lBest Performance Class III: Tim McGrath, Young Theatre, No Picnic
lAdjudicator: Oxford Theatre Guild B for direction, Moving Scenes
lDiamond Shield: Frank Auger, Henley Players, Say Something Happened
ACTORS from amateur groups were praised for their “totally believable performances” in this year’s drama festival which ended at the Kenton Theatre last Saturday night.
David Henson, adjudicator of the 42nd Henley Drama Festival of One Act Plays, awarded three of the 12 prizes to Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and another to the Henley Players.
Mr Henson, head of performance and musical theatre at London College of Music, said he had had an “interesting and enjoyable week” and added: “I have seen several fearless and energetic productions.”
HAODS scooped three prizes for their play, World Without Memory by Seth Kramer, about a man’s battle with encroaching dementia.
Richard Evans, who played the leading role, Abe, won best actor award, while Angharad Jones won best actress for her portryal of his daughter, Robin. The play was also declared runner-up in the open award for best play of the festival.
Mr Henson awarded the adjudicator’s discretionary diamond shield — the prize for the festival’s “magic moment” — to Frank Auger of Henley Players who stepped in as a substitute and learned his lines in four days for his role as “dad” in Alan Bennett’s comedy, Say Something Happened.
Geoff Atkinson, who was cast in the role originally, had to stand down at the last moment due to illness.
Mr Henson said Daivd had allowed the maxim “The show must go on!” to be fully appreciated.
First prize in the open category, for best overall play, was given to Oxford Theatre Guild B for Moving Scenes, a new play by Michael Taylor.
The Oxford Theatre Guild B also won prizes for best original play, best supporting role and the Jean Sutherland memorial Award for direction.
Ann Dayton, festival director, said the festival had seen an exceptionally large number of entries this year.
She said: “David Henson has given the participating groups many useful tips throughout the week’s adjudications.”