The first DunsPlayFest was held in 2019 in the eastern Scottish Borders town of Duns. This
was the first of its kind in Scotland, an eight-day celebration of brand-new drama packed
with play premieres, workshops, cabaret performances, community events, concerts, and
The festival grew out of the happy marriage between the ambitious local theatre troupe,
Duns Players (which has forged a considerable reputation for its high-quality productions of
classics and new Scottish writing), and Playwrights Studio Scotland, which in 2017 set up a
playwriting workshop in the Borders guided by the award-winning playwright Jules Horne.
Out of this workshop emerged several plays which Duns Players thought they would like to
stage. As plans were formulated, it became clear that other events could happily gather
around the productions, and so the idea for a festival began to crystallise.
Unfortunately DunsPlayFest 2020 was cancelled because of Covid19. Because theatre really
matters, and particularly live theatre, involving the participation of a real audience, we were
determined to produce DunsPlayFest 2021 as live theatre…. but this is impossible. However
we are doing the next best thing, and in the case of some events, something even better –
the DunsPlayFest is going digital.
To achieve this our playwrights, writers, event organisers, performers, workshop facilitators,
and storytellers have spent their time creatively working out how to adapt their
performances to an online format. Hopefully you will be amazed at what they have
There will be a full programme of events over the eight days, more than thirty events in all,
including: new drama, storytelling, comedy, live music, cabarets, workshops and activities
that people of all ages can enjoy.
A Festival Pass costs £15 and will give you access to all events. Workshop places will be limited and you are advised to register for those you wish to attend on Eventbrite, as details become available. All workshops will be free.