About the Festival

Festival 2021 – The Show WILL Go On!

MDF Poster 2021
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We are delighted to say that we have now secured new dates to enable this year’s Festival to go ahead; 7th – 10th July 2021. We appreciate these dates may not be ideal for some, e.g. schools, but hopefully all restrictions will have been lifted by then and performances will be able to go ahead unhindered.

Inevitably there are some changes this year:

  • Whilst there should be no restrictions by the time of performance, you will have to establish for yourselves how you can safely rehearse before 21st June (the hoped-for end date to all restrictions). See the Risk Assessments on the AETF website for guidance: http://www.allenglandtheatrefestival.co.uk/documents.htm
  • To this end you may wish to consider a small cast play (which might also help if restrictions are unfortunately reintroduced).
  • Whilst not reducing the official entry playing time, we would also ask you to consider the length of your play – a shorter play would give us more flexibility in scheduling.
  • Any play that was entered into last year’s Festival is eligible for re-entry this year.
  • To enable us to plan, we are asking for Expressions of Intent, (by way of the Entry Form) by 13th April (i.e. the day after Step 2 of the Roadmap is expected to be announced).
  • We will be asking for a formal commitment to perform, by 18th May (i.e. the day after Step 3 of the Roadmap is expected to be announced)
  • The two other Festivals in our (Eastern) Area will unfortunately not be happening this year. This means that the qualifying winner of Maidenhead Drama Festival will automatically go through to the English Final as the Area representation. (7th August, Bridlington)
  • In the spirit of friendship, Maidenhead Festival will guarantee an entry to at least one group from each of the other two festivals, should they wish to participate.
    Norden Farm will only be open Wednesday-Saturday each week for the foreseeable future. This means that we can accept a maximum of 13 entries: 3 performances each weekday evening (Wed-Friday), 2 matinee performances on the Saturday afternoon, plus 2 on Saturday evening.
  • These new opening times mean that your Technical Rehearsal onstage, to set lights, etc. will take place on the day of your performance, not the previous weekend.
  • This may mean some people needing time off work, etc., please ensure all participants are aware of this.
  • The good news is that neither MDF nor the AETF will be asking for entry fees this year!
  • Remember that if Covid has caused you any additional costs, you may apply for a grant from the AETF. (Web link as above)
  • The ‘other’ festival circuit, run by the National Drama Festivals Association (NDFA) has generally not been able to run this year. However they are keen to run their All Winners Festival, and are therefore opening it to entrants of our Festival. Groups are invited to perform and must achieve a minimum of 80 marks to be considered. Dates are 18th – 24th July, in Coventry.

If there is anything else you need to know, please do just ask; organiser@maidenhead-drama-festival.co.uk

We are SO looking forward to seeing you all again!


A Drama Festival is a unique experience and Maidenhead is one of the top festivals in the country, attracting a wide selection of plays and performing groups from the local area.

Every Spring around 12 one-act plays are performed in front of an esteemed professional adjudicator and you – the audience.

The plays are between 20 and 55 minutes long, ranging from comedies to thrillers to highly-emotional dramas. Each one is critiqued by the adjudicator in front of the audience for acting, direction, stage presentation and dramatic achievement. The winners are announced on Saturday night, with the Overall Winner going through to the Quarter Final of the All England Theatre Festival.

You can come along and watch all of the plays or just a few – it’s completely up to you.