Bede's Pupils Perform Wonders at ESU Shakespeare Competition


Congratulations to First Year pupils Thea Adams and Clara Dickinson for their success at the English Speaking Union’s Performing Shakespeare Semi Final this week.

Thea was one of two winners chosen to go through to the National Final in June, and Clara was one of two runners up.

Thea and Clara were part of a group of six talented First Year performers, also including Dougie Scragg, Ellie Abel, Nicholas Bernhardsen and Poppy Eyre. Following an initial heat at Bede’s in March, the six dramatists were chosen to represent the school at the semi final. This was hosted by Sevenoaks School and the other participating schools included Sevenoaks, Ashford and Saint Simon Stock.

On arrival, the pupils were invited to take part in a pre-competition workshop with the other contestants, led by Jacqueline Cobain, one of the judges, in which they explored text, intention and emotion.

Karen Lewis, Director of Performing Arts, said, “The pupils from Bede’s impressed with their choice of challenging monologues, which they prepared and rehearsed themselves.”

Monologues from our pupils included the Jailer’s Daughter from The Two Noble Kinsmen, Mark Antony and Marullus from Julius Caesar, Ophelia from Hamlet and Helena from All’s Well That Ends Well.

Pupils were also tasked with providing a two-minute introduction to their monologues, discussing their artistic intentions, what they wanted the audience to feel, and what had inspired them about their chosen piece. Eleanor Conlon, Teacher of LAMDA, said, “Performing monologues is a great opportunity for pupils to demonstrate and develop creativity and confidence.”

Clara and Thea are both LAMDA pupils and recently enjoyed great success in their January exams, scoring high Distinctions. Clara is now working towards Grade 6 (Bronze Medal) and Thea towards Grade 7 (Silver Medal). These prestigious qualifications are equivalent to UCAS points and a fantastic level to have achieved at such a relatively young age.

The English Speaking Union’s Performing Shakespeare competition is a contest for Key Stage 3 pupils, and challenges and helps them to develop key oracy skills, focusing specifically on expression and delivery techniques.

We were delighted to be part of the competition and look forward to the National Final in June.

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