The venue was The Dome, a beautiful and striking art deco building just over the road from the promenade.
The Speech and Drama section started on Monday evening with the under 11 classes of Prepared Prose Reading, Solo Verse and Solo Drama. Across the week, I adjudicated entrants from as young as 5 yrs. old who performed a set poem to a room packed with proud Mums, Dads, Grandparents (and teachers) to a gentleman in his eighties who took part in the Bible Reading class. I never fail to get a buzz from the murmur of excitement and anticipation that fills the room after the entrants have performed their item and I am busily finalizing marks and placing my winners. For me, the best part of being an adjudicator is being able to interact with the performers during my verbal adjudication at the end of the class. Not only do I get to chat to the entrants and talk through my written report with them, it is also a moment to give some encouraging words and spur them on to develop their skills. The festival culminated on Thursday night with the Drama Festival Performer of the Year Finals and selecting a winner and runner – up from the Junior and Senior sections. The teacher of each winner was presented an award for ‘Speech Education’ a wonderful idea to acknowledge the work a teacher puts in to prepare a student to take part in a festival!
And so, on a blustery Friday morning, I walked along the promenade and said a fond farewell to Worthing and took away with me memories of a happy festival!
Samantha Tucker, BA Hons. in Drama and MSTD