formed in 1938 and ran throughout the Second World War, unlike the famous Windmill Theatre, ‘we never closed.’  We are quite a small Group with about 40 members with ages ranging from 9 to 80.  We also have a junior section from ages 9 to 16.  We perform three-act plays, revues and pantomimes throughout the year.

Our play this year, ‘Dig for the Diggers’ by Lynne Brittney, is a WW1 play, based on an actual event, but the characters are fictitious.  It is the centenary this year of 100 years since WW1 so it is very poignant and moving for us performing this play.  The play is about the finding, exhumation, forensic DNA work and re-interment of 250 Australian and British WW1 soldiers who died in the battle of Fromelles on 19th July 1916.

We have performed many times in the hj1act Festival over the years and been very successful.  It is a fantastic experience for our members to perform in the competition and to meet and watch other groups and to part of the Festival.’

We’re very happy to welcome the Athelstan Players back again in 2018 and can’t wait to see ‘Dig for the Diggers’, all the more meaningful in this WW1 centenary year.

 

Find out more about the Athelstan Players HERE

Tickets to see this play and all the other plays on offer at hj1act 2018 are on sale  HERE

 

Up Next: RWB Productions

 

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


PVADYS new play takes us back in time

Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society are returning to the hj1act stage this year with a brand new play written by Nettie Baskomb Brown, ‘White Gold’.

Local playwright Nettie Baskcomb Brown has taken inspiration from her dog walking forays into the Wiltshire countryside to write this dramatic approach to looking at our prehistoric heritage. What does lie beneath the ‘rolling hills’ of Wiltshire? What were the stories behind the people at Stonehenge?

Nettie’s previous, very successful plays, which have now been performed in the UK, Czech Republic, USA and New Zealand, often take a non-human subject and bring it to life, such as red blood cells, cloned sheep and pond plants. In White Gold she deals with real people, the Mesolithic, from ten thousand years ago, shortly after the last Ice Age.

Nettie Baskomb Brown

The story of ‘White Gold’ started some five years ago. With only a basic knowledge of the most obvious prehistoric monuments in the region, Nettie started on a quest for more information in order to build a factually based story of the people who built Stonehenge.  After doing an online course about Stonehenge, reading books and papers on the prehistory of the area, walking every landscape, climbing every tumuli – she visited Amesbury History Centre where she became entranced by evidence of a Mesolithic settlement inside the World Heritage Site – it is called Blick Mead and it is the first place in the Stonehenge landscape. This magical area on the banks of the River Avon had been occupied five thousand years before the Stonehenge monument was built! Inside the museum there were displays of some of the tens of thousands of beautifully worked flint tools, huge bones from Aurochs, a ferocious breed of huge wild cattle standing two metres at its shoulders, and pink flint – really bright pink! She was allowed to hold these items. She felt a shiver of excitement run down her spine. She was hooked!

In 2014 a short sketch version of ‘White Gold’ was born – the first in a trilogy of one act plays about the Mesoltihic, Neolithic and Bronze age families in prehistoric Wiltshire. This was performed at the Pewsey Fringe festival. Since then Nettie embarked on an archaeological journey spending the last few years excavating the site (only open for two weeks a year) alongside eminent archaeologists and local volunteers and culminating in her doing an MA in Archaeology: ‘Stonehenge and the First Britons’. This year she has subsequently rewritten ‘White Gold’, underpinned by an in-depth knowledge of Blick Mead and a fair sprinkling of dramatic license, in time for this year’s Harold Jolliffe One Act Play festival (hj1act 2018)

In ‘White Gold’ we follow Tom, a young archaeologist, who is transported back through time to meet Miah, an auroch huntress, and her family. Full of wonder he lives, eats and works with these Mesolithic people as they prepare for the winter hunt and feasting with other local tribes. Then strangers arrive at the camp which leads to a dangerous encounter…

The play will be performed by PVADS youth theatre (PVADYS) under Nettie’s direction.

Find out more about Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society and its Youth Theatre  HERE

Tickets to see this play and all the other plays on offer at hj1act 2018 are on sale  HERE

 

Footnote: The site at Blick Mead is now under threat of destruction due to the plans for the tunnel through the Stonehenge WHS.

Blick Mead Spring

 

 

Up Next: The Athelstan Players

 

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

 


Meet our adjudicator for 2018!

