High Quality Productions at Henley Drama Festival

Henley Drama Festival saw three evenings of high quality productions in one-act plays from local amateur theatre companies at the Kenton Theatre.

Oxford Theatre Guild won the Open Kenton Drama Award for their brilliant Queers (3 monologues) and Didcot Phoenix Drama Group were runners up to Oxford Theatre Guild in the open category and won the Charlotte Thomas Award (all women/men) for their A Bench at the Edge.  The Young Theatre from Beaconsfield won The Reg Judd Award (Youth) with James and the Giant Peach.

Henley Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society (HAODS) picked up two special awards. Julie Huntingdon winning Best Actress again for the second year running for her role as Effie in Effie’s Burning and Julie and her co-star Samantha Riley (Doctor Kovacs) won the Magic Moment award for their final hug. Effie’s Burning is about a medical resident in a burns hospital who becomes interested in Effie Palmer a retarded 64-year-old patient, accused of burning down the care Home she was in. Effie is reticent about how she got burned, or even how she became institutionalised in the first place.

Julie said, “I have loved playing Effie… she is a very complex character, ranging from innocent child to scheming awareness of the need for her own preservation, yet everything she does still carried out with a child’s logic.  When I first read the play I was deeply upset about her circumstances and it took me a while to get over the injustices that had befallen her and concentrate on Effie as a character.  Quite frankly the story made me angry! For Effie and thousands of other women who must have fallen foul to the same fate.  So winning the Best Actress Award, along with the “Magic Theatrical Moment”  at the Henley Drama Festival was for me, another small triumph for Effie and all those other poor souls as well as another feather in the cap for HAODS.”

Andrej from Henley Drama Festial said, “We had another very strong festival with high quality productions.  The adjudicator Colin Dolley brought knowledge and experience and gave the groups valuable feedback. We would like to thank our sponsors, including the Henley Town Council and Kenton Theatre for their support. Only wish for next year is to attract more public to come and visit the festival. We want to keep promoting and supporting local amateur drama groups and we rely on support of the general public as well.”


Best Presentation

The Dorothy & Arthur Sharp Award

The Young Theatre;

James and the Giant Peach

Best Actor

The Henley Standard Award

Peter Sheward-Himpson

As Steve in Queers (Oxford Theatre Guild)

Best Actress

The Hannen Award

Julie Huntington

As Effie in Effie’s Burning (HAODS)

Best Supporting Role

The Peggie Wilcock Award

Daisy Norton

As Young Primrose in Primrose Way (Didcot Phoenix Drama Group)

Best Performance Class III

The Daphne Marshall Award

Danny Mohideen

As William in Chatroom (North Oxford Youth Theatre)

Best Supporting Class III

The Joanna Jones Award

Talon Baker

As Duncan in Macbeth (Quirky Bird Theatre)

Adjudicators Choice

The Jean Sutherland Memorial Award

The Stage management team of The Young Theatre;

For James and the Giant Peach

Magic Moment

The Diamond Shield Award

For The final hug between Effie and the Doctor in Effie’s Burning;