How to enter our Festival

apply online, general info & rules

Entry Information

Entries are now closed for this year’s festival.

Apply online

We are now accepting entries for this year’s festival. Please enter online using the link below.

All you have to do is visit and complete our application form.

If you’re having problems entering by this method, please get in touch via the Contact us page.

General information

1. The entry fee for the Festival is £40.00. Teams will be asked to make payment, via the Festival website, BACS or by cheque, within 2 weeks of receiving their notice of acceptance. If payment is not received by the stipulated date, the offer to perform will be withdrawn and another company may be offered the opportunity to do so.

Information for BACS payments:

  • Sort code: 20-17-19
  • Account number: 40203289
  • Account name: Cambridge Drama Festival Committee


Cheques should be made payable to the Cambridge Drama Festival Committee.

2. When considering submissions for acceptance, the following criteria will be adopted:

  • That scripts and applications, as submitted, comply with Festival rules.
  • That, in the judgement of the Festival Committee, scripts are not perceived to be offensive in content, style or language. This of course may be subjective, and could be taken as censorship, but the committee has a responsibility to its audience which can be made up of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

3. Written adjudications may be available at an additional cost of £30.00. They must be requested at least three weeks before the start of the Festival, and payment should be made directly to the adjudicator. Please ask the Festival Secretary for the relevant information.

4. Technical and Programme details should be sent to the Festival Secretary by Monday 22 July 2024. Information about any children performing must be sent by Monday 8 July 2024.

5. The cups and trophies awarded in the various categories will be presented at a ceremony following the final adjudication on Saturday night, 14 September.

All competing teams must arrange for one of their number to attend this ceremony or to nominate a representative who will be present at that time.

6. Cast, and named members of the back-stage crew (up to a maximum of 6), will be given passes for seats in the auditorium (subject to availability) for the session in which they perform. For general supporters, tickets are available from the Festival Box Office.



1. Each company taking part must consist of members of a bona fide amateur group and all performers must be amateurs i.e. whose main income is not earned by acting.


On the opening date of the Festival:

1. The work offered by a competing company must be either (a) a one-act play, (b) an extract from a longer play, or (c) some other form of theatrical performance. It must also have a minimum of two speaking parts; monologues are not acceptable

2. Companies offering a new play should note that the *New Play Award will be given to the author of the best new play that, on the opening date of the Festival, (a) is unpublished, (b) has not been performed professionally, (c) has not won a New Play Award in any competition and that (d) any previous performance must have been within 12 months of the opening date of the festival. 

3. Each entry must be at least 20 minutes in length but must not exceed the time limit of 55 minutes. It is important that companies should accurately describe the length of their play when submitting their entries so that we can organise the programme appropriately. 

4. 10 minutes will be allowed for setting and 5 minutes for striking the setting for each entry. The Festival Stage Manager will check that teams are ready to begin. 

5. The penalties for not keeping within the allotted times are:

  • Up to 1 minute over or under time – 1 mark
  • Up to 2 minutes over or under time – 3 marks
  • Up to 3 minutes over or under time – 6 marks
  • Up to 4 minutes over or under time – 10 marks
  • Up to 5 minutes over or under time – 15 marks
  • 5 minutes over or under time – disqualification 

6. Companies should note that RULE 5 will be strictly enforced by an official time-keeper. The Festival Stage Manager’s decision on this and all other backstage matters will be final. 

7. COPYRIGHT: If an entry is copyright, it is the responsibility of the company to see that the author’s permission is obtained for the performance and that any royalty fees have been paid in advance. It is also the responsibility of the company to obtain from the author or his/her agents appropriate permission for any changes to the published script or for the use of music and effects in the performance. Documentary evidence of the appropriate permission and the payment of royalties or fees MUST be presented to the Festival Stage Manager prior to the performance. In addition, any music used during a performance MUST be licensed. 

8. The play performed must be as submitted. Any significant changes to the script must be received by the Festival Secretary no later than 3 weeks prior to the opening of the Festival, accompanied by the written permission of the author where relevant.


1. The Technical Director will be in control of the switchboard and lighting equipment under the direction of each competing company. 

2. The Technical Director must be informed of the music and sound effects to be used, and any sound reproduction equipment which a competing company may wish to use must have the Technical Director’s approval.

3. The use of any kind of microphone will not be allowed to enhance an actor’s vocal projection. Microphones may still be used to produce a sound effect.

4. Stage effects which present a fire hazard will not be allowed. Effects such as smoking or the firing of guns may, in certain circumstances be allowed, provided permission has been sought and obtained from theatre management. The Technical Director, will be happy to discuss effects with teams at the time of submitting technical details.

5. The Technical Director must be informed if live animals are to be used as the theatre is required to obtain a licence.

6. Neither the Festival performance nor the adjudication may be recorded by any means.

The Technical Director is Martin Avery: – 07476 565796.


1. The Adjudicator will deliver a public adjudication of each entry at the end of each evening and will decide on the winners of the trophies at the end of the festival.

2. The adjudicator will use the following system of marking: Acting 40 marks, Production 35 marks, Stage Presentation 15 marks, Endeavour, Originality and Attainment 10 marks.

3. The adjudicator’s decision is final.


1. On all matters relating to the Festival, the committee’s decision is final.

Cambridge Festival of Drama Rules (Coming soon)

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