Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lightnin: Frightening and Enlightening at Drama Festival

THE LIGHTNIN’ DRAMA Group and The Heath Players swept the board last night at the British All-Winners Drama Festival held at the Thameside Theatre.

A packed audience gathered on the awards night to see the final three plays on what has been a fantastic week of drama.

Special mention must go to Festival Director John Scowen and his team who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the week long festival.

On the final night the following three one act plays were performed.

Lightnin Drama Group: The Diary

YourThurrock reviewed The Diary at the Thurrock Drama Festival. It was a tour-de-force then and it was last night. The play revolves around how the life of Emma declines after becoming infected with HIV. The strength of the play revolves around the acting, lighting, sound, colour, timing and passion in the production. Every time you watch a Lightnin Drama production, you appreciate that they really believe in what they are doing. Yes, sometimes they hit you over the head with the message several times but you can’t fault them for the passion.

What puts Lightnin in a different league are the visual touches on the stage. The living diary was so simple and yet a delight as were the flames.

Most of all, the acting was first class from Billy Ospreay’s award winning physical Virus to the cameo by Brooke Shields (nope not that one).

Loose Cannons: MAM

Family tensions was the theme of Mam by Loose Cannons. This was a masterclass in familial tension and quiet desperation.

This play was well-acted, superbly acted at times but after a very promising fifteen minutes the pace dropped and the play began to drag. It never really kicked on. After half an hour the relationship didn’t seem credible and the play fell away somewhat.

However the acting was so good that you wanted to see more of the group.

St Ursala Players: Invisible Man

SOME performances exude experience and class. This performance by the West Country group was one of them. The relationship between the actor about to go on stage and play King Lear and his dresser was a fascinating piece and both actors complimented each other with the over-wrought thespain being gently chided and cajoled to going on by his Irish dresser.

The play won the Runners-Up Prize for One Act Plays.


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