A week of grand finals and flair: The Performing Shakespeare and Schools' Mace national finals

Friday 24 March 2017

This week saw the first ESU Competition finals of the year for schools across England and Wales. We had back to back days of competition with the Performing Shakespeare and Schools’ Mace finals taking place at the Gielgud Theatre and Dartmouth House respectively. Young people aged 11-18 made their way to London to demonstrate how ESU competitions have helped them develop their oracy skills.

Performing Shakespeare Competition Winners

Judges were once again impressed by the high standard of all the finalists’ performances, eventually choosing Wurdaan Kashif of Altrincham as their overall winner with Sakshi Jha of Sheffield and Natalie Ings of London as their commended performances. The audience also enjoyed educational talks from Sita Thomas and John Pfumojena which inspired participants, parents and teachers to re-evaluate their engagement with Shakespeare.

Schools’ Mace National Final

Ed Bracey and Greg Weaving of Eton College were the winners in Wednesday’s final debate with St Francis Xavier’s College proving worthy opponents, ‘This House Would lift the US Congress’ ban on earmarks’ was the topic for debate and the judges faced a difficult decision on this and all of the day’s semi-finals where students from across England tackled issues across politics, science and ethics. The entire occasion was helped along by a slice of 60th birthday cake, as we wished the Schools’ Mace many happy returns!