Can you help save the 90-year-old Peterborough Drama Festival?

Peterborough Drama Festival 2017 at the Salvation Army Citadel. Pupils from Castor C E  primary school performing  in choral speaking class. EMN-170303-182632009
Peterborough Drama Festival 2017 at the Salvation Army Citadel. Pupils from Castor C E primary school performing in choral speaking class. EMN-170303-182632009

A special meeting is to take place on Monday, June 24, at which the future development of Peterborough’s long-running Drama Festival will be discussed.

The meeting will take place at 6pm in the Salvation Army Citadel, New England, where the festival has now been held for the last three years.

Local drama teachers and all those with an interest in the survival of performing arts across the city are urged to come along and offer their support and ideas.

The local festival has a long and successful history. It began here in 1929 but, at that time, included all aspects of the Arts. It was not until 1945 that a separate festival, devoted solely to the dramatic arts, was established in the city and this has run very successfully since then. There are over 55 trophies to be awarded in the various categories each year!

In 2018, however, the Festival had to be cancelled because of deep snow, and since then the committee has found it hard to renew enthusiasm, with the size of the Festival reduced from three full days and three performing areas, to just three rooms on one day in 2019.

However, the festival is still highly regarded by past performers who believe that this exciting experience helped to build confidence and in turn boosted performance in all school subjects.

Following a special committee meeting held on Monday, the long-standing and dedicated members decided that they do not intend to let the Drama Festival disappear from the local calendar without a fight. Several members have been involved for over 30 years, and they firmly believe that youngsters’ experience of the festival builds confidence in public speaking and develops discipline and a love of the arts in general. Indeed, several past competitors have moved on to build a career on the stage both locally and in London.

Have you happy and positive memories of the festival? Do you welcome these opportunities to develop skills in the performing arts? Would you be interested in helping with the Festival? Do you feel strongly that the festival should be supported and valued? Have you any suggestions as to how the Festival experience may be improved or do you simply wish to find out more?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then please go along to the meeting on Monday at 6pm.