One Acts Ride Again

Feb 18 2019 | By More

SCDA One Act Festival

A new trophy will be unveiled at the Edinburgh District leg of the 2019 Scottish Community Drama Association’s one act play competition, which plays at the Church Hill Theatre this week.

The festival will once again combine the Youth and Open elements of the competition, meaning that there will be a total of twelve productions over the four nights, from Weds 20 to Sat 23 February 2019. Curtain up is at 7pm each night.

The majority of the 60-strong cast from St Kentigern’s of Just by Ali Smith

The new Colin Peter Trophy for the Youth One Act Festival has been instigated in memory of Colin Peter, who died in 2017 and was a well-respected director, actor and adjudicator.

Colin Peter was a past National Chairman of the SCDA and worked very hard for youth drama. He organised and directed a summer school for youth drama for many years, before the loss of funding from Creative Scotland.

The one act festival is always keenly anticipate and this year features some particularly tasty prospects with a strong mixture including two world premieres and a triple A list of playwrights from Ali Smith to Ayckbourn, Albee and Sophocles.

Two of the youth plays have entered both the Youth and the Open Festival – Mill Youth Theatre from North Berwick with Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations by Alan Ayckbourn and Zero For Young Dudes! by Alistair McDowall.

Seven companies

One company, the Harburn Players with Somebody For Dinner by Ted Sharpe, is performing non-competitively and the two teams from St Kentigern’s with Just by Ali Smith and Antigone by Sophocles will be only competing in the Youth section.

The cast of Our Boy, a new play by Helen Hammond, from EPT

Nine teams from seven companies will be competing in the Open section with Arbery Productions, Leitheatre (two productions), Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, The Edinburgh Makars, Edinburgh People’s Theatre and Edinburgh Theatre Arts joining Mill Youth Theatre.

The two new plays taking their premieres this week are performed by Leitheatre with Where Are You, Mary Rose by John Fowler and Edinburgh People’s Theatre with Our Boy by Helen Hammond.

The Adjudicator this year is Dr. Russell Boyce, former head of drama at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.

The winners and runners-up of the Edinburgh District Festival will meet those of other districts in the next round of the competition, The Eastern Division Final, also to be held at the Church Hill Theatre this year, from Wed 4 to Sat 6 April 2019.

The four youth teams will be competing in the Youth Festival and all of them will also represent Edinburgh in the Eastern Divisional Youth Final to be at Regal Theatre, Bathgate on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March 2019.


SCDA One Act Festival
Church Hill Theatre, 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 February 2019
Evenings: 7pm.
Tickets: £12, (£8 18 and under). Four nights for price of three if booked in advance: ring 131 225 5952 or email

Wednesday 20 February 2019

1. Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations by Alan Ayckbourn (Mill Youth Theatre – E)
Ernie’s incredible imagination is alarming his parents. They go to the doctor in search of a cure only to discover his ‘illucinations’ are more powerful than they realised…
2. Bull by Mike Bartlett (Arbery Productions)
A razor-sharp play about the fine line between office politics and playground bullying which exposes the vicious side of human nature and the power of words.
3 Somebody For Dinner by Ted Sharpe (Harburn Players (NC))
A dinner party which starts with an old man looking like a victim and ending up as the manipulator of others. On the way there are off colour fart comments and a death.

Thursday 21 February

1 Antigone by Sophocles (St Kentigern’s Youth Theatre – A)
Greek tragedy about Antigone’s quest to give both of her brothers, killed on opposite sides of a recent battle the burial they deserve, while her uncle Creon attempts to keep control of the city of Thebes
2 Where Are You Mary Rose? by John Fowler (Leitheatre -Kirkgate)
A Hebridean mystery covering a period of some 30 years, from 1914 on the eve of the Great War, to 1945 at the end of World War 2.
3 The Cagebirds by David Campton (Edinburgh Theatre Arts)
In this extraordinary play, a “room” and a “cage” and “people” and “captive birds” all become confused until a dramatic climax in which we suddenly see reality

Friday 22 February

1. Just by Ali Smith (St Kentigern’s Youth Theatre – J)
Theatre of the Absurd/political satire. A young woman discovers a dead body behind a bus stop, stabbed in the back with an umbrella.
2. Zoo Story by Edward Albee (Leitheatre – Sunnyside)
To escape his wife and family Peters sits on bench – Jerry joins him having just been to the zoo. The outcome of the meeting is a willing death for one of them.
3. A Little Box Of Oblivion by Stephen Bean (The Edinburgh Makars)
A weird stranger leaves a parcel on a park bench which leads to much speculation from others.

Saturday 23 February

1. Zero For Young Dudes! by Alistair McDowall (Mill Youth Theatre Z )
The inmates at a bizarre summer camp are plotting a revolution…. Or has it already happened?
2. Our Boy by Helen Hammond (Edinburgh Peoples Theatre)
Joe (who has autism) has been sexually assaulted. His mother finds the events too hard to handle, leaving his father to manage the situation with a boy he struggles to understand.
3. The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang (Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group)
An absurdist comedy full of classic theatre gone wrong. George Spelvin finds himself on stage with no idea what play he is supposed to be performing. Is he in Hamlet? Private Lives? Endgame?


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Comments (3)

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  1. Susan Wales says:

    Thanks very much Thom.
    I hope you can manage along (unlike me – still in hospital)