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Drama Festival 2020

Drama Festival 2020
Karen Smith

The 2020 House Drama Festival once again demonstrated the breadth of talent across houses and year groups, from Shells to Upper Sixth.   As in previous years, the performances were organised by pupils with minimal oversight from house staff.  As a result, pupils were involved in the complete on and off stage production making full use of the Layard Theatre including set design opportunities, technical resources and the extensive wardrobe department.

Over four nights from Monday 20th-Thursday 23rd January, the Layard stage was graced with a varied mix of dramatic styles and genres.   The air was tense with anticipation as the judges’ decisions were announced after the final performance by Monteacute.   As has become traditional, winners were presented with golden statues in an Oscars-style red carpet ceremony.

Many congratulations to the following winners and highly commended houses and individuals (winners in bold):

Set Design





Lighting Operator

Mike Sorokin for Lancaster


Sound Operator

George Vessey for Lancaster


Stage Manager

Izzy Place, Tamara Read-Ward, Samuel Symes and Agatha Zhao for Beaufort and Franklin


Lower School Supporting Actor

Joe South for Beaufort and Franklin

Millie Heyman for de Lacy

Imy Woodcock for de Lacy

Johannes Bishop-Weston for Salisbury

Leo Burnet for Wimborne


Lower School Actor

Alex Geng for Beaufort and Franklin

Olivia Jackson for Beaufort and Franklin

Theo Snell for Court

Max Lockyer for Lancaster

Lara Wilkinson for Marriotts


Upper School Supporting Actor

Ed Loveridge for Court

Harry Moores for Court

Anna Preston for de Lacy

Zach Fenwick for Lancaster

Gabe Wilkinson for School House


Upper School Actor

Serena Blake for Beaufort and Franklin

Zac Arnold for Beaufort and Franklin

George Farthing for Court

Alex Rogers for Monteacute

Sammy Smith for School House


Ensemble (Sense of cohesion, rapport and consistency amongst cast)

Beaufort and Franklin 


de Lacy



Producer (Overall organisation and responsibility)

Tamara Read-Ward and Zac Arnold for Beaufort and Franklin

Sam Downey for Lancaster

Frances Fleming for Salisbury


Director (Creative vision and dramatic intention)

Tamara Read-Ward and Zac Arnold for Beaufort and Franklin

George Farthing for Court

Felix Spencer and Alex Rogers for Monteacute 


Outstanding Achievement Awards (Outstanding achievement not covered by other categories)

School House - for the impressive demonstration of focus and determination to elevate performance standards well beyond reasonable expectation, producing a fun, slick and well-paced performance. 


Best Overall Performance



Special Lifetime Achievement awards were also presented to Callum Bruce and George Farthing for their services to The Layard Theatre.


Director of Drama Laura Blake was delighted with this year’s entries:

“Now in its fourth year, I have watched the annual House Drama festival grow and develop.  This year I have witnessed the most consistently successful entries demonstrating the confidence, creativity and skill sets our pupils bring to this huge undertaking.  As a director myself, I know it is not always easy to encourage others to possess the imagination and determination required that might make the many, many hours of laborious, meticulous and repetitive rehearsal worthwhile for the fleeting 40 minutes of performance.  There are times within the process where doubt or exhaustion can threaten the outcome, but the work we have seen this week has proven that our pupils possess the stamina, that it is worth it and I thank you all for creating such a successful festival.

Many thanks must also go to my colleagues, the rest of the Drama Department, who have given so much of their time and energy to support these productions, as well as David Benamor who incredibly generously gave up his weekend to mentor those who were new to using the technical equipment.

The judging was extremely difficult with so many individual and group outstanding performances, both on and off stage.  Congratulations go to Court as the overall winners of this year’s festival.”

Canford Drama 2020
Canford Drama Festival


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