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County Drama


County Drama Festival

The County Drama Festival is the longest-established of all the SFD's competitive drama festivals. It is for one act plays of at least 20 minutes (but no more than 55 minutes) duration, and which involve at least two speaking roles. They are adjudicated publically, usually by a member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators (GODA).  It is open to any group affiliated to the SFD.  Original writing is very welcome, and Youth groups are encouraged to take part.  The winner can opt to go forward and represent the County in the Western Division of the All England Theatre Festival, and in successive rounds all the way up to the British Final.  The winning Youth Group also goes on to represent us in the Five Counties Youth Festival in April, which is held in one of the four/five participating counties. Somerset were last the hosts in 2014. You can see the history of previous winners here.

In the early days, before TV held such sway, there were several heats held in village halls all round the county, with the final usually being held at Bridgwater Arts Centre and later at the Warehouse Theatre in Ilminster.  As groups became more ambitious, requiring larger acting areas and more sophisticated lighting, the Festival came to be held in one venue - usually one of the larger theatres - over a weekend towards the end of March.  The Committee are always on the look-out for suitable venues around Somerset.

Any group wanting more details or an entry form should contact the County Drama Coordinator .

County Drama Festival 2018

The County Drama Festival was held on Saturday 24th/Sunday 25th March 2018 at The Warehouse Theatre in Ilminster, and was adjudicated by Alan Hayes, GODA.


The County Shield: IES for Melody

The Hope Cup: IES for Melody

The Eyris Jones Memorial Trophy (Best Production by a Youth Group): Make Performing Arts for Countryside Pursuits

Best Actress Nominations: Dana Bullion as Nellie (Taunton Thespians); Irene Glynn as Irene (IES).

Best Actress Winner: Irene Glynn as Irene (IES)

Best Actor Nominations: Ben Williamson as Sir Putrid Canker (Taunton Thespians); Mick Glynn as William

Best Actor Winner: Mick Glynn as William

The Edward Grey Memorial Trophy (Best Performer under 30) Nominations: Peter Meredith (Taunton Thespians); Freya Carey Wood; Ella Wall; Kitty Debieux; Woody Knight (all Make Performing Arts)

The Edward Grey Memorial Trophy (Best Performer under 30) Winner: Kitty Debieux as Elizabeth Bates (Make Performing Arts)

Cely Trevillian Award (Best Production of an Original Play): Make Performing Arts for Countryside Pursuits

The Lydia Durston Trophy (Greatest Endeavour): Taunton Thespians for The Tram-Track Tragedy


This year's Festival... 

The County Drama Festival this year, adjudicated by Nancy Heath GoDA Associate, will be held at the Warehouse Theatre in Ilminster again, over the weekend 23rd/24th March.   For details of all nine plays on offer, please see the article in Spotlight Online  published 4.3.19.  Tickets available from