Performers praised as arts festival ends

THE Worthing Music and Arts Festival drew to a close at the weekend, following a month of high-quality performances.

The Jean Butterworth School of Dancing under-nines in the dance sectionPICTURE: Beth Cox Photography

The speech and drama section of the festival concluded with a workshop and master class on Sunday from finals adjudicator Kim Ismay, who is currently appearing in Mamma Mia in the West End.

Jan Spooner-Swabey, festival secretary, said: “Artistically, it’s been a really good festival. We have had some fabulous dance performances, the standard of the piano and instrumental classes was exceptional and the singing (competition) was very friendly and a lovely weekend. (Speech and drama) was a consistently good standard of work. We have had a letter from the adjudicator commenting on how good the work was.”

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Adjudicator Stephen Owen admitted that some performances made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Performers of all ages graced the staged in the final week – from five-year-olds to those over 60.

In the finals, Andrew Sayergh was named junior drama performer of the year, Ysobelle Thorpe was named young drama performer of the year and drama performer of the year went to Gemma Sangster.

Awards were given out for highest marks in drama verse and prose reading to Yazmin Webb in the nine-11 age group, and to Gemma Sangster and Abigail Farmery in the senior classes.

A concert featuring highlights from this year’s festival is taking place in the Emmanuel Church, in St Michael’s Road, at 7pm on Saturday. Entry is £5.

n With thanks to Beth Cox Photography for the photographs used this week and last week. Visit to see all of Beth’s photographs from the festival.