Speech and Drama, and Musical Theatre Chairman’s Welcome

A very warm welcome to you all. 2020 is proving to be a most exciting year. The Festival continues to expand!  Following the beginning of our Musical Theatre Classes straddling Speech & Drama and Music, we have had some exciting responses from teachers, so I am sure we will be seeing a popular increase in 2020!

We were delighted to have a well-known, real, live POET with us in 2019! Coral Rumble, a notable children’s poet, joined us to celebrate our Tenth Anniversary. It was an exciting day, running workshops, and judging our Poetry Competition. A new publication for young readers coincided with her visit, and there were many book-signings. We were honoured to have her at our Festival, and in celebration Coral has permitted us to use one of her poems for Verse Speaking Class SD1 this year : Feeding the Ducks with Grandad. I am sure this will be a popular and exciting start for our youngest performers, and one they will not forget.

We have a wide range of classes to suit all ages. Please dip in! As our Sight Reading Classes have been popular, we have added a new class this year – Sight Reading for Year 10 and over – OPEN which we hope will gain some notable interest.

Adjudicators with us for the first time this year are Paul Bench, who has worked all over the world adjudicating and examining for LAMDA and Vivienne Redford. Vivienne is also an accomplished examiner of many years and adjudicator who has travelled extensively throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands, and both are very excited to be with us. Rebecca Thompson and Jenny Thornton are delighted to be returning. Jenny is also a well-known writer and has had several of her play-scripts printed in the LAMDA Acting Anthologies. Rebecca is a voice and presentation skills coach, and apart from teaching, she is also actively involved in theatre in the South West. Do look at their glowing profiles. We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated and hugely qualified adjudicators sharing in our Festival this year.

Festivals are the shaping of so many young people, not only to share and exhibit their talents, but also to help them grow and gain self-esteem. We hope our Festival will nurture and encourage all to develop their skills, and will lead them eventually to a confident future.

At a time when many Festivals are struggling, we consider ourselves fortunate to have such a stimulating and lively Festival. It is expanding in many ways, and not only in Speech and Drama. These are exciting times, giving opportunities to children and adults to perform and receive valuable feedback. We are totally indebted to our wonderful volunteers who come to assist, without whom we could not operate, and our small Committee is truly grateful.

RWB Arts Festival aims to promote all “Arts” being taught and performed in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wichelstowe, Swindon, and surrounding areas. There is something for everyone to demonstrate their skills. We hope you will all enjoy engaging with the spirit of the Festival, and will leave enriched by your experience.

Mrs. Sandra McDowell

Speech and Drama, and Musical Theatre Chair.

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