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About 3-Minute Arts

When everyone sets out on a shared journey together, there’s an infectious eagerness and enthusiasm in the air…


3 Minute Arts began with a seemingly far-fetched idea of Maggie Rich, resident at the station house, Glaisdale. Maggie noticed that Esk Valley Railway trains stop for three minutes outside her window, while the passing loop points are changed allowing trains to operate on the single line between Whitby and Middlesbrough. She envisioned an artistic entertainment for railway passengers at this point in their journey.


Excited by the idea, a group of local writers and performers joined Maggie to develop creative writing competitions that would draw in new writing suitable for performance on the railway platform and on the train.


The first competition in 2022 attracted nearly 70 entrants from around the country. Our panel of eminent judges – Martin Vander Weyer, Kate Fenton, Philip Ayckbourn and Lisa Williams – chose three winning plays, two of which were performed on the railway platform on 28 May 2023. All of the winning 3-minute plays along with one other shortlisted play were performed at the Mini Arts Festival on 3 June 2023, along with winning stories from our second competition (3-minute stories), selected by judges Martin Vander Weyer, Lisa Williams, Lydia Gill and Andy Croft. There are plans to include a junior writing class in future competitions.


3 Minute Arts is grateful for the support of the Esk Valley Railway Community Rail Partnership, which promotes the Esk Valley line as a sustainable, affordable means of experiencing and exploring the North York Moors National Park and coast by public transport. In particular for the Community Rail Partnership's support in developing the plays and stories for Esk Valley Railway audiences and for sponsoring the performances on the platform and at the inaugural Mini Arts Festival held in Glaisdale’s Robinson Institute on 3 June 2023.

Grateful thanks also to our judges for the 3 minute drama and story competitions, to actors and performers for taking part in the festival, to Rob Smith for MC, to Esk Valley Theatre, Michael Dowson and Ian & Michele Hopley for loan of gazebos, to Esk Valley Camphill Community for loan of costumes and stage props, to Glenn Brown, Tom Cornforth and Simon and Finn Williams for setting up a superb sound system round the three ‘stages’ on the site, to friends and neighbours who helped erect and decorate the tents, to Ridleys for providing excellent catering, and to volunteers who ran mini workshops in poetry, art, fortune telling, storytelling, face painting, music and rhythm.

Thanks also to all who came from the local and wider communities to create an atmosphere of fun, discovery and appreciation of artistic performance.

3 Minute Arts Competitions:

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