PlayFest set to thrill all you lovers of drama
Duns is bracing itself for the April 28 opening of its annual PlayFest, a five-year-old extravaganza that has doubled in size over the past 12 months to total more than a staggering 60 different stage shows.
The sheer scale and ambition of the event proves, if nothing else, that live acting still holds the power to intrigue and mesmerise.
Its 2023 programme, part-funded by Creative Scotland, ranges from historical plays, comedies, youth theatre and free entertainment for children to new works on challenging themes such as refugees, bereavement, dementia and mental health.
Professional actors and theatre companies will rub shoulders with community drama groups, local high-school and primary-school pupils and drama students from Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh.
And it’s affordable: The most expensive ticket is £10 and many of the events are free.
Festival director and founder, local playwright John McEwen said: “We have top names in local theatre and dramatic writing, performing brand-new plays with stellar casts: Firebrand, Tideline Runners, Northumberland Theatre Company, Playwright Studio Scotland and Two Destination Language.
"Borders Youth Theatre has two new plays, and there’ll be workshops teaching youngsters stage production, writing, acting and auditioning.
“Outdoors, we’ve got a free family day with stilt walkers and fairies at Duns Castle, plus a chicken-themed Western in Duns Public Park.
“Each day of DunsPlayFest has a different theme. For instance, our Day for Heart & Heid on Friday, May 5, will include ‘Sing for Wellbeing’, a Sound Bath, and a gentle Movement session.
The town’s Volunteer Hall will be transformed into a magical festival hub, with two stages, a bar, hot food, workshop space and break-out areas with sofas for chatting and relaxing.
We’re even running a free screening of the King’s Coronation on Saturday, May 6, with a free glass of bubbly, followed by the big-band closing concert and ceilidh.”