David J Diaz

Rock Theatre's approach to Bothered and Bewildered was enough for them to take home the Best Play of the Festival. A fantastic all around performance by the cast ESPECIALLY Monica Ritchie as Irene. I was able to catch up with the play's Director Angela Jenkins to get her reaction. 

DD: How symbolic is this win for Rock Theatre?

AJ: From the moment I opened the first page of dialogue for ‘Bothered and Bewildered’ by Gail Young, I knew I wanted to direct this play. It is beautifully written, has great parts for women and touches a subject often avoided.

From the first read-through of the play, my cast felt the same. Many had personal experience of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and they were moved to tears but also laughed out loud. We knew it was a very special play.

Having performed the full-length play in November 2018, we were keen to perform it again for a wider audience, and the Gibraltar Drama Festival was the perfect vehicle. Author, Gail Young, very kindly gave permission for me to cut masses of dialogue from her play to fit into the one-act time-restricted format of the Drama Festival.

The play had to be totally reworked to move from the intimate Studio Theatre setting at GADA, to the formal proscenium arch setting of the Ince’s Hall Theatre. It also allowed full use of the sophisticated lighting and sound facilities available at the Ince’s Hall, and our teenage technical team rose beautifully to the occasion with a highly complex design by Harry Gonzalez and operated by Carmen Anderson and Grace Peralta. It’s wonderful to find so much talent among young people in Gibraltar. They are highly talented technicians as well as fine actors.

Bothered and Bewildered is very close to our hearts. We will miss it, but could be persuaded to revive it again!

On a quiet Sunday Midday I was able to catch up with the festival's Adjudicator Cherry Stephenson.

Ms Stephenson has trained in Drama at the Bretton Hall College of Education. She first worked as a Secondary Drama Specialist In Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then a Drama Therapist, before moving to Leicestershire, where she became a member of the Drama and Dance Educational Advisory Service.

Her career has spanned every aspect of theatre & educational drama from directing, acting, designing, and stagecraft, to running workshops, teaching to MA level, and script-writing.

She has directed productions of many genres, from Shakespeare to improvised theatre, involving professional actors, youth theatres and community groups. She was involved in organising an annual festival of several hundred children from local schools at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, for many years. She has toured with productions at home and abroad, from the Edinburgh Fringe to Russia, France and Italy.

Mrs Stephenson now has over forty years of experience in professional, amateur and youth theatre and was, for several years, a member & fund raiser of the local AETF Committee. She currently performs with local drama groups and has been a GoDA Adjudicator since 2013.


DJD: So five days and thirteen plays. What has been your overall impression of the Festival and the calibre of actors?

CS: I was extremely impressed! I have been to many festivals but the standard here at every level whether it's set, costume, the cohesiveness, the way the actors worked together and the challenging plays they had chosen all were exceptionally high. It was very difficult to choose a winner, I had three winners and they were all one point apart. There is a huge amount of talent and they are such wonderful people.

DJD: In your case, is it the smallest things that make a play work? Be it a quirk or an anecdote?

CS: It was a lot of detail. You have to pay a lot of attention to the details. In Popstar whenever the performers / hopefuls were in the background and Jools (Kai Nemes) was talking or berating Kate (Ella Vatvani) they were always not very distractingly in character.


ADJUDICATORS’ AWARD was awarded to GAMPA Juniors for their play ‘Small Fry’.

BEST SET PRESENTATION was awarded to GAMPA Seniors for their play ‘The Train’.

BEST TECHNICAL PRESENTATION was awarded to Bayside & Westside Drama Group for their play ‘Popstar’.

BEST YOUTH SUPPORTING ACTOR was awarded to Simon James for his role as Harry in

‘Innocence’ a play presented by Medway Little Theatre Youth Company.

BEST YOUTH SUPPORTING ACTRESS was awarded to Natasha Richardson for her role as Kelly in ‘Popstar’ a play presented by Bayside & Westside Drama Group.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR was awarded to Mark Dallison for his role as George in ‘The

Droitwich Discovery’ a play presented by Trafalgar Theatre.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS was awarded to Karen Lawson for her role as Barbara Cartland in ‘Bothered and Bewildered’ a play presented by Rock Theatre.

BEST YOUTH ACTRESS was awarded to Mei Liu for her role as Charlie in ‘Befriending Bertha’ a play presented by The Magazine Studio.

BEST YOUTH ACTOR was awarded to Matthew Navas for his role as Theo in ‘The Train’ a play

presented by GAMPA Seniors.

BEST ACTRESS was awarded to Monica Ritchie for her role as Irene in ‘Bothered and Bewildered’ a play presented by Rock Theatre.

BEST ACTOR was awarded to Harry Kumar for his role as Dave in ‘The Sociable Plover’ a play

presented by Trafalgar Theatre.

BEST DIRECTOR was awarded to Angela Jenkins for her play ‘Bothered and Bewildered’

presented by Rock Theatre.

BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT was awarded to Julian Felice for his play ‘Popstar’ presented by Bayside & Westside Drama Group.

FESTIVAL WINNER for the BEST PLAY was awarded to Rock Theatre for their play ‘Bothered and Bewildered’.