Big names at drama festival

ACTORS Richard Wilson, Paul McGann and Janet Suzman, and King’s Speech producer Iain Canning are taking part in the national student drama festival.

The festival, held in Scarborough every year for several decades, is based at the Spa.

However, performances can also be seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and three venues next door to each other on Filey Road: Hull University’s Scarborough campus, the Sports Centre and Scarborough College.

This year, selectors sat through over 100 shows and whittled them down to 13, which will be performed during a week beginning Saturday.

Amazingly, four of the shows come from the same university, Nottingham, and two are by the same writer. They are Orphans and After the End by Dennis Kelly, This Wide Night by Chloe Moss and Bluebird by Simon Stephens.

Warwick University collared two places on the shortlist for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht and Five Kinds of Silence by Shelagh Stephenson.

The other seven shows are Line, written by Israel Horovitz and presented by York University students; Dealer’s Choice, written by Patrick Marber and presented by Leeds University students; What Do You Want From Me?, devised by Rosie Haynes and Craig Bennett and presented by Salford University students; Jason and Medea, devised and presented by Bristol Old Vic Young Company; Stop, Look, Listen, written by Elizabeth Gaubert and presented by Reading University students; Amadeus, written by Peter Shaffer and presented by Edinburgh University students; and Pornography, written by Simon Stephens and presented by Cambridge University students.

Yorkshire residents can see shows at half price, for £2.50.

Forty tickets for masterclasses at the SJT have gone on sale at a knock-down price of £2. The masterclasses will feature Richard Wilson, who played Victor Meldrew; Iain Canning, the Oscar winning producer of The King’s Speech; and Paul McGann, who was in the film Withnail and I and Dr Who.