The GMDF Amateur Theatre Festival

This is a Full Length Amateur Theatre Festival and it is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. There are some 120+ entries (approx 90+ in the drama section and 28+ in the musical / pantomime section) into the Festival.

Four adjudicators, three drama and one musical / pantomime, attend all these productions and their written assessments are compiled using a strictly structured template. There are set guidelines which must be commented upon and these are shown in italics on the written assessment you receive. This allows for consistency and demonstrates continuity to all Societies. A comprehensive marking system is used and becomes invaluable at the end of the season when determining productions eligible for nominations. A written assessment is produced for every entry and should be, all things being equal, with the Society no later than 2 weeks following the production.

Preliminary Entry Forms are sent to each member Society in May for completion and return by 1st July. During this month the Adjudicator’s diaries are formulated. Each participating Society is informed in early August of the dates their productions will be attended by an adjudicator.

GMDF tries to ensure that there are no duplications in productions for each adjudicator. Each adjudicator is allocated Societies and productions on a random basis, not geographical but ensuring a fair split between the Societies. Societies’ entries can vary in number from 2 – 9. A Society submitting 9 entries will be fairly distributed between the 3 adjudicators. In the event of an emergency, productions can be attended by another adjudicator; this will then become their production for appraisal.

When the season closes at the end of May, it’s crunch time for the four adjudicators. They choose their nominees (typically four in each category) and winners and as many of them will attest, it’s often very, very difficult as the general standard of the various performances and technical achievements is so high.

Awards Night is then held in July at which, three sets of identical drama and one set of musical / pantomime awards are made. In the interests of comparing like with like the Musical / Pantomime section is entirely separate in terms of adjudications and awards. All awards are decided solely by the individual adjudicator who attended the production and there is no intervention from GMDF board or anyone else. If you have three entries and your productions are seen by 3 different adjudicators, each production could be a Best Production winner.

We hope this give you an idea of how the Full Length Play Festival works but if you have any queries about this please do not hesitate to contact us.
The award categories are as follows:

Drama Section x 3Musical / Pantomime x 1
Best ActressBest Actress
Best ActorBest Actor
Best Supporting ActressBest Supporting Actress
Best Supporting ActorBest Supporting Actor
Best Youth PerformerBest Youth Performer
Best Performer in a Youth Production
Best Performance in a Pantomime
Technical AwardTechnical Award
Best DirectorBest Director
Adjudicator’s Discretionary AwardAdjudicator’s Discretionary Award
Best ProductionBest Choreographer
Best Overall Production of the three sections.Best Musical Director
Best Youth Theatre Production
Best Pantomime
Best Production


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