New format - and a Platinum Jubilee Trophy - on offer at Peterborough Drama Festival

After a two-year break, the Peterborough Drama Festival Committee has revealed that a festival will once again be taking place this year – though not in its usual form!

By Brad Barnes
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 7:35 am
Peterborough Drama Festival 2019 - winners from from Hampton College
Peterborough Drama Festival 2019 - winners from from Hampton College

In 2022, local schools will be competing in a very special competition to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Patron of the Federation of Festivals. The winning school will be presented with a new cup - The Platinum Jubilee Trophy.

The annual Peterborough Festival has been a highlight on local school calendars for more than 75 years but sadly, immediately after the 2020 festival, the country went into lockdown. No festival could be held in 2021 and this was a big disappointment not only for the organisers but also for the hundreds of young people across the city who enjoy taking part.

Therefore, at the start of this spring term, the festival committee sent a letter to local schools offering a fantastic opportunity for them to develop work in drama without having to leave school premises.

It is absolutely free to take part and the winning school will keep the Platinum Jubilee Trophy to display in their school as a constant reminder of their success. Groups of children from years four and five are invited to compete in one single discipline, choral speaking, where a group of between eight and 30 children learn a poem and then perform/interpret it in a creative and interesting way to catch the audience’s attention. Peterborough choirs have excelled in choral speaking for many years and, as international champions in 1996, a choir from Walton Junior School starred in a Gala performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, opening and closing the federation’s 75 th anniversary celebrations.

Festival chairman Steve Cutts said: “Choral speaking is great fun. We believe that everyone who takes part in the event will benefit from this experience. “Our festival aims to build self-confidence, discipline, teamwork and performance skills. “These are all areas of the curriculum which Ofsted is keen to develop in our schools and the project promises to be both exciting and rewarding.”

Schools should already have received details of this special festival through a local schools mailing system but further information may be found at www.peterboroughdramafestival.org.uk/

The deadline for Peterborough schools to enter is January 24 and Deeping schools is Feb ruary4.