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Bayside and Westside Drama Group win best play in UK festival

Bayside and Westside Drama Group scooped the top prize at the Duncan Rand Youth One-Act Play Festival, held last week at Medway Little Theatre in Rochester (Kent).

The group won Best Play for their production of The Blue Whale, with the whole cast also winning individual acting awards.

Nikolaj Forrester won Best Actor, Emma Olivero won Best Actress, and Jake Hancock picked up the award for Best Supporting Actor. Lighting operator Esther Tricker and sound operator Jasmine Jarman also won Best Technical Crew.

Adjudicator Amanda Conroy congratulated the company on the tightness of the cast, the pace of the play, and the high standard of the performances.

This is the fourth time that the group has won the Duncan Rand Festival following wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The group had not taken part since 2018 but was pleased to return and continue strengthening links with the theatre. A joint workshop was also held for the young members of both groups.

The Blue Whale is a dark comedy about a young man who meets a woman online and is convinced to undertake a series of challenges. These slowly start to escalate, placing the man in conflict with those closest to him.

The play won Best Original Play at the 2022 Gibraltar Drama Festival and options are being explored to stage the play at a venue in London.

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