A week of drama treats

last of the summer wine
last of the summer wine

WAKEFIELD Drama Festival returns to the city at the end of the month, providing a rare opportunity to indulge at the theatre for a whole week.

The annual event is in its 11th year and will, as usual, include seven performances from seven different companies, over seven nights at Theatre Royal Wakefield.

Each play will be watched and marked by an adjudicator, but audiences will also be able to score the acts and compare their results with the professionals.

The festival was the brainchild of Paul Haley of Newmillerdam, who is raring to go.

As well as organising the event, he will be treading the boards as Compo in Wakefield Little Theatre’s production of Last of the Summer Wine: The Moonbather.

Mr Haley, 61, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to come along and enjoy amateur drama at its best and maybe watch a play they may not usually go and see.

“Each company brings something different and it is a rare opportunity for them to perform on the Theatre Royal stage, which not many people get to do.

“There is always good interaction with the audience and it is a cheap night out.

“We hope to promote drama at the same time and get people interested in joining their local amateur dramatic club as we are always short of new young members.”

Tickets for the whole week of events is only £45 and includes a buffet. Tickets for individual plays are also available.

This years festival includes three new companies – Phantom Productions, Hands On Theatre Arts Group and Encore Theatre. They will join last year’s winners Halifax Thespians, previous winners Tickety-Boo Theatre, as well as Wakefield Little Theatre and Ship & Castle Theatre Company from Bristol.

It will also showcase local talent, with Wakefield playwrights including Michael Yates, Jim Wilson and John Godber.

The festival kick starts at 7.30pm on Sunday, May 29, with Phantom Productions’ One Fiona Two. Then from each night there will be Tickety-Boo Theatre Company’s Blood Brothers; Encore Theatre’s The Bronte Boy, Wakefield Little Theatre’s Last of the Summer Wine: The Moonbather; Hands On Theatre’s Warrant For A Deed Of Blood; Halifax Thespians’ Men Of The World; and Ship & Castle Theatre Company’s Glorious.

For tickets and more information contact the box office on 01924 211311 or visit www.theatre royalwakefield.co.uk.