It is now March 2021 and as Covid-19 continues to cause havoc with both the professional and amateur theatre, we have sadly had to cancel our annual Hertford drama festival in both 2020 and 2021. However, as the vaccination programme continues to roll on and there is talk of the restrictions being eased, we are optimistic that theatre will be able to return to some kind of normality by the spring of 2022 and that we will be able to present the 59th Hertford Theatre Week.
However, our regular venue for the festival, Hertford Theatre, is scheduled to close in August 2021 for a major refurbishment, which could be for anything up to two years. This means at the time of writing Hertford Theatre Week 2022 is homeless!
Having just missed two years of the festival, the first break in our 58-year history, we are striving not to miss any more years during the theatre rebuild.
We are currently looking for, and hope we can find, an alternative suitable venue and as soon as we know more, we will publish further details.
So, if you are one of our regular loyal audience, a competing team, or someone who would like to join us for the first time, please watch this space for more information later in 2021.
Thank you for your support in past years, and we hope to welcome you all back to live theatre as soon as we are able.
Hertford Theatre Week
Hertford Theatre Week is a six-night drama festival with a different production every night in the heart of Hertford. Teams travel from all over the country to compete for trophies and the chance to compete in the NDFA All Winners Festival. 2019 was the 58th Hertford Theatre Week and brought the number of productions to 342.
The Festival was instigated when a small committee from Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society, investigating the possibilities of further stimulating amateur drama, invited neighbouring societies and drama groups to perform one of their own productions under festival conditions. With rules agreed and sufficient support promised to ensure a full week's programme of six different plays, 1962 saw the first Hertford Theatre Week.
Sponsorship of the first ten years was provided by the directors of the Hertfordshire Mercury and County Press, the publishers of our local newspaper and supporters of local drama. Since 1972 Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society has not only been the hosts and organisers but also the main sponsors.
In recent years the Festival has been completely self-financing and, unlike many full-length play festivals which draw sponsorship from their local authority or commercial organisations, our only revenue comes from the Box Office sales.
The Festival is run by a team of unpaid volunteers from HD&OS, some of whom give up a week of their annual holiday to work on the competition and whose only reward is their love of theatre and the satisfaction of being involved in what has become recognised as one of the leading full-length drama competitions in the country.
We are proud to say that in a number of past years, Hertford Theatre Week provided the winner of the NDFA British All-Winners Drama Festival.
We hope to have the programme for the festival available in early 2022.