FEST workshop evening with Christine Probst and Mirka Costanzi; Credit: FEST24

A new edition of the Festival of English-Language School Theatre (FEST) is set to take place at the Rotondes in Luxembourg-Bonnevoie on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February 2024.

FEST started in 2018 and takes place every other year. This year's festival (FEST24) brings together about 80 students from nine schools across the Grand Duchy to perform a programme of nine one-act shows over two days. The idea is to offer the public an opportunity to see the generally high standard of both acting and English-language skills which can be found in schools in Luxembourg.

Speaking to Chronicle.lu about the continued success of the initiative, FEST organiser and theatre director Tony Kingston said: "When FEST started in 2018 it was a bit of an experiment, so I'm obviously delighted at the way it has grown since then. At every event we get a good mix of new and returning schools sending their English Drama groups, which shows that news of the event is spreading. And sponsorship of the event has also grown, with our primary supporters from the early years - the British Embassy and the Oeuvre de Secours Grande-duchesse Charlotte - being joined by the American Embassy, Fondation Sommer, SCRIPT and the Spuerkeess. Our grateful thanks to all of these organisations. Hopefully this growth will continue into the future and a FEST will become a regular part of the school and cultural timetable here."

Regarding the switch of venue after holding the festival at the Mierscher Kulturhaus in Mersch for three editions, Tony explained that the organisers were "very grateful" to Mersch "for their support over the years" but felt it was time to "shake it up" and "bring the event to a venue with a slightly different feel". He added that "moving to a different spot opens up new challenges and ideas." Another reason to choose the Rotondes specifically had to do with the venue's close links with youth theatre, "so it seemed an obvious choice this time round", said Tony.

FEST24 programme

Fri 23 Feb - evening session:
@ 19:00 - The Audition, European School Luxembourg II (Mamer)
@ 20:00 - The IT, International School of Luxembourg

Sat 24 Feb - afternoon session:
@ 13:30 - Alice in Wonderland, Lënster Lycée International School (Junglinster)
@ 14:30 - Innocent Witness, Lycée Classique de Diekirch
@ 15:30 - Split, Lycée Michel Lucius
@ 16:30 - Throwback Thursday, Atelier des Arts

Sat 24 Feb - evening session:
@ 19:00 - The Shape of the Grave, European School Luxembourg I (Kirchberg)
@ 20:00 - Two, St George's International School
@ 21:00 - 15 Reasons Not to be in a Play, Lycée Michel Rodange Luxembourg

Further information about FEST (including ticketing) is available online at https://www.fest.lu/.