Curtain comes down on Llandrindod Wells Drama Festival after 80 years

The Albert Hall in Llandrindod Wells Llandrindod Wells Drama Festival was held at the town's Victorian Albert Hall theatre

The curtain has come down on a drama festival after 80 years because of a lack of interest from theatre groups.

Time was called on Llandrindod Wells Drama Festival after three theatre companies pulled out of May's week-long event in a matter of days.

Last year the festival was pulled because of a lack of plays.

Staged since 1933, it is thought to be one of the oldest of its type in the UK. Organisers said it was "very sad", but they had little option.

In its hey day the festival was inundated with requests from amateur theatre companies from around the UK and needed a selection panel to choose the week's plays.

But in recent times the number of performances has dwindled along with visitors to the festival, which was held at Llandrindod Wells' Victorian Albert Hall.

Start Quote

It's all very sad because it was once a very popular event”

End Quote Sheila Richards Llandrindod Wells Drama Festival

"We were due to celebrate our 80th year this year, but I couldn't get the theatre groups to come," said festival administrator Sheila Richards.

"I had five groups booked and then in a matter of days three pulled out and it was then that the committee decided we should call it a day.

"Audience numbers have dwindled over the years too. It's all very sad because it was once a very popular event.

"I think a lot of the amateur performers find it difficult to take part in festivals during the week and can only usually make it at the weekends."

Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman in Doctor Who Christmas special Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman appeared at the Llandrindod Wells festival a few years ago

Llandrindod Wells' deputy mayor Trish Hill said it was "very sad".

"The drama festival was one of the main events in the town and brought in a lot of tourists and had a good following," she said.

'Stalwart'

"But I think a lot of grants have been curtailed in recent years and perhaps theatre groups don't have the money to attend festivals in places like Llandrindod Wells."

The spa town, which is also home to a Victorian Festival staged every August, hosted the British all winners' final in 2004 and 2007, which celebrates the best of British amateur theatre.

Mrs Richards said Dr Who actress Jenna-Louise Coleman appeared at the festival a few years ago when she was a member of a Blackpool drama group.

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