Useful Notes

This document is intended to help both participating companies and The Corn Exchange. It contains useful ‘tips’, that have been learnt from previous festivals, and enables basic information to be supplied to the organisers.

Entrants should receive a copy of the notes that are sent to companies that visit the Theatre. You should ensure that these notes are read by your Producer/Director, Stage Manager and technician(s).

Each company will be provided, in advance via the post, with a limited number of complementary tickets (i.e. one for each member of the cast plus three additional tickets for the Stage Manager, Technician and Director) for the night of their performance. Please note that these tickets are NOT TRANSFERABLE or for re-sale. If you require tickets for other nights (especially the last-night) please book well in advance addressing correspondence directly to the Box Office. The auditorium seats 176 people and popular nights sell out quickly. Please note that all theatre tickets are numbered and should only be occupied by the ticket holder.

After the Festival the organisers hold a ‘post mortem’ to review all aspects of the organisation of the Festival. You will receive another questionnaire which we would appreciate your completing and returning to us. All your comments will be carefully considered.

It is important that your company takes the opportunity to view the Theatre before the Festival. Three viewing days are arranged to enable you to do this. Your visit might make you decide that some part of your production would benefit from small but important changes. These visits also allow your Stage Manager and technicians to discuss their requirements with the theatre staff. Be aware of the position of the adjudicator. He/she is normally seated about half-way down the auditorium at the stage-left side but you should check this position when you come to view the theatre as it may show problems with how your cast is positioned on-stage.

The following points have been made by various adjudicators in the past and you may wish to take note of their comments.

  • People who are meant to be wet should be wet. Perhaps they should stand under a shower! Similarly other images should be real, for instance mud on boots.
  • Scene setting introductory music goes a long way to helping the audience into the scene. Only very occasionally does no introduction have a dramatic effect. The Corn Exchange provides ‘wall paper’ music be fore the show and during the intervals but visiting companies should try and find an appropriate sound effect to start their presentation.
  • Characters should stay in character until they are off the stage completely. Adjudicators often comment on actors who step out of character before they are totally out of sight of the audience.
  • Plates that are meant to have food on them should not be empty. The Corn Exchange has a raked auditorium and the audience can easily see what is/is not on plates, tables, etc.
  • Ensure that changes to the script are made to ALL working copies.

From a technical point of view you should ensure the following is known by the relevant people.

  • The sound check day on the technical day preceding the Festival is most important. Sound levels are extremely hard to judge in the Corn Exchange and your sound technician should make sure that the correct levels are determined before the evening of the performance. NO SOUND CHECKS CAN TAKE PLACE ON THE EVENING OF YOUR PERFORMANCE.
  • Changes to the lighting rig after the technical day visit are not possible. If you have not specified what you require you will have to make do with what has been put up for other contestants.