The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama is always a special week in the Bedford School calendar. The festival provides a wonderful opportunity for our pupils from both the Prep and Upper School to showcase their talents alongside pupils from other schools in Bedfordshire in a wide range of performing arts from music, verse-speaking, acting, mime and improvisation.
This year, we are celebrating after our boys achieved a remarkable 85 top three places across the festival, with four boys invited to perform at the prestigious Gala Concert on the last night of the festival. One of these was Upper Sixth Former Jonathan Hosking, who, we are delighted to report, received the festival’s top accolade – the Woodfine Lousada Prize for the most outstanding Speech and Drama performance.
Jonathan’s winning performance took the form of a five-minute monologue taken from the play Debris, written by playwright Dennis Kelly, who has become a favourite of Jonathan’s. The play itself is a grim tale and the monologue is told from the perspective of Michael, as he tries to make sense of his dysfunctional childhood. Jonathan’s enthralling and convincing performance gained him first place in the Dramatic Solo class, and a place in the Gala.
This was Jonathan’s seventh and final year performing at the Bedfordshire Festival – and what a wonderful way to end! He puts his success in part down to the coach he sees outside of school, however he also recognises that school has helped him immeasurably over the years. Jonathan has been at Bedford School since the Prep School, and from an early age has thrown himself into acting. Last year saw him take on the lead role of Romeo in Shakespeare’s iconic play, Romeo and Juliet, a casting which he will always be grateful to the school for. As President of the Drama Society (a title which he modestly thinks is too grand for him) he also gives great credit to other boys in this group, humbly explaining that he draws inspiration and passion from all of them.
We are hugely proud of Jonathan and delighted to see him win the prize, which is thoroughly deserved. Jonathan is currently studying for his upcoming A-Levels in Drama, English and Politics, which should gain him a place to study Drama at his first choice university, Lancaster.