IT'S A CRACKER!!
RUSHEN PLAYERS GO TO 45th
BRITISH ALL WINNERS DRAMA FESTIVAL
February, Rushen Players entered the play A Cream Cracker under the Settee in
the MADF One Act Play Festival at Kings Court Theatre, Castletown. Our Play won
the coveted Best Play, Best Actress, Best Comedic Moment and Special
Dramatic Contribution awards.
for the British All Winners Festival (BAWF) - apart from already winning
in a festival, a high score must have been attained. We were told that our
marks were sufficient to qualify, but would have to wait until the results from
all festivals throughout the British Isles were known. In essence, The
Best of the Best are chosen.
This year the
9th June was the date when BAWF were to make their final decision. Throughout
the British Isles, dozens of directors were hovering by their phones, biting
their nails, (well, I certainly was!!) to hear if their play was to be one of
the lucky few. Yeay!! I received the exciting news, and set about spreading
the glad tidings- (it's a long wait for us all, from February till June!)
arrangements had to be made - travel, accommodation, finding and hiring
transport large enough to hold the furniture and contents of an old ladies
living-room, a stage set and hopefully, several of our team!
I was truly
delighted to hear that The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company have a Supported
Artists Grant scheme - (both the Isle of Man Arts Council and the Erin Arts
Centre informed me of this) and the Staff at the Steam Packet administration
office were terrifically helpful and enthusiastic in arranging for our
transport and travel to enable us to benefit from this grant. Thank you so
much, Isle of Man Steam Packet!
written by Alan Bennett, is essentially a monologue, where for 35 minutes, Pat
Clewis, our award-winning 86 year old actress, - alone on stage, and mostly on
the floor - holds the audience spellbound, moving them from laughter to tears
and back again, (sometimes within just one sentence!) This is a feat for
an actress at any age, and Pat Clewis pulls it off triumphantly, showing that
age is no barrier to the Dramatic Arts. I feel quite sure that if Alan Bennett
knew Pat, he would be writing plays for her!
delighted to be able to demonstrate to a wider audience, the high standards
that our Island holds in the dramatic arts. I am so looking forward to getting
that cosy living room set on stage in Woking and seeing Pat once more transport
an audience with her engaging performance. There is of course the added frisson
that she is competing with the Best of the Best.
This will be
the second time that Rushen Players has participated in the BAWF, having
entered the award - winning I Dream Before I Take the Stand by Arlene
Hutton, in 2016, directed by Susie Beswick.
We are all from
over the Bridge. Pat, Ian Galloway (in a very short but vital role as a
policeman) myself (director) all live in Port Erin, Susie Beswick (Stage Manager)
and Ron Beswick (Lights and Sound technician, ‘Roadie’) live in Port St
We will be ‘flying
the flag’ for the island, extolling its virtues whilst we are both en-route
to, and at, our venue in Woking. We are looking forward to meeting other
competing teams and telling them about our Drama Festivals on the Island,
encouraging them to come along and participate in our wonderful Easter Festival
of Plays (and the Gaiety is so handy for the Ferry terminal!). An extra, very
exciting event for drama next year is that the 46th British All
Winners Festival is being hosted on our island in July! This will also mark
MADF's 40th anniversary.
We are now
counting down the days before we board that ferry on our exciting trip. The
group photo was taken outside my garage, where our set and props are being
stored. Pat is sitting on the settee of the title. She wanted to have a go on it,
as she never gets to sit on it in the play.
Sanderson - July 2019
Our Performance at British All Winners Drama Festival with the generous support of
The Isle of Man Arts Council
and The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company