The 60th Shetland County Drama Festival is due to take place in the Garrison Theatre from 3rd to 6th March, highlighting some of the wonderful community drama taking place in areas around the isles.
The festival will feature a variety of competitive sections including Junior, Youth, Shetland, Open, and for the first time in a number of years an entry in the Adult Beginners section. In total there are 10 competitive and five non-competitive entries and so there is sure to be something for everyone. The festival sees a real focus on junior and youth drama this year and the committee were delighted to welcome back SIC drama adviser Izzy Swanson, who will be returning to this year’s festival with four non-competitive primary schools entries. These short productions have opened each festival night for a number of years, and have always been very well supported.
The inclusion of youth drama has also seen six competitive entries from the Junior and Youth sections from drama groups throughout Shetland.
There is always a variety of dramatic genres displayed at the festival, and this year is no different. With fantasy, drama and whodunnit on offer, there is plenty to provoke thought and suspense, but if it is laughter you are after then this year’s festival will not disappoint. With seven comedic plays treading the boards this year, there is certainly plenty to entertain and amuse.
It is a particularly commemorative year for three of the competing drama groups who also celebrate milestones this year: Islesburgh Drama Group, Ronas Drama Group and Splinters Youth Theatre who each celebrate 60, 50, and 30 years respectively.
As adjudicator the committee have invited back Ron Nicol, who has had a varied career as actor, stage manager, lecturer, director, broadcaster, playwright and adjudicator.
This will be Mr Nicol’s third visit to Shetland, and as a very experienced adjudicator he has always been very well received by both the participating drama groups and audiences.
Committee president Pamela Main said the festival was coming together well, and drama groups were busy putting the final preparations together. She hoped that it would be as successful and as well supported as always.
She said: “The ethos of the Shetland County Drama Festival is one of inclusivity. We promote and encourage drama from all levels of experience and ability.
“The festival thrives and develops not only from those with an avid love of being on the stage and wanting to showcase their talent and hard work, but from our audiences who we so rely on in order to keep this wonderful tradition of Shetland drama festivals alive.
“I hope that despite this recent run of bad winter weather that our local communities will come out and support this wonderful event.”
Tickets are on sale now from Islesburgh Community Centre on (01595) 745555.