One Act Play Festival this weekend

The theatrical offerings may be short, but they are very, very sweet

Eileen Pope playing Agnes Haughty with Geoff Jenkins     playing Cyril Haughty

Eileen Pope playing Agnes Haughty with Geoff Jenkins playing Cyril Haughty

If theatre is big on your radar, check out the seventh annual Vancouver Island One Act Play Festival at the Village Theatre this weekend.

Amateur actors, directors and playwrights are getting ready to show off the fruits of their labour for the play festival which will offer theatre-goers five quick and diverse hits of drama and comedy.

Doug Toombs, one of the founders of the festival said it provides new and experienced writers, directors and actors an opportunity to showcase their talent, and gives the public a chance to see several quality productions in a short period.

Toombs said a one act play is a good way to encourage first-time directors to get their feet wet.

The festival, which runs on Nov. 4, 5 and 6, features five community theatre groups competing for bragging rights and trophies ranging from best performance, to best actor.

This year the festival has one juror who will give a balanced critique of the plays and how they could be improved.

“The idea is not just to put it on and then forget about it,” said Geoffrey Jenkins, who is on the festival committee.

Jenkins, who has a lead role in one of the plays, said the festival is an innovative way of developing local talent and the emphasis is on acting.

The juror this year is Peter Wienold from Port Alberni. He is involved with Portal Players and Theatre B.C. He will adjudicate five plays with awards to follow the last matinee show on Sunday. A social event will follow the awards on Sunday in The Green Room at the Village Theatre where audience members can meet the actors and talk about the plays.

Haughty Towers is one of the of the five plays. The Echo Players’ play, inspired by the BBC series Fawlty Towers, is a 45 minute comedy that is centered around a couple who moves from England to Qualicum Beach and the hilarity that ensues as they attempt to open up a boutique hotel. The saga unfolds with a cast of characters who don’t make it easy for Cyril and Agnes to open up their hotel.

Author Mike Andrews who has been with Echo Players for two years wrote the original script.  He said it is the first play he has penned and although he wrote it as a full length play he was talked into condensing it for the festival.

Andrews said the play is a spoof on the red tape that people go through in these parts when they are trying to build or renovate.

“I call it Island time when the contractor is always late.”

Andrews said even though it is his first play, he didn’t attempt to take over the show and he let director Dori McGarrigle and producer Judi Andrews work their magic.

Tickets are $12 per evening for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Three and five day passes are also available. Tickets are available from the Village Theatre Box Office or by phone, 250-752-3522. For details on box office hours visit


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