Your Youth Drama Festival Committee

The Youth Drama Festival would not, and could not, be the success it is if it was not for an amazing team of volunteers working in the shadows, quietly out of sight, day on day.  They work very long hours administering and organising this Festival for you.

These volunteers have of course changed over the years, and the Festival Committee are delighted to welcome Michael Merry as their new Chairman. Michael joins the team, in time for the 2018 Festival and looks forward to working with them for the continuing success of the Festival itself, for the promotion of Youth Drama as a whole and of course for the development of all the talented young people that have the benefit of taking part.

Michael Merry

Michael Merry - Chairman

Michael is currently a Council Member and Box Office Manager for our hosts, the Barn Theatre. He has operated sound and lighting and acted as Stage Manager for many Barn shows since the mid1980s and will be an invaluable addition to the YDF Committee.

email: chairman (at)
tel: 07973 238346

Derek Palmer

Hazel Halliday - YDF Secretary

Derek helps the teams with their on-stage requirements and he has a magnificent team around him to make it all flow smoothly! He will be the man to go to with any technical queries.

email: derek.palmer1 (at)
tel: 07860 573896

Hazel Halliday

Derek Palmer - YDF Stage Director

Hazel has been on and off stage at the Barn Theatre since the early 1980s and now she endeavours to keep YDF matters on track!

Hazel will almost certainly be your first point of contact.

email: secretary (at)
tel: 07974 011039

Jan Palmer Sayer

Derek Palmer - YDF Stage Director

Jan is a highly experienced Director and Actress as well as being a GoDA Adjudicator in her own right. During the Festival she will usually be found front of house, probably in the Box Office, or dealing with any audience or team queries that may occur before or after the curtain rises.

Brenda Onyon

Brenda Onyon - Lighting Manager

Brenda works with Derek to help the teams with their on-stage requirements. She spends the Festival up in the lighting box working the cues called by the participating teams.

Extended Team

The Committee are indebted to many other volunteers who help ensure the smooth running of the Festival week.

These include:

Wendy Bage: Assistant Stage Manager
James Rowles: Sound Manager
Ray Gibbins: Front of House Manager
Sheila Grimmant: Coffee Bar Manager
Ian Colpitts: Bar Manager

The Festival could not happen without the assistance provided by them and their teams of helpers, all of whom are members of the Barn Theatre Club.