Monday, 24 June 2019

Cunning plan pays off at drama festival

Cunning plan pays off at drama festival

A CUNNING plan to grab the glory at this year’s Henley Drama Festival paid off for at least one member of the cast of Richard Curtis and Ben Elton’s Blackadder episode, “Bells”.

Barry Rosier of the Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (HAODS) won “best supporting role” for his portrayal of Blackadder’s hapless sidekick, Baldrick.

The festival, which this year ran for five days at the Kenton Theatre, concluded with an awards ceremony last Saturday.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “The festival went very well. We had increased audience numbers, good feedback from the adjudicator and a good variety of plays and performances.”

“Best actor” was awarded jointly to Richard Hartley and Mark Jessey as Laurel and Hardy in the Wychwood Players’ production of Another Fine Mess by Gillian Plowman, which also won first prize in the open class and the “best presentation” award.

Runners-up in the open class were Maidenhead Drama Guild, with their production of A Spy With a View by Robert Scott.

The same production saw Melanie Hill claim the “best actress” award for her performance as Vicky.

Closer to home, Henley-based performing arts school Stageworks came away with two awards in the youth class.

Their production of Lovers by Brian Friel won the “best youth” award, with the chorus winning the “best supporting” award.

Meanwhile, “best performance” in the youth class went to Katie Foster as Lizzie Borden in Luckley House School’s production of A Memory of Lizzie by David Foxton.

“Best original play” went to I am David by Hedda Bird, as produced by Wokingham Youth Theatre, which also scooped the “adjudicator’s choice” and “magic moment” awards.

For more on this year’s festival, visit

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