C.A.T.S. in line to collect at All England Theatre Festival semi-finals
LOCAL am-dram stars from the C.A.T.S. (Cheadle Amateur Theatrical Society) collective are thrilled to have secured a spot in the semi-finals of the All England Theatre Festival for One Act Plays (AETF) representing the Central Division.
C.A.T.S. has beaten off competition from all other theatre companies in North Staffordshire and will now perform at the Abbey Theatre in Nuneaton on Saturday 27th May in the hopes of progressing to the British Final in Bridgewater, Somerset in June.
The C.A.T.S. performance of “Prison of the Mind” was runner-up to Tamworth theatre group, Total Arts Community Theatre’s production of “Lear’s Daughters” meaning both go through to the semi-finals with five other companies from the east and west of England as well as London.
This is the first time that C.A.T.S. has ever reached the semi-finals and everyone is extremely excited and proud. The Festival is open to all amateur theatre societies in England and hundreds of groups took part this year, including adult, youth and junior groups.
“Prison of the Mind” is an original play in one act, written, directed and performed by C.A.T.S. member Charlie Brown from Cheadle.
Last year, Charlie won the inaugural Scriptwriting Festival organized by the North Staffs Festival Committee with her play “Prison of the Mind.”
During the adjudication by Chris Jaeger MBE at the quarter finals of the One Act Play Festival at the Brewhouse Theatre in Burton-on-Trent, he described “Prison of the Mind” as an “imaginative and innovative piece of theatre.”
Mr Jaeger went on to say he had now changed his mind after 22 years of adjudicating, about not allowing an individual write, act and perform, as Charlie had proven this could be achieved.
Charlie was awarded the Adjudicator’s Award, the Judeen Clarke Memorial Shield, for writing, directing and performance and the Sheila Bladon Memorial Trophy for Best Director. Charlie was also nominated for Best Actress along with her co-performer Emily Bosworth aged 17.
These awards were in addition to the ones Charlie and Emily won at the Mitchell Arts Centre during the regional heats in March.
Charlie won trophies for Best Original Play and the Lodge Memorial Trophy for originality and imagination while Emily won the Best Actress under 21 award.
“Prison of the Mind”, a psychological drama set in the mind, featured Samantha Hughes- Johnson, Chloe Cheadle and George Bowyer as the off stage voices.
The technical team of Rick Hermolle, Russell Bevan, James Walker and Josh Carter were praised for the technical aspects of the play which were described as “the future of theatre” by Mr Jaeger.
Having been given a very tough adjudication, Charlie was overwhelmed with the results and about progressing to the semi-finals.
“I have never believed in my abilities, but since joining C.A.T.S. it has provided me with that platform to push myself.
“I’m now preparing myself for the semi-finals and the support from C.A.T.S. is phenomenal.
“When you have a fantastic cast and crew behind you, anything is possible.
“I am incredibly lucky to not only have their support, but their belief in me and my play.
“Without a doubt when we perform “Prison of the Mind” in Nuneaton, we will give it our everything,” said Charlie.
Emily Bosworth, from Cheadle was equally emotional: “I can’t believe it. I am so happy and proud to be part of this play and can’t wait to perform it again at the end of May.
“To get this far in the competition is absolutely incredible and I still can’t believe it,” she said
Chairman of C.A.T.S. Pauline Keates added: “I am so thrilled with the results of our entry in this very prestigious central division quarter final.
“I was so proud to see how this fantastic cast and crew had worked so very hard to polish even more on their already award winning performance.
“It is a great accolade for C.A.T.S. also proving how well the Youth and Adult sections can work successfully together.”
For further details about forthcoming productions or joining the C.A.T.S. award winning team, either on stage or behind the scenes, visit the website at www.cheadle.-cats.org.uk or contact C.A.T.S. Secretary Stephen on 01538 752138.
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