Reporter 401, 6 May 1997


Dramatic success for students

Leeds University scooped the board at the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) at Scarborough. Three productions by the Student Theatre Group (Churchill's Fen, Berkov's Decadence and a new play: A Short Play about Sex and Death) represented the University and two others from Bretton Hall College (Pinter's The Caretaker and Cartwright's Two) added to Leeds' contribution at the Festival.

Fen, with its cast of Workshop Theatre and English students, won its director, Will Wollen, a high commendation for a strong, emotional production. Kayla Fell and Nathan Rimmel won an ensemble acting award for their accomplished performances in Decadence and John Gitsham won an acting award for his work in Sex and Death.

John Donnelly, writer and director of A Short Play about Sex and Death won the Festival's coveted playwright's award as well as the new director/playwright award given by the Personal Manager's Association. As a result he will be offered an attachment as a writer to a professional theatre company. Alomo TV have also expressed an interest in his work.

Donnelly's next play will be performed by Conspiracy Theatre later this year at the Metropolitan University's Studio. The NSDF has chosen to take Sex and Death to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer as representative of the best of the country's student drama.

At present John is still looking for funding for these projects, but he is pleased that this recognition has opened up opportunities to pursue and develop his writing talents.

Details of the Workshop Theatre's productions are at www.leeds.ac.uk/theatre/

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