Grads’ Wit Wins SCDA Award

Mar 29 2010 | By More
Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group win 2009/10 Scottish Community Drama Association Full Length Play competition for their production of Wit

Hilary Davies as Dr. Vivian Bearing © E.G.T.G.

By Thom Dibdin

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, known as the Grads, has been awarded the Fraser Neal Trophy for their “absolutely gripping” production of Wit, which was staged in the round at the St Bride’s centre last November.

The trophy is open to all members of the Eastern Division of the Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA) producing full-length productions over the year. It celebrates the best production of the year, on the basis of acting, directing, stage presentation and general achievement. There were eleven entries in what was described as a tough competition.

Ron Nicol, the competition’s adjudicator, said the Grads production of Wit was  “altogether a well planned, well executed, smoothly flowing production with sensitively handled scenes and expressive performances.”

Margaret Edson won the 1999 Pulitzer prize for Wit, which chronicles the emotional and spiritual redemption of Donne scholar, Dr. Vivian Bearing. This is juxtaposed with her prolonged death from ovarian cancer and revealed during the final two hours of her life. Bearing, who is on stage throughout, was played by Hilary Davies with Lorraine McCann as nurse, Susie. The production was directed by David Grimes.

Speaking at the final of the SCDA Eastern Division’s short play competition on Saturday at the Bowhouse Community Centre in Grangemouth, Nicol added that Wit was “absolutely gripping throughout, an outstanding production of a most challenging play.”

The Tryst Theatre were placed second with Someone to Watch Over Me by Frank McGuinness, with Kirkcaldy ADS coming in third with Factory Girls also by Frank McGuinness.

In the short play competition, the Outlook Tower Trophy for festival winner was won by Tryst Theatre with One Season’s King by George MacEwan Green. The Moffat Trophy for runner-up  went to Fintry ADS for The Love Of Don Perlimpin and Belissa In The Garden by Frederico Garcia Lorca. The two companies will go on to represent the Eastern Division in the Scottish Final at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on April 22-24.

The Grads’ next production will be Closer, by Patrick Marber at the Church Hill Theatre from 5 to 8 May. Another piece of uncompromising theatre, it follows the lives of four Londoners – obiturist Dan, stripper Alice, photographer Anna and dermatologist Larry – as they come together by chance, fall apart, swap partners, love and hurt one other in an entangled web of sex and angst that spans years. Direction will be by David Grimes. Full details are on the Grads Website here.

The Grads production of Wit was reviewed in the Annals here


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