Southern Counties Drama Festival24th February 2020, Various times and dates (24/02 to 29/02))
The Barn Theatre, 25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0AA
The Southern Counties Drama Festival (previously The Betchworth Festival) has been an important part of local amateur dramatics in Surrey and Kent for a great many years. Traditionally, the venue had moved around with different groups hosting the event each year but as time moved on standards of technical facilities were found lacking in some of these venues, which were after all, in the main, church halls hurriedly converted for theatre use on the morning of the technical rehearsals. In 1989 the festival was at risk of being cancelled due to a lack of a suitable venue with technicians and the Barn Theatre Trustees boldly offered to provide both a venue and an independent annual festival with technicians supplied, not only for that year but on a permanent basis, putting a Committee in place comprised of Barn Theatre Trustees and other interested and committed people. The festival was a success and since that time the Barn has been home to the Betchworth Festival, now renamed the Southern Counties Drama Festival, as a Barn initiative under the auspices of the Festival Committee.
There was no festival in 2006 and the Festival Committee indicated an unwillingness to carry on for 2007, which put the future of the festival at risk. However, the Barn Trustees, under the leadership of the Artistic Director, Martin Patrick, quickly assembled an enthusiastic and experienced team to fulfil the committee obligations and relaunch the SCDF.