The Torbay Drama Festival


Entries for Drama are now closed

2nd – 4th of May

Palace Theatre, Palace Avenue,
Paignton TQ3 3HF
Box Office: 01803 665800

The committee reserves the right to change any of the dates.

Drama Committee

Drama Chair:
Linda Lear
6 Thorne Park Road,
Torquay TQ2 6RX
T. 01803 607672
M. 07971 421043

Trophy Steward:
Jennifer Bald
Andante, Cricketfield Road,
Torquay TQ2 7NP
T. 01803 324114
M. 07773 660035

Drama Committee
Delia Bowman, Heidi Pyburn (BSA, MA, LAMDA Coach and Examiner)


The Committee and/or Theatre Staff reserve the right to refuse entry.

Session Ticket£6.00Concessions (Seniors)£5.00
Daily Ticket£12.00Concessions (Seniors)£10.00

This Festival does not charge children for entry to the auditorium.  Children must be accompanied at all times and parents/guardians/carers are reminded of their responsibility under our Safeguarding Policy in this respect.


The Adjudicators’ Council of the British & International Federation of Festivals has endorsed the following statement with regard to the use of action and gesture in verse speaking:
‘Illustrative actions and movement rarely ever enhance a performance. However, gesture that adds understanding, appreciation and an emotional response to the interpretation of the text is not only acceptable but welcome. It is being selective and discerning in the use of gesture that is so often the issue in enhancing the successful performance.’


A taped musical backing is optional in Choral Speaking and all own choice poetry and prose classes.

Supplementary Rules for Speech

S1. The Torbay and South West of England Festival has entered into an agreement with the

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.  This means that entrants do not have to seek copyright permission for any poetry, prose or solo dramatic items* performed to a time limit of 10 minutes.

Performers and teachers will be delighted to know that their participation in this Festival means that authors will be directly reimbursed as a consequence of their works being performed at this Festival.

Drama duologues and group dramatic activity are not covered by this agreement, and copyright permission for these items should be sought by performers at the time of entry.

*Please note: dramatic items must be announced with title and author at the time of performance to qualify for copyright indemnity, and the performer must not change the words or gender of the character.

S2. Competitors may enter classes for a higher age group.  The entry fee for these classes applies, not the age of the competitor.

S3. Choral Speaking groups must not number fewer than 10 persons.

S4. When submitting entry forms the title and author of own choice pieces must be clearly stated for inclusion in the programme.  Where this rule is not complied with the entry becomes void.

S5. Competitors in own choice classes must not offer items with which they have won any class at this Festival in the previous three years.

S6. None of the set poems for the current year may be used as own choice pieces.

S7. No competitor may enter more than once in any solo class.  In other classes multiple entries are permitted as long as the individual competes with a different partner(s).

S8. Teachers will be sent a programme as soon as possible after the closing date, which will indicate the approximate time for each class. Private entrants will receive a class card.  Performers and other interested parties are requested to be in the auditorium at least 20 minutes before the time for their class to allow for the programme running early.

S9. Free entrance is granted to adult competitors only during the session in which they are performing.  Teachers who have entered students into the Festival will receive a Teachers’ Pass. Parents and other interested parties are not entitled to be admitted without a valid ticket.

S10. Copies of own choice pieces should be submitted with the entry form.  Those who fail to produce a copy for the Adjudicator may be penalised.  All copies must have the competitor’s name, class number, and entry number in the class clearly stated at the top.  Background tapes should be marked in the same way.

S11. Original material: a full written copy must be submitted to the steward as per rule S10.  It must be original and the candidate’s own work.  Marks awarded will reflect content, literary style and presentation appropriate to the age group.

S12. Performers should let us know at the time of entry whether material that may give offence (subject matter, strong language, etc) is to be used, so that the class may be appropriately programmed and the audience advised.

S13. Any entry exceeding the time limit set for performance will either have marks deducted, be terminated, or be made void, at the discretion of the Adjudicator.  Candidates may, if they wish, offer a short introduction to set the scene, which will not be included in the time limit.

S14. In drama classes, reading of lines, either on or off stage, is not acceptable without a valid reason being given, either to the committee or the Adjudicator’s steward, in advance of the class.

S15. Costume and properties: costumes must not be worn in any class.  In drama classes, long practice skirts, which give freedom of movement, may be used, together with small items such as scarves, hats, shawls, gloves, canes, etc.  Tables, chairs and hand props are permitted.

S16. Cups and trophies will be awarded to winners obtaining 84 marks or more.  Medals will be awarded to the winners of all solo and duologue classes, whatever the mark obtained.  Cups, trophies and medals will be awarded at the end of each class. 

S17. S18. Certificates and Adjudication sheets will be available approximately 15 minutes after the adjudication of each class.  These must be collected during the Drama section of the Festival.  Those remaining will be destroyed unless an sae has been provided.

S18. All communications should be sent to Linda Lear, 6 Thorne Park Road, Torquay TQ2 6RX – or email


Adjudicator Profile:
Rebecca Vines

Rebecca read journalism at Cardiff University, during which time she wrote a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper.  She continues to work for a range of publications as a features writer, ghost writer, and theatre critic.

Rebecca then studied as an actor at the London Centre for Theatre Studies; and her theatre credits include off-West End, Fringe, tour, educational theatre and voiceover. 

Favourite roles include Maggie (Dancing at Lughnasa); Elizabeth (The Crucible); Beverley (Abigail’s Party); Madame Arcati (Blithe Spirit); Martha (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

Rebecca trained as a specialist drama teacher at The Guildhall.  She has taught in a range of primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions for the last twenty years; and is the Principal of her own drama school, which operates internationally.  Rebecca’s pupils have been awarded places at major conservatoires and bodies such as RADA, LAMDA, Central, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall, Bristol Old Vic, Mountview, East 15, Guildford, AADA, Royal Birmingham, the Oxford School of Drama, National Youth Theatre, and the National Youth Music Theatre.  Their work can be seen on the BBC, ITV, Sky, C4, E4, Netflix, Working Title, National Theatre, RSC, and with countless touring theatre companies in the UK and abroad.

Rebecca sits on the Adjudicator’s Council for the British and International Federation of Festivals; on the Awards Panel for the UKPA; and is a LAMDA, GCSE and A level examiner.

In 2014, Rebecca was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her work in the youth theatre sector.  Rebecca is passionate about helping performers take their first professional steps, and helps emerging talents to form and manage their own theatre companies.  As such, Close Up Theatre, No Prophet Theatre, and Eleventh Hour Theatre have all played to critical and commercial acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: kickstarting careers and forging critical industry networking opportunities.

Rebecca’s productions have played to critical acclaim and commercial success at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2023.  In addition to directing and producing over thirty sell-out shows at the Fringe; Rebecca has adapted classics such as 1984, Jane Eyre, Emma, and Pride and Prejudice for the stage; and has written the original works More Myself Than I Am, Torn, Coward Conscience, and OTMA.

Rebecca is currently working on a PhD based around Shakespeare’s history plays; and she is passionate about inclusivity and diversity in the Arts, spending her free time ‘making things happen’ for people who would otherwise have no agency within the creative industry