Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies
FEATS began as part of a two-day drama festival organised by The Anglo-American Theatre Group (AATG) as part of British Week in Rotterdam in 1976. It assumed its present title in 1978 when, with the British American Theatre Society (BATS) of Antwerp as host, it ran seven plays over three evenings.
It was then decided that it should be rotated among the major Benelux cities, with Brussels and Luxembourg hosting the following festivals. In 1980, a Steering Committee was formed of the AATG, BATS, the English Comedy Club (ECC) of Brussels and the New World Theatre Club (NWTC) of Luxembourg, with the Frankfurt English Speaking Theatre (FEST) joining in 1991. FEATS now rotates between these five cities.
The festival takes place over the four days of Whitsun (Pentecost) weekend, with three plays being performed each evening. The productions are judged and awards are given Oscar-style for best production, best actor and actress, best set, original script and so on. The awards are decided by the FEATS adjudicator, a member of the British Guild of Drama Adjudicators.
At the end of each evening, the adjudicator offers a critique of the three performances, and may also have a more detailed discussion the following day with the groups involved.
As well as the main festival, the Fringe has become a highlight of the weekend. It presents smaller productions from groups which are not taking part, or additional presentations from competing groups.
The British "All Winners" Festival
The winning production is eligible to take part in the British "All Winners" Festival, presented by the National Drama Festival Association.
Basic Rules Of Competition
- FEATS is a competitive festival, and the performing groups have to abide by a set of rules that have evolved over the years. A full set of rules is available from the FEATS Organising Committee, but the main points are listed here for your information.
- The piece performed must be either a complete play or an extract from a longer play, providing it can be understood without knowledge of the full play. Any spoken or written synopsis is not allowed.
- The work must be between 25 and 50 minutes long, including any scene changes. Points are deducted for exceeding the time limit, up to a maximum over-run of five minutes. Exceeding the time limit by more than five minutes disqualifies the group.
- Each group has ten minutes to set up the performance, and five minutes at the end to strike the set. No more than five non-actors (in addition to the sound and lighting people) are allowed backstage for this purpose.
- A prompt is allowed backstage, but may not contribute to setting or striking, unless part of the group of five.
- After being cued by the Stage Manager, the group has one minute to start the performance. After that, the same penalty point system operates as for the timing of the whole piece.
- Each group has two hours during the day for technical preparation (setting up lighting) and rehearsal.
- The group is responsible for making sure that the lighting is set, the curtain is raised and lowered, the scenery is set and struck in time, and that any cues for equipment operated by the theatre are clear and unambiguous, and in accordance with an agreed cue sheet.
- No recorded speech, TV or film material may be used without permission of the Organising Committee.
We hope that this has made it a bit clearer to you
We hope that you will also help us in future to take part in FEATS on the regular basis that we have done since 1980 in Luxembourg.
Please let us know well in advance if you have a play in mind and are interested in directing this at FEATS, as we are not invited to take part in FEATS every year. And even if you are not interested in getting actively involved in FEATS, you can support this by being a good audience at the festival.
Over the years, the number of people who have "only" been supporters at Hamburg Players' performances at FEATS has increased each time. And up to now everybody has spent a wonderful time there. For further information about FEATS, either contact the Hamburg Players Committee or check the official FEATS website.