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Nurturing New Theatre!


The annual festival of brand new theatre in the Scottish Borders

Announcing Dates for 2025
Friday 2 May - Saturday 10 May 2025
The Volunteer Hall, Duns, Berwickshire

DunsPlayFest 24 was incredible!
Watch this space for the highlights soon
!
Have a look at DunsPlayFest 24 in the programme below

Coming a Long Way to see a show? 

 

Why not buy a couple of Day Passes and stay overnight......go to our accomodation list for some ideas.....

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Firebrand are back!
with
A Room of One's Own

Adapted from the writings of Virginia Woolf

7.15pm Friday May 3 

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Building upon the success of its production of Nassim Soliemanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit at DunsPlayFest in 2023, acclaimed Scottish Borders-based Firebrand Theatre Company is delighted to return to the Festival in 2024, with its own new theatrical adaptation of
Virginia Woolf’s famous feminist essay, A Room of One’s Own.
As profoundly thought-provoking as White Rabbit, and directed by the award-winning Richard Baron, this ambitious one woman show will once again feature the versatile Ellie Zeegen and engagingly reveal why Woolf’s brilliant and richly entertaining 1929 polemic has become one of the most significant feminist manifestos of the present time, and of any time.

 

And
Tideline Runners:
The Honourable Gentleman
9pm Friday May 3   
Main Stage

'Tideline Runners are back at their brutal darkly comic best following 2023's lauded The Smallest Story. Based on true events, this sharply written and darkly comedic two-act dramatises the aftermath of the political scandal involving Northumberland MP Lord Lambton and high-class call girl Norma Levy that rocked the UK in 1973.

The play examines our fixation with public forgiveness, shame, and the social barriers that prevent forgiveness traversing the gender divide.'

A Bear Named Wojtek

4pm Friday May 3   

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A half hour animated film, A BEAR NAMED WOJTEK is essentially a love story for one’s homeland - an important subject in times of refugees, nationalism and xenophobia. It relates the experience of the Polish people during World War II through the true story of Wojtek and his friend Piotr Prendys, a member of the 22nd Artillery Corps of the 2nd Polish Army. Followed by a Q&A.

 

The Rejects 

Shark Bait Theatre

7.15pm Main Stage

MONDAY 29 April

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A new play about competition, being a slave to capitalism, and the inconvenient human instinct to crumble at rejection.

Five strangers, who mistakenly think they’re well adjusted, go for a pint after being interviewed for the same lousy job. As the night progresses, the beers and response-emails roll in and one by one the group are rejected. Each discovers that they may not be able to handle rejection quite as well as they originally thought. We see their ability to put on a brave face around their competition diminish with each round of beers. Follow these five strangers on a journey of bonding over the shared trauma of rejection. 

‘‘An incredibly promising debut for writer and company alike’’ ~ The Scotsman

‘Breathlessly comic and cleverly put together. ’ ~ AllEdinburghTheatre

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Catherine was burned. Mercy was left. Augustine was used. Celia

was unsatisfied. Anne was quiet.

In a small hall, five clinically “mad” women meet to perform a
play for a seemingly “sane” audience. But is it a play? Or is it a
warning? Worse still- is it an intervention? Hysterical is a free fall
through a categorically inaccurate history of mad women. They
just need to make sure they remember their lines and don’t tear
each other’s hair out, and we’ll all be fine. Based on real women in
real times, this host of hysterical harpies kick, scream, and waltz
their way into the modern day. But has much changed? Or are the
structures that held them back still in place?

7.30pm Thursday 2 May   Main Stage
Hysterical by The Koi Collective

  5.45pm Sat 27 April

Main Stage 

Maria McDonnell presents

Miss Lindsay's Secret

 

Come in. Shut the door. Open the Box. What’s inside? ‘An outstanding and heartbreakingly beautiful
play’ (Jenny Gilruth, Scottish Culture Minister 2021) A museum curator finds hidden letters binding
Glenesk to Canada’s Klondike goldrush. But should she tell their intimate secrets? A true tale of
sewing and 1900’s sexting, revealed by The Curator, The Musician and The Man. Four and five star
reviews. ‘Powerful’ (Broadway Baby), ‘A delight’ (British Theatre Guide), ‘Confidently sweeps us away’
(Wee Review)

£10/£8

Would you like to join in our celebration of Creativity?

