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Posted: 12.03.14

Donaldson’S Pip Orchard In The 2014 Speech &Amp; Drama Competition

The competition involves students selecting and performing a monologue, duologue, poem and providing a compere for the evening. Some houses chose a theme, with Orchard House commemorating the outbreak of the First World War and School House attempting to impress the adjudicators, Sue Best and Philip Bowen from the Willow Globe Theatre, with a Shakespeare programme. Sue and Philip are experienced actors and directors and we were very fortunate to have such expertise to judge the contest.

The other houses decided to deliver a more mixed programme – with everything from Willy Russell to Ian McEwan, from feminist poetry to classic film extracts.

A feature of this year’s performance was how the houses had decided to use the space. Donaldson’s house used a sofa for their comperes, whilst third former Nancy Doyle bravely delivered her speech from the balcony precariously perched over the audience (and fortunately supported by ‘hidden’ climbing ropes!)

St David’s started their poem in the audience – L6th student Cai Davies made the ‘Jabberwocky’ come alive literally amongst the audience.

Orchard house made use of chief technician Josh Denton (L6th) and created exploding confetti and dropped poppy petals in a poignant moment during Matthew Dempsey’s excellent delivery of Sassoon’s ‘Aftermath.’

There could only be one winner though and despite there only being one point in it, Donaldson’s House pipped Orchard to first place with a tremendous 116 points. It is the second consecutive win for Donaldson’s and they really do seem to be the team to beat.

Christ College’s Head of Drama and Creative Arts, John Johnson, was delighted with the evening, commenting: ‘The standard just keeps getting higher and higher as each house tries hard to think of exciting and imaginative ways to ‘out do’ each other. It was a pleasure to see the level of work on offer and to see a packed house enjoying our new creative arts space. I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring!’

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