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Speech & Drama Classes

Sunday 1st March - Sunday 15th March 2020


Vanessa Buckley LSDE
Norma Redfearn LGSM, LLAM, LTCL, ALCM
Laura Field BA, MA, PGCE
Cally Foster LLAM, MSTSD
Jenny Thornton AGSM, ALAM, CertEd, CDE, LISTD

VANESSA BUCKLEY has been a performer herself from an early age. She runs her own school with students ranging from nursery to adults, teaching interviewing skills and working with people with speech difficulties, as well as speech, drama, music and dance.

As a director and performer she has ‘trodden the boards’ in pantomime for 8 years. She has worked on a number of TV shows including ‘Hollyoaks’ and ‘Emmerdale’, and currently directs for the ‘Walk on Touring’ theatre company.

She also promotes assemblies and workshops for schools on anti-bullying, and also runs courses on internet safeguarding, including speaking with politicians on the subject. She presents seminars at education shows and was a presenter on Teachers TV.

NORMA REDFEARN trained at the Northern College of Speech and Drama and researched at Leicester University. She has performed professionally in Rep and in tours all over the UK.

Examining and adjudicating has taken her all over the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Teaching has always been her priority and Norma has taught at a variety of schools and colleges. She now teaches at her private studio.

Although many of her students are pursuing successful acting careers and others are teaching Speech and Drama, her greatest joy is equipping students with life skills, and the ability to take their place in society confidently.

Norma is an adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and was awarded a Fellowship of the Federation in 2015.

She is looking forward to coming back to Watford.

LAURA FIELD is a qualified and practising teacher of Speech and Drama, with a background in primary and secondary education.

She spent three years as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Learning and Performance Network, training to teach students of all ages to perform Shakespeare with confidence and understanding. She became a LAMDA examiner in 2013 and has since examined in China, Sri Lanka and Dubai as well as throughout the UK and Europe.

Through her business, Spoken Words, Laura coaches and guides young people and adults to speak and perform effectively and expressively.  She recently joined the English Speaking Union as a Debating and Public Speaking mentor. This is her first time adjudicating at Watford, which she is looking forward to.

CALLY FOSTER has been committed to the festival movement since her first appearance in a festival at the age of five. Since then, she has pursued a career as a speech and drama specialist.

She was the principal of her Buckinghamshire-based drama studio for more than 20 years, also travelling extensively in the UK, Europe and internationally as a LAMDA examiner and an Adjudicator. She also delivers workshops on communication and performance.

She is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals, a Speech and Drama Representative on the Adjudicators Council, and is a former Chairman of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama.

She believes performing in festivals not only encourages appreciation but also develops communication and presentations skills. She is well-known to many at Watford, and we are delighted she is adjudicating this year.

JENNY THORNTON trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, gaining awards for Character Acting and Most Promising Teacher.

She has led the Performing Arts Teams in a large comprehensive school, been an Assistant Principal for Edexcel, a LAMDA examiner and now runs her own Performance Centre for all ages teaching drama, dance, musical theatre and writing.

Her plays “Gone” and “Young Love” gained Commended at the Richmond Orange Tree Theatre. LAMDA have included two of her pieces for their new acting anthology.

Her most recent teaching experience is as a peripatetic teacher as part of her “Outreach” programme from the Richmond Festival for which she is the secretary.

She is looking forward to coming back to Watford.


Note: PHILIP THRUPP was booked to adjudicate the 2020 Festival but is now unable to do so.


  • All verse speaking to be performed from memory
  • All entrants are expected to dress appropriately (See Regulation 6)
  • Entrants who disregard these regulations are liable to be penalised


Please contact Katherine Barker on 020 9859 7819 or for a booklet containing the poems. Note that there may be different wordings in different published editions and performances will be judged according to the versions in the poem booklet we provide.

S0 Reception Year & Under   £10.50

Ask Mummy Ask Daddy by John Agard OR

The Brown Frog by Mary K. Robinson OR

About the Teeth of Sharks by John Ciardi

S1 School Year 1   £10.50

Winter trees by Zoltan Zelk OR

In the Bathroom by Gervase Phinn OR

New Day by Ian McMillan

S2 School Year 2   £10.50

Noses by Aileen Fisher OR

The Dustman by Clive Sansom OR

When All The World's Asleep by Anita E. Posey

S3 School Year 3   £11.50

Computer Swallowed Grandma by Valerie Waite OR

Only Snow by Allan Ahlberg OR

The Meal by Karla Kuskin

S4 School Year 4   £11.50

Saw My Teacher On a Saturday by Dave Crawley OR

The Life of a Cupcake by Shelby Greer OR

Music by Tony Mitton

S5 School Year 5   £11.50

Auntie's Boyfriend by Fred Sedgwick OR

The Witches School of Flying by Marian Swinger OR

Mrs. Mather by Colin McNaughton

S6 School Year 6   £11.50

Grandad's Wayward Teeth by Gareth Lancaster OR

Birdfoot’s Grandpa by Joseph Bruchae OR

Huff by Wendy Cope

S7 School Year 7   £12.50

Bringing Up a Single Parent by Brian Patten OR

The Statue by James Reeves OR

The Proper Study by W S Slater

S8 School Year 8   £12.50

Dad, Are We There Yet? by Paul Orshoski OR

Sick by Shel Silverstein OR

From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

S9 School Years 9 & 10   £12.50

Red Whistles at the Wolf by Glynn Young OR

The Clumsy Undertaker by Richard John Scarr OR

Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson

S10 School Years 11 — 13   £13.50

Absolutely Nothing by Osoanon Nimuss OR

Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy OR

An Actor's Revenge by Richard John Scarr

VERSE SPEAKING (OWN CHOICE – But NOT a set poem listed above)

