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June 17 2022, News

Following a two year break caused by COVID the new season will start from September

Amateur Drama is back in Somerset and the SFD committee is pulling out all the stops to get everything prepared following an enforced two-year break.

The Somerset Fellowship of Drama is preparing to launch the 2022/23 season with a reception for all its volunteers and committee members on 9 July. Following a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid pandemic it will be all systems go as the organisation prepares itself for a brand new season. As well as long standing members of the SFD team, there will be a number of fresh faces at the gathering as new volunteers have been recruited to replace those who have decided to hang up their SFD boots during the last two years.

New David Beach Competition Moderator Jane Busby

Phoebe Rees Competition Coordinator Andy Busby

During lockdown a number of people decided to call it a day and the committee embarked on a major recruitment campaign to bring the SFD volunteer list back up to full strength.  As a result of the success of the recruitment campaign the committee has decided that it no longer needs to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting in July but instead the committee has appointed the new recruits who will be subject to ratification in the usual way at the AGM in September.

New faces include David Beach Competition Moderator Jane Busby. Jane has many years experience in all aspects of amateur drama including acting, singing, directing and producing. As well as being a choir leader of a forty-strong mixed choir Jane has turned her hand to make up, props and costumes so she has a great understanding of all aspects of musical theatre.

And, keeping it in the family, husband Andrew will be joining the SFD committee as coordinator of the Phoebe Rees Competition for full-length plays. Andy has plenty of committee experience having been chairman of Taunton Thespians and now a committee member of Saltford Drama Group. The new moderator of the Phoebe Rees Competition will be Robert Graydon from Yeovil’s Swan Theatre. Robert is well placed to take on the role having both moderated and adjudicated for the competition in the past. And we are pleased to welcome Helen Tompson from Minehead as a new Phoebe Rees adjudicator. Helen’s wealth of experience will be a huge asset to the SFD.

Sue Garrett, new David Beach Competition Coordinator

Other new committee members include Sue Garrett who will be the David Beach Competition Coordinator. Sue is actively involved on the committee at Bradford Players and is no stranger to events organising so is well placed to arrange the spectacular awards evenings we all know and love. Also on the committee will be Irene Glynn from Ilminster Entertainment Society who has volunteered to organise the much-loved County Drama Festival. Irene is no stranger to the festival in which she has performed on several occasions, winning much acclaim and awards in the process.

Claire Martin has also joined the committee as online manager with a special remit to review and update the SFD’s online presence.

Pam Hillier is already on the committee as SFD secretary but she has volunteered to coordinate the Original Playwriting Competition, a role she has fulfilled in the past. Joining her in the OPC team will be two of SFD’s most respected names: Philip de Glanville and Mike Linham.

The only role that remains unfilled is that of Membership Secretary and we would welcome any volunteers for this role.

SFD Chairman Sam Allen said, “I am very excited about the new season starting in September. After a two-year interruption we are raring to go with a new season of competitions and I know our member societies are keen to get everything back to normal as soon as possible.”

So keep a look out for further details of all our activities as we ramp things up for a new season of amateur drama in Somerset.

A full list of all SFD committee members and volunteers is set out below.


Chair: Sam Allen

Vice Chair: Di Dean

Treasurer: Ann Brolly

Secretary: Pam Hillier

Membership Secretary: Vacant

Online Manager: Claire Martin

PR Coordinator: Andrew Busby

Cinderella Coordinator: Pam Price

DB Coordinator: Sue Garrett

DB Youth Coordinator: Di Dean

County Drama Coordinator: Irene Glynn

Original Play Coordinator: Pam Hillier


Phoebe Rees Competition

Coordinator: Andrew Busby

Moderator: Robert Graydon

Adjudicators: Liz Hollis, Niamh McGrogan, Lynn Pearson, Helen Tompson

Cinderella Trophy Competition

Coordinator: Pam Price

Moderator: Nigel Ford

Adjudicators: Sam Allen, Lee Baker, Jon Hickes, Ray Jarvis, John Robinson, Jo Whittock

David Beach Competition

Coordinator: Sue Garrett

Moderator: Jane Busby

Adjudicators: Jadi Carlyon, Beth Hancock, Dendy Harris, Christopher Holman-Holmes, Andy Marchant, Linda Mumford

David Beach Youth Competition

Coordinator: Di Dean

Moderator: Dendy Harris

Adjudicators: Jadi Carlyon, Beth Hancock, Christopher Holman-Holmes, Andy Marchant, Linda Mumford

Original Playwriting Competition

Coordinator: Pam Hillier

Readers: Philip de Glanville, Mike Linham