Woking Youth Drama Festival cancelled

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By mattcollison | Friday, January 11, 2013, 10:24

PERFORMING arts in Woking has been dealt a blow after a major youth drama festival due to take place for the first time this year has been cancelled.

Woking Drama Association (WDA) announced yesterday it had been forced to draw the curtain on the Woking Youth Drama Festival, which was to take place in March.

Stewart Mison, WDA chairman, said a lack of entries and "apathy" had forced the six-day festival's cancellation.

Mr Mison said: "It is a great pity that we have had to cancel this Festival. It does reflect the trend seen with many drama festivals up and down the country, that due to so many other pressures nowadays that people no longer feel they can make this commitment. 

"That said, with the number of dance and drama academies in the area and with drama on the schools curriculum I am surprised at the apathy."

The first Woking Youth Drama Festival (WYDF) was to be held in the town's Rhoda McGaw Theatre in The Peacocks Centre from March 18-23.

The six-day festival, organised by WDA and Woking Borough Council's Celebrate Woking project, hoped to give amateur groups the chance to perform in front of established judges and qualify for the national All Winners Festival.

Budding perfomers from ages eight to 21 who belong to a youth or school drama group were invited to take part and were asked to submit scripts of plays for the festival.

A deadline for entries was extended to January 9 in the hope that more youth groups would get involved, but organisers said they were finally forced to cancel due to a lack of entries.

Mr Mison said: "We will continue to welcome youth entries into our annual drama festival in October and I hope that those groups who were happy to enter the March festival will decide to take part with us then.

"In the meantime thanks is due to Woking Council for all of their hard work and support in looking to continue to build and develop the performing arts traditions we have in Woking."

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