Festival actors get a raw deal

HOW sad that amateur drama seems to have been cast into the outer darkness (or at least The Sussex Room) in this year’s Hastings Musical Festival.

I attended the One Act Plays competition along with about 60 other people and was horrified to find the theatre and all its facilities plunged into deep gloom. Obviously we were not worthy of a glass of wine or even an ice cream.

Instead, we were shunted downstairs, told to be quiet, and left standing on the stairs while a previous competition was concluded.

Finally allowed in, we pretended not to notice the harassed actors in their costumes – no surprises there then, at the rise of the curtain.

But now I come to think of it, the curtain was not the rising sort anyway. So instead of learning some stage craft, which I thought was half the point of the exercise, the actors struggled to disappear and reappear behind an inadequate screen.

They made a pretty good fist of it, all things considered.

Hastings has a great history of speech and drama, and if the festival organisers are trying to do away with this part of it, let them be honest about it.

The producers and actors will surely find another venue where they will prosper and treat their audiences properly.

SALLY GARDNER

Pottery Lane

Brede