Taunton Drama Festival 2019

Welcome to Taunton Festival of the Arts 2019, Drama Festival page.

We are looking forward to the Festival —

11th -15th March

Temple Methodist Church

To download 2019 Drama programme click here.

To download the 2019 Drama syllabus click here.

Entry Form —pdf form, please print and send to Flat 3, Wheatleigh Close, Taunton, TA1 4QE


simply email your entries to Mathew.

Please contact Matthew Kirby if you have any questions or queries - mattakirby@aol.com

We are pleased to welcome, as adjudicators for this year’s Drama Festival, Thalia Squire

Thalia Squire.jpg

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.

Taunton Young Theatre Performer 2018

Overall Winner: Esme Knight


The Taunton Drama Festival of 2018 was once again held at the Temple Methodist Church, Taunton from 4th – 9th March 2018. It was a very successful week, with the number of competitors consistent from last year. The week prior to the Festival, however, we ran into complications and the great ‘Beast from the East’ hit the UK. Our adjudicator, Philip Thrupp, who is based in Norwich, was unfortunately snowed in and unable to travel. The Drama Committee scrambled to find another adjudicator and fortunately, Thalia Squire, an experienced examiner and adjudicator, who has also adjudicated for us on previous occasions, was free to adjudicate for us on Monday 5th. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Thalia, who stepped in at the last minute. Thalia had a very busy day on the first day of our Festival, with two large classes of Year 1 and Year 2 Verse Speaking. Having said this, we kept to time throughout the day. We were delighted to welcome Philip Thrupp on Day 2 of the Drama Festival (Tuesday 6th March), having successfully arrived into Taunton on the Monday evening. Philip is a very experienced adjudicator and frequently travels abroad to adjudicate for BIFF and examine for Trinity Guildhall. His feedback was excellent. He delivered both constructive and encouraging adjudications and was very much a supporter of our Festival work. It was a fantastic week, with great feedback from parents and teachers. The Hilda Chapman Memorial Cup (highest acting mark) was awarded to Adi Sharma, and the Margaret Way Adjudicator’s Cup was awarded to Esme Knight. I would like to thank Nicola, Alastair, Martin, Mike, Gillian (and her team of stewards) and all at Temple Methodist. The Drama Festival is always such a fun and exciting week. We can’t wait for the next one and long may it continue!


We were delighted to be able to run the TYTP competition once again this year. Due to the severe weather, unfortunately we had to cancel the original planned date for the competition, which was Sunday 5th March. Fortunately, our adjudicator, John Eastman was free on our reserve date of Wednesday 7th March at 2pm. Due to the competition being postponed, sadly there were no Senior competitors who participated, but having said this, we still had lots of excited Junior Performers and this was a delight to see. John Eastman adjudicated for us last year, in 2017, and we were delighted to be able to welcome him back. 

The standard of the performances was once again extremely impressive, and John took the time to talk to each competitor and provide detailed and constructive feedback. I think the competition was a huge success again, despite the difficulties we had faced with the weather. We are looking at trying to re-vamp the competition next year, with potentially doing some more workshops/performance opportunities for the competitors who enter. The winner of the TYTP was Esme Knight, who was awarded the Robin Bush Award and £100. I would like to thank my Drama sub-committee for all their assistance with the TYTP. I would also like to thank Hilary Marshall for her continued support with this competition and her kind donation for this event.