S11 Reception Year & Under 1 min £10.50
S12 School Year 1 1 min £10.50
S13 School Year 2 2 mins £10.50
S14 School Year 3 2 mins £11.50
S15 School Year 4 2 mins £11.50
S16 School Year 5 2 mins £11.50
S17 School Year 6 2 mins £11.50
S18 School Years 7 & 8 3 mins £12.50
S19 School Years 9 & 10 3 mins £12.50
S20 School Years 11 — 13 3 mins £13.50


S21 School Years 9 & 10   £12.50
S22 School Years 11 — 13   £13.50


  • The chosen piece of prose must be read from the pages of the book itself
S23 School Years 2 & Under 2 mins £10.50
S24 School Year 3 2 mins £11.50
S25 School Year 4 2 mins £11.50
S26 School Year 5 2 mins £11.50
S27 School Year 6 2 mins £11.50
S28 School Year 7 3 mins £12.50
S29 School Year 8 3 mins £12.50
S30 School Year 9 & 10 3 mins £12.50
S31 School Years 11 — 13 3 mins £13.50


  • Competitors to tell a story (known or invented) in their own words
  • No costumes
  • Props & visual aids permitted
S32 School Years 6 & Under 3 mins £11.50


  • Prepared speech / talk on any topic
  • Notes and visual aids permitted
S33 School Years 6 & Under 3 mins £11.50
S34 School Years 7 — 9 4 mins £12.50
S35 School Years 10 — 13 4 mins £13.50


  • Competitors are given a short prose passage to read aloud
  • 2 minutes are allowed for preparation
S36 School Years 3 & 4   £11.50
S37 School Years 5 & 6   £11.50
S38 School Years 7 — 9   £12.50
S39 School Years 10 — 13   £13.50



  • Own choice of subject
  • Practice clothes only to be worn (white or black shirt, blouse or T-shirt; black trousers or tights)
  • No music, costumes or hand props to be used
  • Solo - One stage block OR one chair is permitted
  • Duologue - Two stage blocks OR two chairs
  • A title should be announced but no introduction or verbal explanation given
  • Bare feet or soft footwear to be worn


S40 School Years 6 & Under 3 mins £11.50
S41 School Years 7 — 9 4 mins £12.50
S42 School Years 10 — 13 4 mins £13.50


S43 School Years 6 & Under 4 mins £18.50
S44 School Years 7 — 9 5 mins £19.50
S45 School Years 10 — 13 5 mins £20.50


  • All Own choice
  • All classes must be performed from memory – no script reading
  • Costume or Practice clothes (white or black shirt, blouse or T-shirt; black trousers or black skirt) should be worn. NB : No extra marks will be awarded for costume
  • Appropriate footwear should be worn to suit the character
  • Hand props and music may be used
  • Chairs and tables (also stage blocks at the Pump House) are provided



S46 School Years 7 — 9 4 mins £12.50
S47 School Years 10 — 13 4 mins £13.50


S48 School Years 7 — 9 5 mins £19.50
S49 School Years 10 — 13 5 mins £20.50


(excluding Elizabethan, Jacobean or Restoration)


S50 School Years 4 & Under 3 mins £11.50
S51 School Years 5 & 6 3 mins £11.50
S52 School Years 7 — 9 4 mins £12.50
S53 School Years 10 — 13 4 mins £13.50


  • * Please see note 4.4 in Regulations & General Information
S54 School Years 4 & Under 4 mins £18.50
S55 School Years 5 & 6 4 mins £18.50
S56 School Years 7 — 9 5 mins £19.50
S57 School Years 10 — 13 5 mins £20.50


  • All Own choice with the exception of Prepared Group Improvisation (Classes S62 - S65)
  • All acting rules apply

GROUP ACTING (Scene from a play, screenplay or novel)

  • Groups of 3 or more persons
  • Script required for the adjudicator
S58 School Years 6 & Under 10 mins £58.00
S59 School Years 13 & Under 10 mins £63.00


  • Groups of 3 or more persons
  • Must use a combination of at least three of the following: music, dance, drama, mime, movement and verse
  • A script of running order/notes must be provided for the adjudicator
  • Must use material from more than one source, though the sources may all be by the same author
S60 School Years 6 & Under 10 mins £58.00
S61 School Years 13 & Under 10 mins £63.00


  • To prepare a scene inspired by one of the set titles
  • Groups of 3 – 8 persons
  • If an original script evolves through the rehearsal process this is permissible
S62 School Years 6 & Under 4 mins £47.00

The Map OR

Number One

S63 School Years 9 & Under 5 mins £47.00

Crisis OR

Every Picture Tells a Story

S64 School Years 11 & Under 5 mins £51.00

Changing Times OR

If We Could Just be Serious for a Moment ...

S65 School Years 13 & Under 5 mins £51.00

The Addiction OR

White Lies

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