Clavering Players’ success at Cambridge and Sawston drama festivals

A ONE-ACT play written on a shoestring budget has won a drama group a clutch of awards.

Clavering Players entered Are you Awake? into the Sawston and Cambridge drama festivals and picked up five awards.

The play, written and directed by chairman Keith Phillips, saw its three actors – Evie Taylor, Dean Kiely and Nettie Hayes – nominated for best actor.

Ms Taylor won at both festivals while the play itself also scooped best new play at both. The group also finished third overall at Sawston.

“We have entered these festivals for a few years and have done reasonably well,” said Mr Phillips, who had previously only written one-act plays as training exercises.

“We have entered into four festivals this year and we’ve still got Haverhill and Welwyn coming up in June. But to win five awards from the first two festivals is great.”

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the set – a second hand double bed, free mattress, props and costumes – was put together for just �20.

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“These festivals can cost a bit of money but we managed to put something together on a very low budget,” explained Mr Phillips.

“One act plays can be difficult because you have to tell a story and get the character across in just 45 minutes. The actors need to establish themselves in very short amount of time.

“There’s also no luxury of performing or rehearsing on stage at these festivals – you put up the scenery and then perform.

“It is competitive and can be stressful. But it also gives us a visibility outside of Clavering and offers the actors some variety.”

The plot of Are You Awake? looks at the chances taken in life and whether the right was made choice – it gives the audience a taste of both sides of the coin.

For more information about Clavering Players contact secretary Jennifer Scott-Reid on 07886 404714 or visit