THE winners of Gibraltar’s annual drama festival will compete in the UK National Drama Festival in July, the Rock’s cultural agency said.
The play ‘Signed, Me’ won the festival in March overall, and took the best director, best original script and best actor awards as well.
Performed by various young people from the Gibraltar Academy of Music and the Performing Arts (GAMPA), its director is none other than the mayor himself, Christian Santos.
Now Santos and his young cast will be heading to the National Drama Festival in Coventry on July 20-23.
Marketed as a showcase for ‘the cream of amateur theatre’, the UK festival will give the successful Gibraltarian a chance to spread his ideas on a new stage.
The play ‘Signed, Me’ got 91 marks from adjudicator Bev Jenkins in late March at the Ince’s Hall theatre.
That easily surpassed the 80 adjudicator marks needed to gain entry to the UK’s national event.
Rod Chaytor, Chair of the National Drama Festival Association, said he had always wanted ‘a strong international flavour’ in a festival that respresents the whole of the UK.
“I cannot think of a better expression of that vision than to welcome a top-quality group from close to the most southerly tip of Europe, willing to travel thousands of miles to compete alongside the cream of British amateur theatre,” he said.
GAMPA Principal and actor, Christian Santos said he had ‘always wanted to compete at other drama festivals’ and that ‘this one feels like the perfect choice’.
“We feel this is a great opportunity for the cast involved to experience performing with other groups and other theatres,” Santos said.
“Having been selected is an absolute honour and there was no question that we would accept the offer and participate.”
The news was music to the ears for culture minister John Cortes, who said he is keen ‘to promote our culture outside our shore’.
He added: “This is a huge step forward for Gibraltar Drama and Gibraltar performers, and I hope it starts a trend for future Gibraltar Drama Festival productions.”