A feast of new plays

Amy Clark and Marie Foreman in the Duns Players production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Amy Clark and Marie Foreman in the Duns Players production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Duns Players are definitely on a roll and after a series of successful performances in recent months are planning something different next year.

They are to host the first ever DunsPlayFest, scheduled to take place from May 4-11 next year and featuring new work from Scottish and Borders playwrights.

The three plays that will be staged emerged from a Live Borders organised workshop delivered by Playwrights Studio Scotland and run by award winning playwright, guide and mentor Jules Horne.

While the schedule isn’t completely finalised yet, the three plays are likely to be shown three times each, in a programme which Duns Players chair John McEwen hopes will be packed and multi-faceted. He believes that the DunsPlayFest will appeal to anyone interested in theatre, writing and performance of any kind.

“The theatrical talent in the Borders is astonishing,” said John, “and we want to bring it into the light, and rejoice at it.

“After all, theatre matters.”

Duns Players are developing a reputation for themselves for creating professional productions based on new writing and the classics, and the week-long celebration of new dramatic writing, readings, workshops, improvisation sessions and more, is another important step in the development of the group.

“We aim to treat classics as if they were newly-minted and new writing with the respect due to classics,” said John.

Recent Duns Players’ productions have included The Importance of Being Earnest, Broth, Blithe Spirit, Singin’ I’m No A Billy He’s A Tim and most recently Oh What A Lovely War, produced in collaboration with Duns & District Operatic Society.

During the week-long PlayFest performances will mostly take place in Duns Volunteer Hall, thanks to the support of A Heart for Duns, but other venues may also host some of the events. It is hoped that this event will be repeated in the following years, making the eastern Borders the place for new dramatic writing and performance.

Keep an eye on the Duns Players Facebook page for details of dates, tickets etc for the wide range of events being planned for the May event.