Montage of plays performed in Nantwich Theatre

Nantwich Players Studio Team Have Successful First AETF

Wed 12 June 2019Nantwich Players Studio Team Have Successful First AETF

Back in March Nantwich Players played host to the first Cheshire One Act Drama Festival organised by Bev Clarke and Sue Doherty, which is part of the All England Theatre Festival.

The Prestigious All England Theatre festival is now in its eighth decade and is the only country wide competitive festival for one act drama in England. This 6-month long competition is organised regionally, and after a series of Preliminary, Quarter and Semi-final rounds across the country, this culminates in a Grand Final in which the 4 ‘Area’ champions, compete for the title of ‘English Champions’.  The English Champions then go on to meet the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Champions in a bid to be crowned British Champions!

In the initial Round the Nantwich Players entry to the Festival, ‘Edgar and Annabel’ by Sam Holcroft won a staggering 4 Awards following the adjudications by Mike Kaiser, including,

Best Actress – Bethany Froud – Edgar and Annabel.

Best Actor – Harry Johnson - Edgar and Annabel.

Best Production - Edgar and Annabel - Nantwich Players.

The AETF Trophy – Edgar and Annabel – Nantwich Players.

Nantwich Players (Edgar and Annabel) were also nominated for the Adjudicators award for their set.   

Prizes were handed out by Ian Clarke, National Chairman of the All England Theatre Festival and playwright Gail Young. Nantwich players were now moving forward to the Semi Finals in Sunderland to compete for the Northern Champions title.

The Northern Competition took place on the 4th and 5th of May at the Washington Arts Centre in Sunderland, under the watchful eye of the Adjudicator Jan Palmer-Sayer, Head of GODA.

After some very tough competition against, Sedgefield Players, Carlton Players, Royalty Theatre Sunderland, Weighton Young Players, Saltburn ‘53 Drama Group and Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society, Nantwich Players were Announced the Winners of the ‘Silver Stag’ and crowned Northern Champions at the award ceremony along with Bethany Froud winning the award for Best Actress a second time for her Leading role of Marianne.

Nantwich Players were delighted to recieve the following message from the award winning writer of Edgar and Annabel, Sam Holdcroft "Hello The Nantwich Players! I'm so thrilled to hear that you have won the Northern semifinal – how exciting to make it to the finals! I'm delighted that you chose to perform Edgar & Annabel, it's close to my heart – I really hope you've enjoyed working on the play. I'll be thinking of you and I'm sending you all the very best. Break legs, have fun and thank you very much again! Love, Sam x"

The Nantwich Players Team then went forward to the All England Final in Maidenhead on June 8th to represent the North, as the ‘Northern Champions’ to compete against 3 other Area Champions in a bid to become the All England Champions.

The four ‘All England Finalists’ were;

Northern Champions - Nantwich Players ‘Edgar & Annabel’

Eastern Champions - Woking College Theatre ‘Education, Education, Education’

Central Champions - Leicester Drama Group ‘Zoo Story’

Western Champions - Bench Theatre ‘A Dangerous Woman’

It was an explosive final, showcasing so much talent from all over England, and in the end the winners ‘Woking College theatre’ were crowned as All England Champions.

Nantwich players, were nominated for the adjudicators award for the on-stage relationship between Harry Johnson (Nick) and Bethany Froud (Marianne). They received a great adjudication and were Thrilled to have got to the Finals on their first attempt in this competition.

A representative of the Studio Team said; “We are so thrilled to have got to the final stage of the competition, we really did have to fight off some serious competition all the way through, and It is a testament to the talent and hard work of all the team involved, not just the actors but everyone who has helped make this fantastic play such a great success. The work that goes into these plays from everyone both on and off stage is just unbelievable and it really is a team effort. We are extremely proud to be the reigning ‘Northern Champions’ and to have been ‘All England Finalists’. Here is to next year!”