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What Makes Good Festival Theatre?

Paul Fowler, Information Officer for GoDA, writes in the GoDA Newsletter:

“What really floats an adjudicator’s theatrical boat? What aspects of theatre excite them? What is it that transforms the good to the great? I spoke to several experienced GoDA members who gave their answers in confidence.

“For me it has to start with believable characterisation,” said one. “If I can’t believe in the characters then it is hard for the entry to get past first base, but when the characterisation is convincing everything else begins to fall into place and I can really enjoy the performance.”

For another busy GoDA member it’s all about the transformation that goes on between page and stage. “I love to have my expectations overturned, to be surprised and thrilled. I recall one occasion when my jaw dropped in the opening moments of an entry and I was convinced I must have read the wrong play. I hadn’t, it was just that the company (which went on to achieve great success) had given the piece such a bold interpretation that they brought a completely unexpected dimension to the material. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!”

A combination of visual and verbal excellence is what another member finds stimulating. “I like to see originality in everything and I like to be excited by theatre – when it all comes together both visually and verbally.”