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Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final

Ball Boys

by David Edgar

Winners of The British Final Festival of One Act Plays 2004

Winners of The All-England Theatre Festival 2004

March-June 2004
The Young Theatre at Beaconsfield


"Ball Boys", performed by The Young Theatre (at Beaconsfield), directed by Mark Oldknow, made UK amateur theatre history.

The Young Theatre became the first youth group ever to win the All England Theatre Festival - the equivalent of an amateur football team winning the FA Cup! - and in doing so picked up no less than 13 awards. YT's production of this one act play went on to represent England at the British Final Festival held at Aberystwyth under the auspicies of the Drama Association of Wales; and it again made history - winning the British title, and the Howard de Walden Ewer Trophy, against strong competition from adult groups representing Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The first youth group ever to achieve this - continuing the football analogy ... the amateur team that went on to win the European Champions League!!

A fantastic achievement which has ensured The Young Theatre's entry in the annals of amateur theatre in Great Britain. So it was very much the case of - The Young Theatre ... The Best of British!!

Cast & Crew

Rupert  James Cooke
One Eye  Peter Sharman
Sven  Phil Macken
   
Director  Mark Oldknow
 
Lighting  Jonathan Fowke
Sound  Russell Brownbill
Stage Team  Nell Charleston
Martin Haswell
Lara Henry
Cameron Gower Poole
Production Managers Liz Beckmann
Graham Southgate

Explosive action as YT celebrate winning the British Final Festival of One Act Plays

Explosive action as YT celebrate winning the British Final Festival of One Act Plays


Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final

Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final

The Young Theatre (at Beaconsfield) win the 2004 British Final Festival of One Act Plays

The British Final Festival of One Act Plays is generally considered to be the amateur theatre event of the year. This year it was held at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the campus of the University of Wales last Friday & Saturday (June 25th/26th) ... and The Young Theatre won it!!

Competing for England with their production of "Ball Boys" by David Edgar - superbly directed by Mark Oldknow, with James Cooke (as Rupert); Peter Sharman (as One-Eye) & Phil Macken (as Sven) making up the outstanding cast - they won the title against strong competition from Scotland (Tryst Theatre / "Travels With My Aunt" by Giles Havergal from Graham Greene's novel); Northern Ireland (Theatre 3, Newtownabbey / "Elegy For A Lady" by Arthur Miller) and Wales (the New Tabernacle Players / "Asylum" by Alec Baron). The Adjudicator was Chris Jaeger GODA.

The YT "support team" comprised:- Jonathan Fowke (Lighting); Russell Brownbill (Sound); Nell Charleston, Martin Haswell, Lara Henry & Cameron Gower-Poole (Stage Team); and Graham Southgate standing in as Production Manager in the enforced absence of Liz Beckmann in the USA! Like all the best things about YT - it was a great team success!

The Young Theatre - the first youth group ever to win the All England title, and now (we believe) the first youth group ever to win the British title - were presented with the Howard de Walden Ewer by professional actor Wyn Calvin.

Not only did the team have excellent support from the current membership, despite the long journey - they were also delighted to have two ex-members, namely Peter Lock and his family, and Tim Gray and his wife - (one YT Harrow and one YT Beaconsfield) - in the audience supporting them as well ...!! Many other ex-members had sent the team messages of support - and the group very much wants all our ex-members to share in the group's outstanding success as their involvement over the years has helped to set and maintain the high standards demonstrated by this achievement.

England might be out of Euro 2004 - our rugby and cricket teams lose - but The Young Theatre (at Beaconsfield) has done England, Buckinghamshire, Beaconsfield and itself proud!

The Young Theatre : 1964 - 2004 : The Best of British!!
Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final

Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final


from 2004 June 5th
AETFlogo Peter Sharman, Phil Macken and James Cooke brandishing the Barn Theatre Cup from the Eastern Area Final

Ball Boys

Wins the All England Theatre Festival 2004

YT are the first youth group ever to win the English Final for which we received The John Maude Trophy at the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts on 5th June by Tony Rushforth, GODA. The awards began with Mark Oldknow being presented with The Paul Dyson Trophy (‘adjudicators discretionary award for work of merit’) for his direction and the group being given The Irene Gartside Award for stage presentation.

YT are now qualified to represent England at The British Final Festival of One Act Plays 2004 on 25th/26th June at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University of Wales, Ceredigion. Phone: 01970-623232


Eastern Area Final: 22.5.2004

Just for fun, here are three photos of the team and their supporters before the performance. Bigger if you click them...



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