On the evening of Wednesday 10th February at 8.30pm in the Coffee Shop, sixteen boys from all years congregated to declaim their chosen pieces. They consisted of the top three candidates from each year group, as chosen by the Judge, Richard Beard OR. There was an excited atmosphere in the Coffee Shop as the audience gathered, made up of parents from all round the country. Radley Video, headed up by Mr Horsey, kindly live-streamed the event to boys and parents who could not be there. Organised and introduced by Mr Tolputt, Shell, Thomas Isaacs kicked off proceedings with an entertaining extract from the famous novel ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell.
The evening was full of very talented declamations from the sixteen boys: all of whom had clearly worked hard to learn and refine their piece. Particularly impressive performances that stood out were by Rory Betley, who declaimed one of his own poems. This was a touching and personal piece, recited with great diction, emotion and meaning – particularly striking due to the fact that he wrote it himself. Arthur Tapner produced a comic rendition of Roald Dahl’s Miss Trunchball’s speech from ‘Matilda’, which was amusing yet a little terrifying.
The comedy theme was continued when Oliver Reed-Daunter stepped up to re-enact a hilarious piece by Michael Rosen called ‘My Dad Knows Everything’. The last two declamations of the evening were done by the winners of both the 6.2 and the 6.1 competitions. George Chilvers recited ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson, which was a powerful and stirring spectacle. The last act of the evening was by Arran Ryder, who executed a humorous and engaging enactment of ‘Valentine’ by John Fuller. He engaged with the audience from the first word to the last and was the well-deserved winner of the overall Elizabeth Madgen Prize for Declamations, 2016, which was presented by the Warden. It was an event full of talent and an evening enjoyed by all.
Report and Photography by Alex Dernie and Tom Whitbread, A Social 6.1s