Tag Archives: Competitions

King Lear Challenge November 2014

Well done to all 5th Year students who took part in the King Lear Challenge on Wednesday 5th November. It was a most enjoyable occasion and the participants performed to an excellent standard. The fifth and third year audience members were highly impressed by the expression and dramatic skills of the ‘actors’. All participants were winners. There were two extremely engaging groups performances: Aaliyah and Britney with their interpretation of Goneril and Regan’s plotting against Lear, and Stephen, Michael, Luke, Jack and Nick’s re-enactment of the mock trial scene. Both groups were excellent. The soliloquies were very ably performed, with two presentations of Edmund’s bastard speech by Aoife and by Junior; two performances of Edgar’s transformation into Tom by Drew and by Simon; and a powerful recital of the Lear’s storm speech by Gavin. This kind of memorisation and personal dramatisation of a moment allows students to become experts in understanding the many facets of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Congratulations to all.

Some of the King Lear Challenge Participants
Some of the King Lear Challenge Participants

Poetry Aloud 2014

Students from Franciscan College Gormanston at the National Library of Ireland for Poetry Aloud
Students from Franciscan College Gormanston at the National Library of Ireland for Poetry Aloud

Students from Franciscan College, Gormanston attended the National Library of Ireland today for the regional heats of the Poetry Aloud competition. The students had to recite two poems each for a panel of judges – one prescribed for them and the other was of their own choosing.

Students in the Junior Category had to recite the poem ‘Heirloom’ by Gerard Smyth. In this category we had Sarah Browne and Evan Logue from 1st year and Maya Keeley, Raven Opashi and Todd Lynch from 2nd year. Students in the Intermediate Category had to recite ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ by W.B. Yeats. We were represented in this category by Alex Konchar, Kyle Keeley, Chris Leech and Adam Lally. Students in the Senior Category had to recite ‘St. Kevin and the Blackbird’ by Seamus Heaney. In this category we were represented by Veronica Filani, Miriam Mputu-Ntela and Nadia West.

Congratulations to all who took part. You did yourselves and your college proud!

The Speech

An exciting opportunity has been presented to the students of Gormanston. All students are being encouraged to enter ‘The Speech’ Competition. All you have to do is choose a speech from history, literature, TV or movies and record yourself performing it. Post it on Youtube and send the link to the competition organisers. A consent form will need to be signed by your parents before you can enter the competition. Here are more details about the competition:

“The Speech”


“The Speech” was a massive success last year and was reported on both locally and nationally. This year we want to make it bigger and better!

This year we are inviting secondary school students (First to Sixth Years) to submit a video of them delivering their favourite speech– historic, cinematic, from literature – and post it on YouTube and send the link to the organisers. A judging panel of film and oratorical experts will adjudicate the top videos (as decided by Likes on our Facebook page). The winner will receive an incredible state of the art netbook and Matheson “The Speech” Trophy, to be presented to the winner at the Junior Debating National Mace Final.

“What Should My Speech Include?”

Based on the feedback we got from adjudicators over the past two years we have decided to set down a number of requirements:

1. At the start of your speech you should explain why you choose it and why it is an important speech.

2. The Finalists will be judged on the following criteria.

  • The significance of the speech and the reasons given for choosing it.
  • Their delivery of the speech- did you make it your own? Did you engage your audience?
  • Production and presentation of the speech.

Who can enter?

Secondary school students – From first to sixth year.

There will be a Junior and a Senior Category.

How to Enter

Create a video – up to ten minutes in length – of a famous speech. You can use whatever tools you have at your disposal – props, editing software, sound techniques etc.

Upload the video to YouTube including “The Speech” in the title and “Junior Debating National Mace” in the tags.

Once the video is ‘live’ on YouTube, send the link to the organisers so we can put them all up on the facebook page on the same day. You should include your name, school and year.

More Importantly – How to Win!

The top videos chosen from ‘likes’ and the panel’s choice will be shortlisted. These videos will then be judged by film and oratorical experts who will choose the overall winner of a State of the Art NETBOOK!!

There will be a Junior, Senior and overall Winner- all receiving amazing prizes and trophies.


The deadline extends all the way to Friday the 30th of January and all videos will be put up on “The Speech” Facebook page on the same day Sunday the 1st of February.

