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Festival attracts record entries


This year’s Wolfit Festival Of Drama And Verse Speaking has attracted a record number of entries.

The event, now in its 14th year, takes place at Bowbridge Primary School, Newark, on Friday, March 23,and Saturday, March 24.

The festival will be opened by Joanna Parlby, a patron of the Wolfit Endowment Fund.

The winners will receive book tokens from Stray’s Books, Newark, and will be presented with their trophies and prizes from the Mayor of Newark, Bryan Richardson.

The adjudicator is Susan MacKay, who has wide experience of examining, teaching, producing and adjudicating.

For ten years she ran The Fylde Stage School teaching all levels and dance, speech and drama, before graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music And Drama.

After seasons in repertory theatre, touring and television, she decided it was time to realise other dreams.

She now directs Upstage Drama teaching speech and drama, GCSE drama and Upstage Young People’s Theatre.

She directs Bare Boards Theatre Company.

Organiser Sheila Mumby said: “We have had a record number of entries — 165 in total.

“We have a full programme and once again, we hope those who have taken part before and those who are here for the first time will enjoy the experience and learn a lot.”

On the first day, which starts at 3.40pm, there will be a special needs category, verse speaking, dramatic solos, dramatic group and adult verse and prose reading.

On Saturday, which starts at 9.15am, there will be dramatic groups, verse speaking, dramatic duologues, dramatic solos, and Shakespeare solos. The awards will be presented at 7pm.

Last year the Wolfit Endowment Fund, who put on the festival, awarded Amy Chetwynd a full bursary to attend a drama course at a summer school at Haileybury College, Hertfordshire.

She received this on the recommendation of the adjudicator Stephen Owen.

Sheila said: “The fund has agreed to make a similar award this year should a suitable candidate emerge. If an award is made it will be announced after the festival so that proper arrangements can be made.”

The festival is held in memory of the Balderton-born actor/manager Sir Donald Wolfit.

The Wolfit Endowment Fund was set up to give grants or money to students of drama who live in or have been at secondary schools in Newark or Balderton.

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