PUPILS from across North Yorkshire are about to take part in the county's first schools drama festival.

The five-day festival, which starts on Monday, is being hosted by the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, in conjunction with Richmond School.

It will see 13 schools performing a one-act play of their choice.

Schools will be performing each night, showcasing some of the best in local talent.

The head of performing arts at Richmond School, Richard Jones, said: "Given the interest and talent that exists in the county, I thought it was a great idea to pull together a festival where our talented performers can show off their amazing talents."

The seeds for the event were sown last year when Mr Jones visited the theatre to watch students from all over the county perform in the national Schools Shakespeare Festival.

After looking through the programme he saw that some of the schools were performing at other venues around the area and that the gap between the Shakespeare Festival needed to be filled.

Theatre manager Vaughn Curtis said: "It's vital to give young people a platform to perform."

Performances begin at 7pm each night and tickets are £6. Seats are limited and early booking is recommended. For more details, contact (01748) 825252.

Published: 14/10/2004