The Taunton Thespians

by John Wilkins (writing as Chairman, 1966)
Part 3: Festival
At one time or another some eight or nine members have written plays, usually one-acts, for production by the Society. Most of these have had only their brief moment of glory, but the names of two playwrights stand out. Wilfred Harvey (Westlake) went on to write many short plays for the Carol Jenner Children's Theatre, and Kenneth Galloway, now a well-known adjudicator, supplied us with three full length and a number of one-act ones. Often these owed their first production to the B.D.L. Community Theatre Festival, for which at one time we were regular, often triple, entrants. Participation of late has fallen off, partly owing to the difficulty of fitting in with other commitments, and partly because we seem to have developed a love-hate relationship with competitive drama. There is the compulsive gambler's instinct to have another go, balanced against the realisation that you cannot really grade creative work one, two, three. For this reason we always soft-pedalled the competitive element in a Festival of full-length plays, established in memory of a former Chairman, Robert Young, which we sponsored for several years. The opportunity of seeing the best companies from South Wales and the West of England was much appreciated, but finance proved inexorable, and in tighter circumstances we could not afford the considerable subsidy required from general funds.
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