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering, learning new skills and finding new friends at our festival celebrating

New Work, New Writing, and New Artists.

Contact info@dunsplayfest.org.uk

7.30pm Saturday 27 April 

Main Stage

El Duglas

Performed by 

Iain Fraser and John Nichol

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New Writing from Hot Trod Theatre Company

 

Every year, in the Andalucian town of Teba, an event is held in honour of the heroic deeds of Sir James Douglas, often known as ‘The Black Douglas’, who fought and died there in the Battle of Teba in 1330. He was on his way to the Holy Land with the embalmed heart of his friend, Robert the Bruce. Sir James was Bruce’s ablest lieutenant and the most professional soldier of his day, whose menacing resourcefulness and outright genius undoubtedly led to victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Who better to tell his story than the Bruce himself?

7.30pm  Main Stage 

Tuesday April 30  

Wilson At Play Presented By The Writers and Actors of Borders Pub Theatre

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Borders Pub Theatre are back with six exhilarating ten minute plays. Wilson at Play is a show of short plays inspired by Wilson's Tales of the Borders, the 19th century publishing phenomenon. The new dramas are written by Robert Sproul-Cran, Anita John, Clare Watson, John McEwen, Campbell Hutcheson, and Emily Larner. Borders Pub Theatre started in 2019 and this is the collective's fourth appearance at DunsPlayFest.

Our Closing Concert on
Saturday May 4th is going to be a great night out!


 
 
 

Beginning with a Ceilidh with The Small Halls Band followed by a night of rock and ska!
Get your dancing shoes on! 

The Small Hall Band of the Scottish Borders encapsulates the vibrant musical heritage and community spirit of the region. Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, this ensemble resonates with the soulful melodies and lively rhythms that define traditional Scottish music.

Formed by a group of passionate musicians deeply rooted in the local culture, the Small Hall Band serves as a cultural ambassador, preserving and promoting the rich musical traditions of the Scottish Borders. Their repertoire encompasses a diverse array of tunes, including time-honoured ballads, spirited jigs, and beautiful airs, each evoking the essence of the region's landscape and history.

Beyond their local performances, the Small Hall Band also participates in regional festivals and events, bringing their spirited tunes to a broader audience. Through their music, they weave a tapestry of stories that speak of love, loss, triumph, and resilience—themes that resonate universally but are deeply rooted in the fabric of

the Scottish Borders.

In an age of rapid change, the Small Hall Band stands as a steadfast guardian of tradition, ensuring that the rich musical legacy of the Scottish Borders endures for generations to come. Their melodies echo through the valleys and hills, a testament to the enduring spirit of a community bound together by music.

A seasoned ska/reggae band with several albums and many tours under their belt. Offering hard to resist grooves and catchy compositions. They are proud to introduce their latest sound  

with the addition of luscious female vocals and harmonic texturing of the Melodites. Be prepared to dance.

Saturday 4th May Closing Concert

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We are very lucky to have
Fire In The Middle
back at our Closing Concert

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Fire in the Middle is a Scottish/English/Canadian rock band formed in Berwick-upon-Tweed just weeks before the first lockdown in 2020. Founded initially of members of Duns’ Easter Street and Berwick’s The Warehouse Announcement, the line-up now consists of Canadian schoolteacher Derek Huffman (vocals/guitars/piano), Scott Courtney (guitars), Steven Walker (vocals/bass) and Daniel Dishington (drums).

Butter stand out from the crowd, with their own unique, freewheeling, psychedelic spirit. They play a modern kind of kaleidoscopic rock'n'roll that nods to OSEES and King Gizzard, but takes in elements of original 60's freakbeat, jazz and soul. There are inevitable comparisons to The Doors, and that's no bad thing. Strong soulful vocals, boundless energy and wild-man musicianship ensure that they're one of the most exciting LIVE bands I've seen in ages. I've enjoyed their singles so far, and I look forward to a full album - no doubt it will blow all our minds!" 

 

-Vic Galloway - BBC Broadcaster, Author & Journalist.

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