Drama Competitions


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

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Drama Festival 2016

Congratulations to all those participated in this year’s festival. The full results are available here.


Junior Winner Nyah Davies
Senior Winner Billy Hemmings


Drama Festival Report 2016

The Taunton Drama Festival of 2016 was once again held at the Temple Methodist Church, Taunton from 7th – 11th March. It was a most successful and enjoyable week, not only from the perspective of an organiser, but also as a teacher and spectator. The entries were consistent, with many entries from the independent schools, but also some state and private entries. This was of course wonderful to see!

Our adjudicators this year were Rebecca Vines and Thalia Squire. Rebecca adjudicated for us on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, whilst Thalia finished the week for us on Thursday and Friday. Rebecca is a new adjudicator to BIFF. Having said this, she has a variety of experience as both a Director and teacher for Speech & Drama. She was extremely constructive and encouraging in all her adjudications. The most amazing thing was that she always kept to time, despite giving feedback to every single performer (even with classes that had 40+ performers!). Thalia is a well-known adjudicator and examiner in this area, having previously adjudicated for us. Thalia was once again a delight to have at the Festival and it was wonderful to hear her extensive experience and knowledge in all of her adjudications. We had several new classes at this year’s Festival, which included: Sight Reading for Year 4 & Under, Project Speaking and Group Shakespeare. All of these new classes seemed extremely popular and I hope to build upon this success next year.

We were also extremely lucky to welcome Jeremy James Taylor OBE to run an acting audition workshop on Tuesday 8th March, in which 12 students participated. Jeremy is the Former Artistic Director of the NYMT, a casting director and has a wealth of experience in the performing arts industry. This workshop was definitely well received and I am keen to continue to build upon it next year. Jeremy took the time to watch each students monologue, highlighting areas that were positive, whilst providing helpful advice, encouragement and areas to improve upon.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my band of true and loyal supporters (especially Alastair, Sylvia, Mike and Anne) who have constantly offered their help, knowledge, advice and feedback. I am now thinking ahead to 2017 with our adjudicator Marie Dixon, and looking forward to continuing to make the Drama Festival a great event.

Taunton Young Theatre Performer of the Year Competition 2016

The Taunton Young Theatre Performer of the Year competition once again took place at this year’s Drama Festival. In a new initiative, we decided to run the event on Tuesday 8th March at 7pm at the Temple Methodist Church. The Junior Category had five performers participating and the Senior Category had two, with several performers being absent due to other commitments. The standard was so much higher than last year; the choice of material was varied and even contained some musical theatre. We were honoured to have Jeremy James Taylor to adjudicate this competition. Jeremy was extremely impressed with all of the recital performances and commented on how committed and enthusiastically driven all of the students were. The competition was a huge success once again for 2016 and I hope to build upon this for next year, with some more changes being discussed. The winner of the Junior Category was Nyah Davies (from Bruton School for Girls) and the winner of the Senior Category was Billy Hemmings (from Taunton School). Nyah was chosen as the overall winner, receiving The Robin Bush Award. I would like to thank anyone who helped in any way to make this competition a success. In particular, I would like to thank Hilary Marshall, who once again gave a £200 prize for this competition.