Week of the 24th March 2025

Totton Festival of Drama 2023

Overall Winner (Archie Gay Trophy)

Starcast Drama Company with Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen

Runner-Up (The Thistle Award)

Studio Theatre with English for Pony Lovers by John Finnemore

Other 2023 Trophy Winners

Best Youth Production (The Trant Trophy) Starcast Drama Company with Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen
Best Direction (Chairman's Shield) Peter McAuley for Starcast's production of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen
Best Adult Actor (TDF Cup) Cameron Caws in Bishopstoke Players' production of No Easy Road by Peter Yates
Best Adult Actress (TDF Cup) Rachel Fletcher in Studio Theatre's production of English for Pony Lovers by John Finnemore
Best Supporting Adult Player (The Cullen Cup) Emelia Fletcher in Studio Theatre's production of Murder! In Little Grimley by David Tristram
Best Youth Actor (The Harris Trophy) Oscar van Gortal in Titchfield Festival Youth Associates' production of Lunch in Venice by Nick Dear
Best Youth Actress (The Harris Trophy) Em Poole in Studio Youth Theatre's production of Tracks by Peter Tarsi
Best Supporting Youth Player (The Hibbert Trophy) Alfie Flynn & Rosie Fielder in Starcast's production of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen
Technical Achievement (The Arthur Whittaker Award) Bitterne Park School with The Disappeared by Paul King
Adjudicator's Award (The Harding Shield) Kimberley Read & Craig Phelps, directors of The Diva Academy's Careful What You Wish For by Jon Boustead
The Totton Festival of Drama Awards

Day 1: Wednesday 22nd March 2023

The Diva Academy

Careful What You Wish For by Jon Boustead

A group of children visit a strange castle and are taken on a salutary journey by the castle keepers on which the children's wishes are fulfilled. The children learn the importance of being careful what they wish for.

Bitterne Park School

The Disappeared by Paul King

Exploring those men women and children believed to have been abducted by agents of the Argentine government during the years known as the Dirty War (1976–1983). One year after the abductions – and without answers - the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo was founded, hundreds of women were participating, gathering in the Plaza for weekly demonstrations. They found strength in each other by marching in public and attracted some press to try and find answers.

Studio Theatre

Murder! In Little Grimley by David Tristram

Anxious to cash in on the public’s appetite for detective dramas, the Chairman of the local amdram group writes a whodunnit. But in a bizarre twist he then finds himself embroiled in a real-life murder mystery that threatens to put him behind bars. The quarrelsome quartet have been in some sticky situations over the years. But can they possibly get away with murder?

Day 2: Thursday 23rd March 2023

Studio Youth Theatre

Tracks by Peter Tarsi

A group of strangers meet in a dirty subway station. They have arrived with limited personal belongings, all claiming to be in different cities. Soon they learn there is no way out of the station, and the unfortunate truth is revealed....

Studio Theatre

English for Pony Lovers by John Finnemore

German Elke is anxious to connect with her teenage daughter, who shuts herself in her room writing fan fiction on the internet. To do so, she needs to improve her English and engages the services of Lorna, who might not be quite the language tutor she’s cracked up to be…

Day 3: Friday 24th March 2023

Starcast Drama Collective

Brainstorm: The original playscript by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim and Company

Inside every adolescent brain, 86 billion neurons connect and collide to produce the most frustrating, chaotic and exhilarating changes that will ever happen to us.
Brainstorm is a unique theatrical investigation into how teenagers’ brains work, and why they’re designed by evolution to be the way they are.

Titchfield Festival Youth Associates

Lunch in Venice by Nick Dear

5 teenagers go on an art trip of a lifetime to Venice. A stop on the rialto changes everything. When they are joined by a mysterious shopaholic the truth comes out about their lunch break.

Bench Theatre

Biting the Hand that Feeds by Roger Niven

Mrs Roberts is a teacher keen on making children achieve their full potential while Derek Ainsley is the new Head focussing on the business potential of the school. They were never going to get on…
Then came Marcus and yet another lunchtime detention. What could possibly go wrong?

Day 4: Saturday 25th March 2023

Bishopstoke Players

No Easy Road by Peter Yates

Niall and Faye are delighted on hearing their son Jamie has got engaged to the lovely Roisin. Jamie though has a personal secret, he knows inside he’s gay and he has a personal dilemma – should he live a lie with Roisin or come out and ruin their future?

This play contains strong language.

Starcast Drama Company

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind by Greg Allen

This is an ensemble experiment in presenting two-minute plays in a random order with an interactive audience.

This play contains strong language and adult themes.


Our 2023 Adjudicator: Jan Palmer Sayer

Jan is one of the most respected adjudicators in the country. As a retired headteacher of a specialist arts college, her theatrical exploits have taken her to all four corners of the country.

Having been an adjudicator for over 20 years, and as a former chair of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators, she has a vast amount of knowledge and experience to impart to groups and audiences alike.

This was Jan's second visit to the Totton Festival and we were delighted to welcome her back. Winning groups will see Jan again as she is also adjudicating the English Final in Tewkesbury this year.


Rounds of the national competition

All England Theatre Festival Round 1

Totton Festival of Drama

Week of the 21st March 2022 at Hanger Farm, Totton

All England Theatre Festival Round 2

Western Area Semi Final

Sunday 7th May 2023 at Merlin Theatre, Frome

Adjudicator: Alan Hayes

All England Theatre Festival Round 3

English Final

Saturday 3rd June 2023 at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

Adjudicator: Jan Palmer-Sayer

United Kingdom Community Drama Festival Federation British Final

30th June/1st July 2023 at The Mac Theatre, Belfast

2023 | Totton Festival of Drama