A full week of plays staged by theatre groups from the island and across the UK are set to perform in two newly merged festivals.
Booking has opened for the Manx Amateur Drama Federation’s (MADF) Easter Festival of Full Length and One Act Plays, which takes place at the Gaiety Theatre from April 8 to 14.
MADF president Michael Lees told Island Life: ‘It will be two festivals in one although they will be adjudicated separately giving winners for one act and full length.
‘The plays will be mixed throughout the week so an audience will have the opportunity to see a night of one acts followed by a full length play the following evening.’
The opening performance, on Easter Saturday (April 8) will be Service Players’ production of the one-act drama Lovers by Tony Rushforth, a previous adjudicator. It’s set at a graveside, with three characters all speaking to the deceased as if he is still here.
They will be followed by a one act youth entry, Broadway Youth Theatre’s production of Sweep Under The Rug by island writer Lindsay Price.
The play envisions a future where struggling families are placed in the Bobby Sue program, a computerised guardian of sorts.
Shopshire group Wellington Theatre Company return to the island to present the full length play Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett on Easter Sunday (April 9).
Michael said: ‘This play has been presented many times throughout the world to great acclaim.’
The two leading characters are tramps and explain the world as they see it while they wait for Godot.
They will be followed by another full length entry, by Northampton group White Cobra Productions on April 10 with The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh.
It’s about two brothers living alone in their father’s house after his recent death.
April 11 will see two One Act entries from the island.
First up will be Platform Theatre School’s production of black comedy Heritage by Dafydd James, which explores the darker side of nationalism.
And they will be followed by Parodos Theatre Company with horror/drama The Monkey’s Paw by William Wymark Jacobs, with a lesson about being careful what you wish for.
Three One Act plays will be staged on April 12.
Youth group Yn Draamey will present the drama Chiller by Christopher J. Maybury, set in a world of low budget horror films which take on an all too real aspect.
And then there will be two adult entries.
The Service Players will present The Photograph by Lisa M. Smith, about two sisters who find a mystery photo in their mother’s collection.
And then Rushen Players will perform Accident of Birth by Trevor Suthers.
This sees an inmate in Broadmoor confront his birth mother to discover the cause of his insanity.
Yn Draamey will be first on stage on April 13 with their youth one act entry Faces in The Dark by Christopher J. Maybury, about four children trapped in a purgatory.
They will be followed by Rushen Players with the adult one act entry comedy/drama September In The Rain by John Godber. It follows a married couple through their relationship.
Finally, Friday, April 14 will see London group Garden Suburb Theatre present a full length comedy, The Game’s Afoot; or Holmes for the Holidays by Ken Ludwig. It sees an actor take on the persona of his beloved Holmes to solve a death.
Each night, the plays will be adjudicated by Robert Meadows from the Guild of Drama Adjudicators.
He has been to the island on several occasions to judge the Young Actor of Mann and the One Act Festival of Plays.
‘He is always very popular with our audiences,’ said Michael.
Awards will be presented on the final night of the festival. Marks will be awarded for acting, production, stage presentation, and endeavour, originality and attainment.
Book tickets online at www.villa gaiety.com or call the box office on 600555.
An early bird season ticket offer with a £21 saving closes on Monday, February 27.