Shakespeare Drama Competition 2019 - Boys' Semi Finals

20 September 2019 - 1160   - 3

The first day of the semi-finals of the boys' schools at the 46th Inter-School Shakespeare Drama Competition organized by Colombo YMCA and Rotary Club of Colombo North kicked off on Wednesday (Sept 18). 

By Sashini Rodrigo and Ruqqyaha Deane

The first day of the semi-finals of the boys' schools at the 46th Inter-School Shakespeare Drama Competition organized by Colombo YMCA and Rotary Club of Colombo North kicked off on Wednesday (Sept 18). 

For the boys' semi-finals, the judging panel comprised Kaushalya Fernando, Dr. Indira Mawelle and Mohamed Adamally.

Speaking on behalf of the panel, Adamally said that the judges observed quite an improvement in terms of acting quality, set design and overall performances compared to the time that they performed at Shakes as students.

“Almost every English actor on the Sri Lankan stage is a product of this competition,” he observed, noting that participation is important. 

Perhaps one of the key aspects of portraying a Shakespeare play is to understand the text and portray it just as the bard intended it to be. The judges felt just that, and pointed out that several of the boy’s productions contained good characterisations, which in turn indicated that the play was well understood. 

Quoting Hamlet’s infamous lines “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines”, Adamally added that the schools that fell short were the ones that did not understand the text which in turn led to lack of interplay on stage.

Overall the pacing of plays was good, in the short allocated time, many schools were able to convey the scenes properly. However, when the pace was too fast, key aspects of the scene were lost, whereas when the pace was too slow it lost the audiences’ attention.

Mr Adamally noted that in some instances too much focus on props, decor and costumes took away from the actual performances.

The more successful plays had a good balance that did not impede the performances, and instead added to the tableau.

In terms of stage design, it was advised that blackouts should be used sparingly as the pace dropped the longer a blackout lasted, and that music does not adequately fill the absence of activity on stage.

Similarly, the sound design had a tendency to border on overbearing or inappropriate at times and should be reined in.

“They are supposed to be aids but if they are going to get in the way, there is no need of them.” he advised. 

Ending the commentary from the judges, he recommended that the young thespians ought to “think about what you can do with the precious seconds on stage.” 

Boys' Shakespeare Drama Competition Finalists -

  • Ananda College - Colombo 10,
  • Trinity College - Kandy,  
  • Wesley College - Colombo 9 
  • St. Joseph’s College - Colombo 10

S. Thomas' College





St Joseph's College












Trinity College
























Ananda College






































D.S. Senanayake College


















Maris Stella College

















St. Benedicts College

















Gateway College

  Comments - 3

  • Sam Friday, 20 September 2019 07:41 PM

    This article has nothin about the performances!

    Reply : 1       0

    Jehan Sunday, 22 September 2019 01:07 PM

    Watched it Great show by the boys. The Trinity show was beyond all the most refreshing ever at this competition I have seen so far . All the best to all the finalist! Break a leg boys!

    Reply : 0       3

    Lady123 Monday, 23 September 2019 11:36 AM

    I heard about it too. Couldn't watch it though. when will the tickets be out for the final!

    Reply : 0       0

    Leave a comment

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