Farce wins SCDA one-act fest

Feb 23 2014 | By More

But Spike spiked by singing tarts

The eight directors with adjudicatir Alan Haslett in bow tie. Photo © Thom Dibdin

The eight directors with adjudicator Alan Haslett (in bow tie). Photo © Thom Dibdin

By Thom Dibdin

The St Serf’s Players’ Bangholm team has won the Edinburgh round of the SCDA one-act festival with a fast-paced farce: Over His Dead Body by Jack Booth.

The Players were on home turf, with the festival being held at St Serf’s Halls in Goldenacre over three evenings this week. In all, eight plays were entered from five local amateur groups.

Announcing the winners, adjudicator Alan Haslett made reference to the root of the word amateur, meaning a lover of a particular art. He praised the teams taking part, saying that they were all clearly motivated by their love of theatre.

Second and third places went to two teams from Leitheatre. John Reason’s seventies comedy The Choristers from the Kirkgate team came second. It concerns a pair of women who give ‘singing lessons’ to gentlemen callers, and who are visited unexpectedly by two of their old friends from the choir in which they once all sang.

Matt Mason’s adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Puckoon for the Stageright team came in third, with an energetic and modern production which saw a ten-strong company play over 30 roles, with live music and constant breaking of the fourth wall as the characters narrated their own movements.

The Best of the Fest audience award went to the Edinburgh Makars for their moving production of Dave Watson’s The Last Munro. The production also received the Margaret Alan Quaich for Scottish Life and Character and the emergency panel award for Best Moment of Theatre.

Gala Dramateurs, appearing at the festival for the first time, won the Sadie Aitken Trophy as best newcomer with their production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Talk in the Park.

The Bangholm team also won the stage presentation and production awards for Over His Dead Body.

The  top three teams represent Edinburgh at the Easter Divisional Final, which will be held on March 20-22 at the Dobbie Hall, Larbert. However, as only one team from each drama group can progress, the Leitheatre Stageright team will be replaced by fifth-placed company, The Mercators, with their production of The Vow by Rebecca Russell.

The awards in full

Winners (Edith Forbes Trophy): St Serfs Players (Bangholm) with Over His Dead Body by Jack Booth
Runners-up (Mrs Charles Rowland Cup): Leitheatre (Kirkgate) with The Choristers by John Reason
Third place (Ian Wishart Quaich): Leitheatre (Stageright) with Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Best Stage Presentation (Bobby Watt Cup): St Serfs Players (Bangholm) with Over His Dead Body by Jack Booth
Highest marks for Production (Eric Bennett Trophy): St Serfs Players (Bangholm) with Over His Dead Body by Jack Booth
Scottish Life and Character (Margaret Allan Quaich): Edinburgh Makars with The Last Munro by David Watson
Best Moment of Theatre (John McIntyre Trophy): Edinburgh Makars with The Last Munro by David Watson
Best Newcomer (Sadie Aitken Trophy): Gala Dramateurs with Talk In The Park by Alan Ayckbourn
Best of the fest Audience award: Edinburgh Makars with The Last Munro by David Watson


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  1. Thank you Thom, it was a pleasure to have you serving on the Emergency Panel. Thank you also for the blog.