Festival of short plays to mark the Jubilee

NBENBE120319c2, local writer George gunby launching a short play festival, Belper.
NBENBE120319c2, local writer George gunby launching a short play festival, Belper.

A FESTIVAL of short plays is coming to Belper as part of the town’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The festival will take place at a variety of venues throughout Belper from June 2 to June 4 and is aimed at encouraging writers, performers and schools to showcase their talents without pressure.

Devised by part-time playwright George Gunby, the festival is now accepting submissions from interested parties and is appealing for local venues to host the plays, which will last between ten and 15 minutes. He said: “Without sounding pretentious it’s about taking theatre to the public – not the other way around. For a number of years the town of Tenby in South Wales has successfully staged a small play festival.

“This has grown into an internationally recognised event, attracting a considerable number of visitors from the United Kingdom and abroad. We hope we can do the same for Belper.”

All schools are to invited to submit plays written by students and the best will be performed at the festival. They play should mention the Queen, but she must not be a character in it. They cannot last longer than 15 minutes and should have a maximum of four characters. All props should fit into a holdall and there can be no scenery.

The closing date is noon on May 1.

George is also canvassing venues for the plays and says they would need no staging, just a space to perform. He added: “Performances can be scheduled between 1pm and 9pm to suit the venue. All performers will receive a subsistence allowance and their helpers and friends are very likely to eat and drink in the venues that they perform in, bringing extra revenue to those businesses.”

George, 60, of Field Lane, had a play performed at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield last year. The Royal Doulton Figurine is a comedy about three sisters at a funeral. He cites Tony Hancock’s writers Galton and Simpson, as well as Likely Lads creators Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and American stand-up comic Jerry Seinfield, as his inspirations.

Belper Players, Ripley Amateur Dramatics, Diversity Drama Group, from Nottingham, and the Strutt Centre’s Captive Audience theatre group are all on board. Entries should be sent to George Gunby, 31A Field Lane, Belper, DE56 1DD, or email nonnel@sky.com For more go to www.belpershortplays.co.uk.