Then you need to get your friends and family to start liking! Voting closes on Thursday the 12th of February with the shortlist on Friday the 13th of February. Then you have until Friday the 27th of February to re-shoot.


Like all the Junior Debating National Mace Competitions photos will be taken of the finalists and their videos will be available on both social and national media. Photographs and videos will be distributed to local and national media. Photographs and videos will be used for the promotion of the competition on our website, facebook page and by our sponsors Matheson Solicitors. Press releases will be issued and journalists will be invited to attend the grand final. Speeches may be recorded and all finals will be recorded and these will be used for promotion of the competition in the media, the website and social networking sites eg youtube, facebook.

Please note that it is the responsibility of each school to secure permission from parents for student’s participation in all of the above. Where parental permission has not been granted it is the responsibility of the teacher/school (and not the Junior Debating National Mace) to ensure that student does not take part in the above. The Junior Debating National Mace accepts no liability in respect of any claims which may result from the participation of children for whom consent has not been obtained from their respective parents.

Best of luck to all the Gormo students are thinking of entering. Here is a link to the finalists of last year’s competition. For more information see Ms Meighan, Ms Ryan or your English teacher.

King Lear Challenge November 2014

Wednesday 5th November

Fifth years, the time is here for you to show your talents and your love for Shakespeare. Over the next four weeks start preparing a dramatisation of a key moment in ‘King Lear’. You may work alone or in pairs or small groups. Excellence is the standard. There will be an award for the best soliloquy performance and an award for the best drama performance. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

Soliloquy (alone 18 – 22 lines)


Drama (2 – 4 characters about 40 – 50 lines)

You have complete freedom to choose from anywhere in ‘King Lear’ but here are some suggestions:

Suggested soliloquies or speeches:

Act 1.1 Lear – ‘Peace Kent’ speech

Act 1.2 Edmund – ‘Thou, Nature, art my goddess’ speech

Act 1.2 Edmund – ‘This is the excellent foppery of the world’ speech

Act 1.4 Lear’s three tirades against Goneril – choose 22 lines (incorporate natural pauses/breaks)

Act 2.3 Edgar’s soliloquy

Act 2.4 Lear ‘O reason not the need’

And more…

Suggested dramas:

Act 1.1 The love test – Lear, Cordelia, Regan, Goneril ‘Meantime….my sometime daughter’

Act 1.4 Goneril reduces Lear’s train – Lear, Goneril, Fool ‘Enter Goneril….Enter Albany’

(Two long speeches by Goneril – one of them can be read)

Act 1.5 – All – the Fool and Lear

Act 2.1 Edmund and Gloucester ‘Persuade me to the murder of…I’ll work the means to make thee capable.’

Act 2.2 Kent is stocked – Cornwall, Kent, Regan, Gloucester ‘Fetch forth the stocks…A good man’s fortune may grow out at heels.’

Act 2.4 Lear is angry because R and C refuse to see him – Lear, Gloucester (Fool) ‘Deny to speak to me…buttered his hay.’

Act 2.4 R and C finally meet Lear – Regan, Lear ‘I am glad to see your Highness…you taking airs with lameness.’

Act 3.2 Storm – Lear and Fool ‘Blow winds…enter Kent’

Act 3.7 Gloucester’s blindness – Regan, Gloucester, Cornwall, (Servant) ‘Enter Gloucester…Exit one with Gloucester’

And more…

Choose your scene. The ones in bold are particularly dramatic. Start preparing now! Get props and suitable costumes if you can. Work on tone of voice, movement, sound effects. Practice, practice, practice!! Have fun and be experts. Invite your parents to attend if they wish! There will be prizes galore!

Hot Press: ‘The Write Touch’

Well done to Luke O’Neill 5th Year who has been shortlisted in the Hot Press ‘Write Touch’ Competition. Thousands of 5th and 6th year students from around the country entered and the entries were narrowed down to 10 in each of the four categories! Luke, we are so proud of you! If Luke is to be in with a chance of being the overall winner in his category, we need YOU to vote for Luke, please. You can do so here.

