Counties Drama Festival
Southern Counties Drama Festival (previously The Betchworth Festival) has been
an important part of local amateur dramatics in Surrey and Kent for a great many
years. Traditionally, the venue had moved around with different groups hosting
the event each year but as time moved on standards of technical facilities were
found lacking in some of these venues, which were after all, in the main, church
halls hurridly converted for theatre use on the morning of the technical rehearsals.
In 1989 the festival was at risk of being cancelled due to a lack of a suitable
venue with technicians and the Barn Theatre boldly offered to provide both, not
only for that year but on a permanent basis. The festival was a success and since
that time the Barn has been home to the Betchworth Festival, now renamed the Southern
Counties Drama Festival, under the auspices of the Festival Committee.
was no festival in 2006 and the Festival Committee indicated an unwillingness
to carry on for 2007, which put the future of
the festival at risk. However, the Barn Trustees, under the leadership of the
Artistic Director, Martin Patrick, quickly assembled an enthusiastic and experienced
team to fulfil the committee obligations and relaunch
All-England Theatre Festival
All-England Theatre Festival has a history dating back to 1919 when the British
Drama League was formed. By June 1923 there were 360 affiliated societies which
included amateur and professional bodies.
1926 professionals were expressing concern that the rapid growth of amateur drama
was likely to cause problems with too many people trying to enter an already overcrowded
profession. This interest had started a British 'Festival of Community Drama'
which was used to find an entry for the American New York Little Theatre Tournament.
Other aspects of the League's work included the making of a substantial contribution
to the Stratford-on-Avon Memorial Theatre, visits to Europe to help establish
festivals and the organisation of summer schools.
1938 the final of the National Festival was held outside London for the first
time, following the invitation of the Scottish Community Drama Association. Entries
had totalled 602. The war brought a significant reduction in the League's membership
but activities continued as best they could throughout. The emphasis changed somewhat
to encourage Youth Clubs and military units for educational purposes.
the war the regions started to organise their own festivals and the First England
only Final was held in 1947. The organisation of subsequent annual Finals eventually
became the remit of the All-England Theatre Festival.
All-England Theatre Festival organises an eliminating series of festivals which
leads ultimately to the English final.
winner of the English Final goes on to compete against the winners of similar
festivals in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
is divided into four Areas for the purposes of this Festival: Northern, Central,
Eastern and Western.
Area is divided into a number of Divisions according to the size and/or history
of the individual Areas.
Drama Festival 2013
The Festival will
take place from 25th February - 2nd March 2013 and will be adjudicated
by Helen E Sharman G.o.D.A.
you wish to be part of this 'fun' festival you can obtain more information by
Southern Counties Drama Festival
15a High Street
01959 561811 or e-mail
Entry Forms Forms
B, C, D & E
Guidance Notes for Directors & Stage Managers
Theatre Stage Plan
Theatre Lighting Plan
Counties Drama Festival (Betchworth) Awards
The winner of the Southern Counties Drama Festival will go on to perform
at the All-England Theatre Festival Quarter Final South West Division
which will take place at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead
on 21st April 2013 (Box Office 01628 788997). The winner of
that round will perform at the All-England Theatre Festival Semi
Final Eastern Area at Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford on 26th May
2013 (Box Office 01245 606505).
Festival Newsletters and Reports
- July 07