One-Act Fest is Back

Feb 7 2018 | By More

SCDA One Act Fest returns to Church Hill

Fans of one-act drama are spoilt for choice next week, as the Scottish Community Drama Association’s one act festival hits the Church Hill Theatre with nine, count ’em, new productions over three nights.

Running Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 February 2018, the one act festival is that strange beast, a theatre competition. It sees local amateur companies from the Edinburgh district compete to represent Edinburgh  at the Eastern Divisional Final in Killin, 22 to 24 March .

The cast of The Ram in the Thicket, by the Grads.

This year, the Edinburgh heats feature a strong mixture of new work, modern staples on the one-act scene, a modern classic and what looks to be a particularly interesting curio.

Six different clubs are represented. There are two productions each from the Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, Edinburgh Makars and Leitheatre while Edinburgh People’s Theatre, The Livingston Players and the Twilighters, all have one each.

The Twilighters are appearing in the festival for the first time, after two successful musical  productions of Stepping Out and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Also making their debuts are the directors of three of the plays, who are all taking the helm for the first time. For the Grads, Anji Harkness Robertson is taking on A Number and Hannah Bradley has discovered a script by her grandfather, The Ram in the Thicket, while EPT have Kevin Edie taking on Last Tango In Little Grimley.

Youth Festival

To cap it all, there is also the prospect of the SCDA holding a separate youth festival of one act plays the following weekend – the first time it has done so in well over a decade.

Indelible Arts Youth Theatre‎. The cast of Girls Like That by Evan Placey

On Sunday  25 Feb, St Kentigerns Youth Theatre from Blackburn will be performing Ticket To Hitsville by Bill Tordoff and David Dougham, while Indelible Arts Youth Theatre is bringing two plays – Evan Placey’s Girls Like That and Harriet Braun’s Three.

The winner will go on to represent Edinburgh and District in the final at Buckhaven Theatre in April – and will also be awarded a new trophy in memory of Colin Peter, the stalwart director who sadly died last year.

The adjudicator for both festivals is Gavin Orr, a SASDA adjudicator  from Polmont who is just completing a year as adjudicator for the Eastern Full Length festival.

Listings and Links

SCDA One Act Festival
Church Hill Theatre 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 February 2018
Evenings: 7pm.
Tickets £12 a night (£30 for all three nights) from

SCDA Youth Festival
Church Hill Theatre 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Sunday 25 February 2018
Early start: 5pm.
Tickets £10 (£6 student concessions) from

Daily listings: Thursday 15 February 2018:

A Number by Caryl Churchill
The Grads stage Churchill’s exploration of cloning when a young man discovers that he is one of a number of clones, created when his father sought to have a copy made of his son. Seen last April at the Lyceum: ★★★★☆ Human intelligence.

The Sociable Plover by Tim Whitnall
The Livingston Players with Whitnall’s strange two hander about an obsessive bird watcher in a remote hide. The play was an EdFringe 2009 hit staring Whitnall and Guy Masterson.

Blind Date by Peter Quilter.
The Twilighters, who are just two productions old, with the first of Quilter’s quartet of two handers about the human heart. Jonathon and Wendy are on a blind date and hoping to get it right this time even though they’ve never got it right before…

Friday 16 February 2018

After Midnight, Before Dawn by David Campton
Leitheatre take a dark glance into the human condition as a group of prisoners await hanging for witchcraft in the late 1600s. In their desperate attempts to save themselves only the Calm Woman holds out hope. She will not hang she says…

The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish by David Tristram
The first of two David Tristram scripts sees the Edinburgh Makars with a play revealing the secret lives of a bored housewife and her fantasist husband – as told to their pet goldfish…

Last Tango In Little Grimley by David Tristram.
Edinburgh Peoples Theatre with Tristram’s close-to-the-bone comedy about a local amateur drama society whose membership has dwindled to four. With audiences not much bigger it is time for dramatic action. There’s only one thing that sells tickets these days – sex.

Saturday 17 Feb 2018

First Class by James Beagon
Leitheatre with Edinburgh-based Beagon’s script about three travellers on three trains to Manchester in three different periods who are forced to cope with the legacy of their disappointments, failures and tragedies. First performed by Aulos Productions at EdFringe 2014: ★★★☆☆ Train of thought.

The Ram In The Thicket by Glen Mhor
The Grads with a real gem – director Hannah Bradley has discovered a script by her great grandfather, who’s real name was David Mackenzie. A young patient is brought into the hospital suffering symptoms of leukaemia, the doctors prescribe a blood transfusion in a effort to save his life, however his parents are Jehovah’s Witness and refuse to consent to the procedure.

Gino of the Lamp by Paul Bovino.
Edinburgh Makars bring the festival down with a light comedy of a modern New Yorker who buys a lamp in a flea market, rubs it and summons its inhabitant out into the light…

SCDA Youth Festival Sunday 25 February 2018

Girls Like That by Evan Placey
Indelible Arts Youth Theatre  with Placey’s play exploring the pressures on young people in the wake of advancing technology. When a naked photograph of schoolgirl Scarlett goes viral, rumours spread across smartphones like wildfire…

Ticket To Hitsville by Bill Tordoff and David Dougham
St Kentigerns, Blackburn, with a modern version of The Pied Piper designed to be performed by a whole class – in this case a cast of 39.

Three by Harriet Braun
Indelible Arts Youth Theatre with Braun’s script for  NT Connections showing six love stories with a difference – thanks to the inner voice trailing around after each character, we get to hear what they’re all saying and thinking…

Most of the cast of Ticket To Hitsville, performed by St Kentigerns Youth Theatre, Blackburn.


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