At the Clann Feis 2013
At the Clann Feis 2013

Poetry Aloud ’13

12 students from Gormanston College took part in the Poetry Aloud Competition in the National Library in Dublin today. Each student had to recite two poems – one prescribed and one of their own choosing. The prescribed poem for the Junior Category was ‘Lion King’ by Joe Woods, for the Intermediate Category was ‘Poisoned’ by John Ennis and for the Senior Category was ‘In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz’ by WB Yeats.

Each of our students did us proud. They recited their poetry with confidence and conducted themselves with dignity. The day was thoroughly enjoyable for all involved.

And to crown a wonderful experience, Duncan from 6th year succeeded in progressing to the semi-finals! Well done to Duncan. This is a great reward for the hard work he put into learning his poems and delivering them with panache.

Well done to all who took part.

Duncan, Chris and Hunain
Jack, Sami, Oran, Conor and Conor
Pauric, Chris, Kyle and Adam

Winners of Macbeth Challenge

Congratulations to all fifth years who took part in the Macbeth Challenge 2012. They are all winners!!! All performances were outstanding.

Participating in the Soliloquy Challenge were:

  1. Liam Schnober Smyth – Hecate’s speech
  2. Cian Harrington – Two truths
  3. Dylan Brady – Two truths
  4. Jamie Daly – Thou hast it all
  5. Eoin Sweetman – Dagger
  6. Duncan Walker – Dagger
  7. Sean Hayes – Dagger
  8. Niamh Kelly White – The Prince of Cumberland
  9. Chris Mullen – Two truths
  10. Matthew Mollahan – Thou has it all
  11. Robert Tully – Tomorrow and tomorrow
  12. Joe Dunne – The raven is himself is hoarse
Participating in the Drama Challenge were:
  1. Robert Tully and Duncan Walker – Macbeth and Banquo (2.i)
  2. Ciaran McGinley, Cathal Niall, Matthew Mollahan – Witches  (4.i)

Those presented with trophies were Duncan for the Dagger Soliloquy and Ciaran, Cathal & Matthew for the Witches Scene!! Excellent performances by each of them.

Here you can see the participants and those who received trophies. Thanks to Mr Flynn for his great photos.

5th Year Macbeth Challenge

Macbeth Challenge 2012

Fifth years are you ready for the 2012 Macbeth Soliloquy and Drama Challenge?

Tomorrow you have the chance to recite your favourite soliloquy – the dagger soliloquy seems to be a popular choice – in a way that conveys the meaning and mood of the speaker in the context of that soliloquy. In addition or instead, you may join with a partner or two to dramatise a piece from a compelling scene of your choice.

Aside from the fame and glory of winning the Macbeth Challenge, there will prizes galore of the material kind. Best soliloquy and best drama will receive a coveted trophy. Book tokens will also be awarded to winners and high achievers. Apart from that, a few goodies will be thrown into the mix. Who could resist?

As you have been practising since long before the midterm, a very high standard is anticipated for this competition. In order to set the bar high and put you under pressure to aim for excellence, Mr Lavin will be present for the competition.

Best wishes to you all – and don’t let anything “impede thee from the golden round” and please show that you have no “spur to prick the sides of [your] intent, only vaulting ambition”. And if you are really feeling confdent, you may call “fate into the list to champion [you] to the utterance”.

Duncan and Hunain – Winners!

Well done to all the students from Franciscan College Gormanston who took part in Poetry Aloud at the National Library today. Each student delivered his two poems with skill and passion. The students did themselves proud.

A very special congratulations goes to Duncan Walker and Hunain Saqib who have advanced to the second round of the competition. They were two of only five students who progressed from our heat.

Here are some photos from our day:


The Gormanston boys at Poetry Aloud.


Duncan Walker – through to second round of Poetry Aloud competition.


Hunain Saqib – through to second round of Poetry Aloud competition.


We would like to say well done to the other competitors today. Each school should be proud of their students.

Thank you, also, to the National Library of Ireland for hosting the event.

Poetry Aloud competition

Tomorrow, 25th October, 11 students from Franciscan College, Gormanston will take part in the Poetry Aloud competition run by the National Library of Ireland.

The students must recite one prescribed poem and a second poem of their own choice from one of the prescribed anthologies. In the Junior Category the prescribed poem is ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’ by William Butler Yeats and in the Senior Category the prescribed poem is ