The Manx Amateur Drama Federation was formed in the 1940s and the Easter Festival of Full Length Plays was started in 1950.

The first festivals were held at the Palace Theatre, Central Promenade, Douglas. This was part of the Palace Hotel site and world famous Palace Ballroom. The festival was later transferred to Easter and the Frank Matcham Gaiety Theatre, Douglas.  Since its inception MADF has held more than 65 festivals welcoming visiting groups from across Europe to the Isle of Man. The year 2020 will see celebrations for the 70th anniversary of The Easter Festival of Full Length Plays.

The Manx Amateur Dramatics Federation is open to all amateur drama, operatic, musical and play groups in the Isle of Man and Associate Members. We are affiliated to the National Drama Festivals Association (NDFA) and the National Operatic and Drama Association (NODA). We also organise the One Act Play Festival in often in February and the Young Actor of Mann, in addition to the Easter Festival of Full Length Plays.

We hold regular meetings where we discuss subjects that concern all theatre users such as child protection policy within the theatre, insurance for societies and user agreements for theatre and arts venues.


  • Foster the development of the art of theatre
  • Stimulate cooperation between member societies
  • Educate the public as to the benefits of all aspects of Amateur theatre
  • Provide training in the art or profession of acting, stage management and other areas of technical theatre
  • Represent the views of the member to IOM Government and the Arts council.
  • Promote live theatre through the Easter Festival of full length plays, One Act festival of plays and the Young Actor of Mann Competition.