It was great to see lots of familiar faces attending the festival. I think that the audience numbers were good every night and the theatre was a great venue from that perspective. I’ve not heard any bad stories about behind the scenes so hopefully all of the clubs had a good experience.
Unfortunately I could’t be there on the Thursday due to my poorly cat and I wish that I had seen all of the productions. I was there on Friday and Saturday however and I concur with the Adjudicator who expressed how pleased he was to see some comedy in the festival.
Can we be honest – I wonder if we all do the same thing as people involved in performance. I find myself scrutinising what I am watching and continuously asking myself questions like “Why did they do that” and sometimes “I wouldn’t have thought of doing it like that” (which can be positive or negative from my own personal perspective). I also think about the difficulty of seeing through the play to appreciate what each club did with the material they had. When I am out and about delivering workshops I talk to clubs about the choices they make and pose the question “How do you pick plays for a festival. Do you try to go for something that you think will work well or that you’ve seen in a festival yourself or do you go for something that you really want to do, even if it feels risky”. There is no right answer to this I think it just depends on each club and you can’t ignore the reality of the challenges that go alongside the get in and the time restrictions that go hand in hand with a festival.
I had seen the winning play in Aberdeen and I knew that it was going to be hard to beat, but it was quite risky – very little in the way of set or lighting effects. As someone who has a short attention span they could so easily have lost me as there is a lot of talking but the dynamic direction and the strength of performance from both of the actors, neither upstaging the other, was a joy to watch.
I am sure if I had read the play I would never have picked it – 2 people talking – where’s the drama? BUT it just goes to show why plays are to be performed and experienced, they are not just to be read in the same way that you would a book.
I wish the team lots of luck in the British final – they are very worthy winners and I am sure will represent Scotland very well. Good luck to everyone involved!!