Drama Competitions


Welcome to the Drama Competitions page of the Taunton Festival of the Arts.

Please contact Matthew Kirby if you have any questions or queries ( or

If you are interested in becoming part of the drama committee, or helping out as a steward at the Festival, please contact Matthew Kirby: or

To download a competition entry form click here.

To download the 2019 Drama Festival syllabus click here.

We are pleased to welcome, as adjudicators for this year’s Drama Festival, Thalia Squire and Jeremy James Taylor.

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Thalia Squire

MA (Performance Practice) BA (Hons) & PG (Dip)

Ed & Training, LGSM (Speech & Drama)

Thalia trained at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama and is a member of The Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama. She has a wide range of experience of teaching all age groups in schools, colleges and university. She also examines for Vanguard Examinations in Poetry, Prose, Acting and Spoken English. She has travelled widely both in Ireland and the UK as an examiner for The Guildhall School, Associated Board and as an adjudicator of Festivals. She gained her MA in Performance Practice a few years ago believing that this has enriched her continuing professional development.

Her love of the arts began at an early age when she began lessons in speech and drama at the age of five. This affinity with theatre quickly grew and she has been involved in this sphere ever since. Through her experience as a performer and director she knows the importance of effective speaking and the need to nurture a love of literature. This ability can be achieved through taking part in performing arts festivals and she is looking forward to returning to Taunton Festival.

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Jeremy JAmes Taylor

Director and co-writer

Jeremy is a free-lance director and writer working extensively with young people He is currently working on a new music-theatre work which he is due to direct at The Shore School in Sydney in 2020. His career started at The Northcott Theatre in Exeter before joining the National Theatre as actor and director. He was Associate Director at The Young Vic from 1975-8 before directing free-lance for the English National Opera and Glyndebourne amongst many others.

He founded the National Youth Music Theatre in 1976 and was its Artistic Director until 2005. He has written over 30 pieces for the company and directed over 40 and has won seven Fringe First awards at the Edinburgh Festival.

Since turning free-lance he has been Director in Residence at King’s College School, Wimbledon; King’s Junior School, Parramatta in Australia , Repton and Foremarke Hall Schools in Derbyshire, The Portsmouth Grammar School and Wellington College. He has directed productions in Mongolia, The USA and extensively in Sydney. He has also worked as a casting director for Warner Brothers Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow amongst many other films. He was awarded the OBE in the 2010 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to Young People and Musical Theatre.