Junior Drama Competition


By Mr. J. S. Kinsey

On the afternoon of Thursday 23rd July, as near to the end of term as cne could reasonably get, the junior forms (and some of the seniors who managed to infiltrate) assembled in the School Hall for the Junior Drama Contest.

The Hall looked rather like a cinema: serried, expectant ranks sitting in semi-darkness and gazing at a floor-lit curtain. But the resemblance ended there. No electric organ blared its strangulated chords, no sweets or peanuts (so far as I know) were chewed, and the back seats were occupied demurely by the adjudicators.

These last had no easy task in choosing a winner from the three one-act plays that were presented. 2C gave "The Rehearsal" by Maurice Baring - a rather sophisticated literary joke, with Shakespeare and some celebrated Elizabethan actors preparing in the Globe Theatre in 1606 for the first performance of " Macbeth "; IA" Queer Street" by John Donald Kelly-a burglar's-eye-view comedy; and 2A "Any Body?" by Gordon Whitehead - a dialect comedy, in which the dialect at first wavered a little uncertainly between Somerset and Yorkshire (with the honourable exception of Aldridge, who, as the terrified landlord of the Ram's Head, remained firmly in the West Country throughout).

The settings, costumes and make-up, all very impressive, were excluded from consideration in the contest as they were largely in the hands of members of staff. But as much as possible of the production and stage-management had been left to boy-producers from the forms concerned, and they all did a very competent job.

The judges' views were given next morning in a very comprehensive report by Mr. Demmery in assembly, in which points of production and acting technique were exhaustively surveyed. 2C were complimented on the verve and gusto they displayed as a large cast in a difficult play, 1A were praised for the naturalness of their playing and the authenticity of their burgling-class accents, and the palm was finally awarded for all-round competence to 2A, whose characterisations were distinct and memorable and whose production generally flowed most impressively.

All competitors received praise for audibility and fluency. The Drama Contest does much to establish the craft of acting as an integral part of the work in English studies, and together with the Speech Contest is helping to make boys conscious of the importance of good speech generally, as well as of the pleasures and difficulties of public speaking.


1958-59 School Magazine


Dr. Watson's Retirement

Photos of Staff


Junior Common Room (1963)