Film ID:
YFA 4835



Visitor Tabs


In November, 1944, the Youth Drama Festival took place in Todmorden.  This film documents some of the events of the festival, and intertitles throughout the film provide additional information for the events and performances. 

The film opens with blue-tinted film stock with drawings of the masks of comedy and tragedy.
Title – Youth presents drama (based on the Youth Drama Festival. Nov 1944)

Title – Plays are discussed...

Title – … and selected

A boy sits reading in front of a stacked bookcase.  A girl joins him and picks out a Penguin copy of Modern One-Act Plays.  A group sits around a table covered in books, each reading through a book of their own, pointing things out to one another, and giggling over the books.  A third group are all gathered around one girl with a book, and they discuss the book which she is holding. 

A boy in a green shirt paints a poster for the Youth Drama Festival held at the Co-op Hall, Todmorden on the 25th November.  He pins the poster to a noticeboard, and others gather around to read it.  Another boy comes up selling tickets, they all buy one.  A young man is sitting at a table where he is selling tickets.  One lady buys several as do another pair of ladies after her.

Title – Costumes are designed and fitted.

A girl holds a large red dress, with white cuffs and bib, up in front of herself as the wardrobe mistress makes alterations.  Behind her three other girls are sewing costumes.  One girl is sewing a white fur edging onto a yellow costume.  The girl holding holds a cloak while the wardrobe mistress balances a crown on her head.

Title – A hall and stage are prepared.

Two young men stand in front of the Hall doors, and a sign on the door reads 'Cloaks.'  The door is opened to them, and another young man takes them through to the stage where he instructs them on what is needed.  Various bits of scenery are moved about, and a piano appears on the stage.  One boy saws a piece of wood, fits it in a doorway, and nods in satisfaction at the camera.  Lights and curtains are installed on the ceiling.  A backdrop descends in front of the curtains.  It shows a Mediterranean landscape with a lake.

Title – “There is much matter to be heard and learned.”- As You Like It. Act V Sc. IV.

A sign pinned to a door reads: ‘Rehearsal 7.30’

A girl walks through a green door with a Rehearsal sign pinned to it.  Inside the room a play is being rehearsed.  Two girls are fighting over a third.  A young man and woman sit in chairs in front of a wireless, talking.  Another girl joins them, ousts the man, and takes his seat where she then talks to the young woman.

Title – “Say, what abridgement have you for this evening? / What masque, what music?”- A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act V. Sc. 1.

Actors sit around a table, two having their makeup done, the other doing her own.  One actor draws a moustache, heavy eyebrows and rosy red cheeks on himself.  Following this is a shot of a record playing on a gramophone. One man sits at a table where he checks tickets as the audience filters in.

Title – “The Actors are at hand and by their show/You shall know all that you are like to know' - A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act V. Sc. 1.

The curtain rises to show a group sitting around a table. They act a number of scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

There is a shot of hand holding a programme for the Festival which contains the following information:  The Festival was arranged by the Todmorden Youth Council, and will contain three one-act plays performed by members of the Youth Organisations of Todmorden Borough, and performed in the Co-Operative Hall, Dale Street, Todmorden. Mr. D.  E. Omerode of Rochdale will be adjudicating, Mr W. Naylor is stage manager, Costumes by Miss C. Starkie, stage lighting by Mr. J. Stott and music and effects by Mr. R. Berry all of Todmorden. 
His Worship, the Mayor will make an address.
Synopsis of the second play: 'The puppets act their play which is concerned with the Kingdoms of Orangeland and Lemonland and has a ‘happily ever after’ conclusion.

Following the performance, the puppets relax as actors after a show. They discuss what would have happened in Orangeland and Lemonland in real life. They deny the existence of the Puppet Master and bring themselves up to date with disastrous consequences. The return of the Puppet Master restores order and the curtain falls on the promise of a brighter future.

The actors are:  Dennis Holmes (The King of Lemonland), Anne Dewhurst (The Princess), Jennie Elliot (the Countess, the King’s cousin), Marion Hopefall (sp? The Queen of Orangeland), Albert Butler (the Prince, her son), Hugh Fielden (the Baron, her cousin), June Mackarie (sp? The Story Teller), Philip Turner (First Soldier), Peter Sutrees (sp? Second soldier, the voice of the Puppet Master).