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Tips for Budding Playwrights

Budding playwrights are to be given tips on how to produce prize-winning scripts at the National Drama Festival (NDFA) in Coventry in July.

The NDFA is the place to see the cream of British amateur theatre. Groups from within the British Isles are chosen to complete as a result of their success in the current festival circuit. They’ve all won awards and have been deemed by the adjudicators to be this year’s ‘Cream of amateur theatre’. It is one of the prestige annual events in this country’s amateur theatre calendar. It takes place every July. This year the dates and venue are: Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 July at The Albany Theatre, Coventry. The full running order of plays is detailed on the NDFA website.

Multi award-winning author Tony Domaille will take the lead during a Studio Spotlight, following a script-in-hand performance of his latest winning work, ‘Even Numbers’, which has taken this year's National Drama Festival Association's prestigious Derek Jacobi Playwriting Award.

The informal discussion, at the Albany Theatre, Coventry, will be between Sue Doherty, GoDA, who is vice-chair of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators and Tony himself.

Entry is free to anyone attending one or more NDF sessions taking place in the main house at the Albany, between Thursday July 20 and Sunday July 23. Attendees are simply asked to bring along a ticket for any one of the sessions as proof. They can read all about the Studio Spotlight here - - and then register, simply giving their name and theatre group (if applicable).

Tony Domaille. Photo courtesy of the NDFA.

The Spotlight will take place in the Albany Studio on Saturday July 22, between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

Organiser Richard Delahaye, Membership Officer for the NDFA, said: "Following the play reading, we'll introduce Tony, the cast, and Sue for a 20-minute moderated discussion about 'Even Numbers' and self-penned plays in general, from a writing and adjudicating point of view, asking questions such as “what are the ingredients for a successful self-penned one-act play? Why do some succeed at a festival and others fail quite dramatically? Are they so very different to published plays?"

Tony commented: "I couldn't be more delighted to have won the Derek Jacobi award. I always get a great kick out the audience reaction to my plays but receiving prestigious recognition for the script alone is a dream for those of us who write."

Tony Domaille, is one of the founders of Journeyman Theatre Productions, based in South Gloucestershire. The group was set up to produce original theatre for festival competitions and other settings. Tony is the in-house writer.

The group has won over 20 one-act festival awards, but Tony's writing has also taken the group to success with the full-length play ‘My Angel’. The group also performs ‘Bite Size Plays’ in pubs, hotels, and cafes, and they have been aired on BBC Radio Bristol.

Tony's playwriting successes include the Avon Short Play Festival Best Original Script Award for ‘Life in the Cloud’ in 2021 and ‘Normal For’ in 2022. ‘Normal For’ went on to win the UK CDFF Geoffrey Whitworth Award.

This year, ‘Even Numbers’ won both the UK CDFF Geoffrey Whitworth Award and the NDFA Derek Jacobi Award - named after the NDFA Patron, Sir Derek Jacobi - which is sponsored by the publishing company, StageScripts.

The prize includes an engraved trophy, a £250 cheque from StageScripts, a publishing deal with them and a bottle of champagne.

Tony will be presented with his award by StageScripts MD David Waters on stage at The Albany during the closing prize-giving ceremony on the afternoon of Sunday July 23.

Further details about the National Drama Festival:


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