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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 2017

The County Drama Festival was held on Saturday 25th/Sunday 26th March 2017 at The Warehouse Theatre in Ilminster, and was adjudicated by Alison Haines, GODA Associate.


Edward Grey Memorial Trophy (Best Actor Under 30) – Peter Meredith – Taunton Thespians

Cely Trevillian (Best Original Production) – To John – Taunton Thespians

Lydia Durston Cup (Greatest Endeavour) – Impatience and Improbability– Taunton Thespians

Best Actor – Ken Steed and Chris Williamson – Ilminster Entertainment Society

Best Actress- Charlotte House – Echoes

Hope Cup (Best all round presentation) – To John – Taunton Thespians

County Shield – Man of Letters – Ilminster Entertainment Society

The winner of the County Shield had not opted to go forward to the Quarter Final at The Princess Theatre on Burnham on Sea on 9th April. Therefore the two productions going forward to the next round are: To John – Taunton Thespians and Purvis – Ilminster Entertainment Society.


Next year's Festival... 

The County Drama Festival next year will be held at the Warehouse Theatre in Ilminster again, over the weekend 24th/25th March.   For details please contact County Drama Coordinator .