Grads Sky Adventure Aired tonight

Nov 14 2012 | By More

Edinburgh company in Nations’ Best Am Dram

The judges of Sky Arts Nations' Best Am-Dram: Bill Kenwright, Miriam Margolyes and Quentin Letts

The Nations’ Best Am Dram judges: Bill Kenwright, Miriam Margolyes and Quentin Letts.

By Thom Dibdin

The Sky Arts programme featuring the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group is to be aired tonight on Sky Arts 1 under the title: Nations’ Best Am Dram.

The programme, originally billed as Stagestruck, features the Grads as the winners of a public vote in August 2011. The winners of the competition go on to stage a show in London’s West End.

A total of 50 of Britain’s 2,500 amateur groups submitted videos for the competition. A  long-list of 20 groups was given to the judges – actress Miriam Margolyes, theatre critic Quentin Letts and producer Bill Kenwright – to choose seven to go forward into the next round. The Grads got through in eighth place on the public vote, as reported in the Annals last September.

David Grimes, who directed the Grads audition video, told the Annals at the time: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of the eight finalists. Even more so to have been selected by the public vote. After all, these are the people who buy the tickets, not only to our shows but to those of the judges as well.”

Tonight’s programme sees the Grads joined for a day’s workshop with their professional mentor, Niamh Cusack, in their preparation of a short scene from Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. They perform this live in front of the judges. They are up against Bingley Little Theatre mentored by Richard Wilson, Regent Rep of Christchurch mentored by Jill Halfpenny, and Strathclyde Theatre Group mentored by Dame Harriet Walter.

The four other groups perform an extract from Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. These are FissiParous Theatre of Wirral mentored by Roger Allam, Tell Tale Theatre Company of Liverpool mentored by Martin Shaw, Heath Players of Hatfield mentored by Julie Graham, and Crossmichael Drama Club of Castle Douglas mentored by Paterson Joseph.

Nation’s Best Am Dram will broadcast for six episodes of one hour from 9pm on Wednesday 14 November.

In other Grads news, the company will staging Richard III next week at the St. Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, November 21-24. Details on their website:


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