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Home > 20/21 Activities

20/21 Activities

Bookmark this page for news of how our competitions will run from September 2020

For the academic year 2020/21, The English-Speaking Union will be focusing on its competitions (Performing Shakespeare, Schools’ Mace and the ESU-Churchill Public Speaking Competition), the heats for which will begin in January 2021. Due to the current restrictions on gatherings and uncertainty about travel, all will be virtual/online for all rounds up to and including the regional finals. If conditions allow, then we will seek to hold the three grand finals as live events.

Registration for all three competitions is now closed.

A chart showing the key dates for all three competitions can be downloaded here.

All registration fees must be paid by Wednesday, 25 November. Please see below for the schedules:

Round 1 (incl. Straight Branch Finals for the PSC and Area Finals for the Mace) 
Mace: The draw for Round 1 will be sent to schools on Friday, 4 December. First round heats take place in the last three weeks of January (11 – 31 Jan)
PSC: Topics for Round 1 will be sent to schools on Wednesday, 9 December. Heats take place in the last week of January and first two weeks of February (25 Jan – 14 Feb)
Performing Shakespeare: January to February (internal school rounds); schools will be told on 1 March how many of their performances can progress to the regional finals. Those videoed performances for the regional finals must be submitted to the ESU by 23 April

Round 2 (Regional Finals) 
Mace: last week of February and first week of March (22 Feb – 07 Mar)
PSC: last three weeks of March (08 – 28 Mar)
Performing Shakespeare: last three weeks of May (10 – 30 May)

Round 3 (Grand Finals)
Mace: last Monday in March (29 Mar)
PSC: last Saturday in April – tbc (Sat 24 Apr – tbc)
Performing Shakespeare: last Sunday in June – tbc (Sun 27 Jun – tbc)

The cost for the competitions is as follows:

Mace: £30 (discount for greater than 20 per cent FSM/EAL: £15) – one team only allowed

PSC: £30 (discount for greater than 20 per cent FSM/EAL: £15) per team; two teams allowed

Performing Shakespeare: £30 (discount for greater than 20 per cent FSM/EAL: £15) per school; as many entrants as wished


Meanwhile, the ESU Festival of Speaking continues, enabling all young people everywhere to continue to develop their speaking and communication skills, by posting a speech, performance or debate online using the hashtag #esufestivalofspeaking.

We are also sending out a fortnightly schools newsletter, packed with free resources and easy lesson plan ideas to get your students speaking and listening in class and including details of how the competitions will run. If you are not already receiving our schools newsletters and would like to do so, please sign up below. Alternatively, please bookmark this page and check back regularly for all the latest news on our competitions.

We are really looking forward to working with you all again after such a long gap this year. If you need a reminder about why our competitions are so worthwhile, please do take a look at some of our testimonials here.

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