Hertford Theatre Week is a six-night drama festival with a different production every night in the heart of Hertford. Teams travel from all over the country to compete for trophies and the chance to compete in the NDFA All Winners Festival. 2020 sees the 59th Hertford Theatre Week and brings the number of productions to 354. The Festival was instigated when a small committee from Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society, investigating the possibilities of further stimulating amateur drama, invited neighbouring Societies and Drama Groups to perform one of their own productions under festival conditions. With rules agreed and sufficient support promised to ensure a full week's programme of six different plays, 1962 saw the first Hertford Theatre Week. Sponsorship of the first ten years was provided by the directors of the Hertfordshire Mercury and County Press, the publishers of our local newspaper and supporters of local drama. Since 1972 Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society has not only been the hosts and organisers but also the main sponsors.
In recent years the Festival has been completely self-financing and, unlike many full-length play festivals which draw sponsorship from their local authority or commercial organisations, our only revenue comes from the Box Office sales.
The Festival is run by a team of unpaid volunteers, many of who give up some of their annual holiday to work on the competition and whose only reward is their love of theatre and the satisfaction of being involved in what is now recognised as one of the leading full-length drama competitions in the country.
We are proud to say that in 2015, yet again, Hertford Theatre Week provided the winner of the NDFA British All-Winners Drama Festival, held at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking, Surrey, and in 2016 the Hertford Theatre Week team were proud to host this national event for the second time at Hertford Theatre. 2017 saw Hertford Theatre Week provide the runner-up at the All-Winners Drama Festival held in Barnsley.
The programme for 2017 featured productions:
Maurice S Jubilee by Nichola McAuliffe, presented by The Barn Theatre Club
Edgar and Alice by Peter Sutton, presented by Global Productions
The Night Alive by Conor McPherson, presented by Be-jou Productions
The Last Romance by Joe DiPietro, presented by Heath Players
The Veil by Conor McPherson, presented by The Company of Players
Woman In Mind by Alan Ayckbourn, presented by Hutton Players
If you are someone who enjoys competitive theatre, why not also visit the Welwyn Drama Festival for one-act plays or the Welwyn Youth Drama Festival, for young teams, also presenting one-act plays.
Both are held at The Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City.
In over 40 years involvement with the drama festivals movement, Paul Fowler has been an actor, director and stage manager, company committee member, chairman and festival organiser.Read more »