Alison Haines GoDA (Ass) , hj1act adjudicator 2018

We are very happy to announce our festival adjudicator for 2018, Alison Haines, GoDA (Ass)

In six decades of active involvement in the world of amateur theatre Alison has always made it a priority to study, to understand and to experience as many different theatrical disciplines as possible. She is an award winning actress and director with a particular interest in design and costume. She has a keen eye for detail and, thanks to her BTEC “Technical Skills in Live Entertainment” qualifications, a sound working knowledge of everything which goes on behind the scenes as well as on the stage.

Since relocating to the west country in 2000, in addition to her active involvement with existing theatre and musical theatre companies in both Devon and Somerset, she has created her own small production company, Manor House (formerly Blackdown Productions) and produces and directs plays and musicals for actors of all ages and abilities. She particularly enjoys working with children and young adults and, despite all advice to the contrary, this year for the first time, she will also attempt, in an open air touring production of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” to direct a dog! She Is passionate about encouraging and promoting entertaining theatre wherever and whenever the opportunity arises.

She has been actively involved in drama festivals, in one capacity or another, since the 1960s although her first experience of competitive drama came even earlier, whilst still at school. Alison finally achieved a long-held ambition to become a professional adjudicator when she was granted the honour of being selected as an Associate Member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators in 2016.

This is only her second season as an adjudicator but she has already enjoyed the challenge of adjudicating a range of different festivals including the Somerset County Drama Festival, The Five Counties Youth Festival, the county final of the Somerset Young Farmers Entertainments Competition and the final of the Glamorgan Young Farmers Pantomime Competition.

Alison lives with her husband, Matthew, in the Blackdown Hills on the Somerset/Devon border where life is peaceful but never boring.  She is eagerly anticipating a feast of theatrical delights at the Harold Jolliffe One-Act Play Festival 2018 and says she is thrilled and honoured to have been invited to be our adjudicator.

And we’re just as excited to welcome Alison to our festival!

Tickets are on sale now HERE – don’t miss out, get yours today!

 

Up Next: Meet the teams

 

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

 

 


Find out more about this year’s entrants

Today we’re taking a closer look at hj1act 2018’s plays and when they’ll be on!

Friday 23rd March

Slot 1: Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Youth Society

Stonehenge: White Gold

Written and directed by Nettie Baskomb Brown

In this one act factual drama, an archaeologist, Tom, is digging at what he suspects to be a Mesolithic site in the Stonehenge landscape. He finds a rare perforated mace head and is surprised to be challenged by Miah, who claims to be the owner of this 8500 year old artefact. Miah welcomes him into her settlement in time for the biggest winter feasting event of the year.

 

Slot 2: Lechlade Players

Last of the Red Hot Lovers, an extract

Written by Neil Simon, directed by John Williams

It’s the early 1970s in New York. Middle aged and married, Barney Cashman wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too latte. In this extract from this witty comedy, Barney continues his rapid introduction to the permissive society after meeting actress Bobbi Michele in the park…

 

Slot 3: Athelstan Players

Dig for the Diggers

Written by Lynn Brittney, directed by Christine Mace

This drama is based on an actual event – the finding, exhumation, forensic DNA work and re-interment of 250 Australian and British WW1 soldiers who died in the Battle of Fromelles on July 19th 1916.

 

Saturday 24th March

Slot 1: Lechlade Players

Not a Soul in the Place

Written by Tara Thompson, directed by Andy Pritchard

A sequel to Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’. That play tells the story of a family and a country on the verge of momentous change. It ends with a family home being quit and a famous orchard about to be destroyed. One man is left behind. ‘Not A Soul In The Place’ was inspired by a conversation about what happened to him. The setting is the nursery scene from the end of ‘The Cherry Orchard’.  The action takes place later the same afternoon.

 

Slot 2: Pewsey Vale Amateur Dramatics Society

The Accident

Written by Herb Hasler, directed by Chris Pearse

This comedy sees small theatre company preparing for opening night of their friend’s original play when an accident prevents the truck carrying costumes and props from arriving. Determined to salvage the production, the actors stage the play using other actors and their stagehands as scenery…

 

Slot 3: RWB Productions

The Boy I Love

Written and directed by Paula Clifford

Three women, left at home when their men folk enlist during WW1, become Munitionettes. They play football in their lunch break and two of the women begin to play competitively. As the war comes to an end the women’s lives begin to change.

 

Tickets are on sale now so get yours HERE

Full Price £11.00

Concessions £9.00

Awards Ceremony Only: £5.00

SPECIAL OFFER – 20% OFF FOR GROUPS OF TEN OR MORE!!

 

Up Next: Meet our 2018 adjudicator

 

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