One-Act Play Competition 2014


Arthur presenting Colin with his prize.

Photo and write-up by Dick


Our annual one-act-play competition attracted eleven entries this year. All plays were read on one evening but the judge had had the plays already sent to him to make his judgement. This year’s judge was Arthur Burke, a playwright and author, former member of the Cambridge Footlights and now co-ordinator of Progress Theatre writers’ group.

Before making the presentations he commented on the high quality and great variety of the submissions. Arthur gave two pieces of general advice: don't forget that although it is only 10 minutes long, you still need to tell a story. The other thing is in the dialogue, don't quote things that the other person should already know.

His choice of first place went to Colin Muirhead and his play The Light of Africa. This featured an old hunter in Africa who was revisited by his long lost English fiancée, his black African wife and daughter, all of whom he had left behind, which he blamed on his love of Africa itself. As runner-up he chose Barbara Smith’s Good Boys like Sprouts. This is the tale of a small boy who refuses to come down from a tree outside his parent’s apartment as he fears they are going to divorce. In third place was Dick Sawdon Smith with Upstairs meets downstairs in the real Downton Abbey. This highlights the life led by those ‘in service’ but also an intrigue between a male servant and the daughters of the family.