Speech and Drama

This section falls into two parts. Speech is open to everyone who has a love of language. It is open to all ages and all abilities and it no longer requires the professional training of the elocution teacher. The professional is the adjudicator, and they will give advice, encouragement and praise. Many candidates use this part of the Festival to build confidence in delivering the spoken language and there are a variety of classes from which you can choose. Being able to speak in public is an essential skill, identified by the National Curriculum. It is also a great source of pleasure so do come and join us.

We extend a warm welcome to our 2019 Speech & Drama Adjudicator Paul Bench

Paul studied at London and Birmingham Universities and has worked for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as an examiner for many years. He has been Head of Drama and Theatre in several large departments as well as Director of Studies. He has written many articles and book reviews for various journals and newspapers such as The Times Educational Supplement and The Stage. He is presently Chairperson of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama and reviews editor for Word Matters. As an adjudicator member of The International and British Federation of Festivals, Paul has adjudicated many festivals over the years. He has worked for the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival on many occasions and has recently judged the finals of the eight-week festival in Sri Lanka. He has taught voice and presentation skills at several UK university departments for MA and MSc programmes, where he has been a visiting lecturer and he is a member of the Society of Education Consultants. In his capacity as an examiner with LAMDA he has worked with students throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, and has travelled internationally to China, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, The United States and The Middle East.

Speech & Drama Monday 4 March at The Princess Theatre, Burnham-on-Sea

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