Legion sweeps the boards

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THIS month the annual Manx Amateur Dramatic Federation (MADF) One Act Play Festival saw as much drama in the announcements of the adjudication as that which appeared on stage!

The two-day festival, held on Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12, at the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin, saw a lively competition with four well-chosen plays of differing styles, three of them entered by southern society The Rushen Players.

However, it was Douglas-based organisation the Legion Players that unexpectedly triumphed overall.

Their play The Opposite of Claustrophobic by Rob Johnston dealt with difficult issues of damaged individuals and their shattered lives.

In total they won six trophies: Best Dramatic Moment, Best Set, Best Play, Best Director (Olga Gray), Best Female Performance (Stephanie Gray) and Best Male Performance (Christopher Chambers).

The director and the two actors were all speechless at the announcements and the thundering applause accompanying them.

Adjudicator Jeff Brailsford, presenting the awards, personally remarked on what a successful production it had been.

The festival, part of the All-England Theatre Festival, allows up to 55 minutes for the entire play, 10 minutes of stage setting, and 45 minutes for the performance itself.

The Legion Players now proceed to the quarter-final round held at Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria on May 7.

Those who were unable to attend now have the opportunity to see and support these talented Manx people at a special Theatre Supper event being held at The Empress Hotel on Friday, April 1, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12 and include a meal followed by the performance. To buy tickets call 673301 or 463508.

The event is extremely important for the group as finance is needed in order to facilitate their transportation costs to and from the UK.

The Legion Players are one of the oldest established dramatic groups in the island and are constantly looking for new members.

They are now holding open auditions this Sunday for their Summer play Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourn, to be held at the Gaiety Theatre between Thursday, July 14, and Saturday, July 16.

These will be held at The Promenade Methodist Church upper hall between 2pm and 5pm.

Audition pieces will be provided on the day.

The following actors are required: three male roles, actors capable of playing the following age ranges: 30-70, 45-65, 35-55; three female roles, actors capable of playing age 45, mid 30s, age range 25-45.

The Legion Players have also begun a monthly social play reading to encourage those with an interest in theatre to read and discuss new plays.

These are held at the Broadway Theatre group rehearsal rooms under the Palace Hotel. They start at 7.30pm with a £2 cost to cover refreshments. Everyone is welcome.

For more information contact chairman Stephanie Gray on 463508.


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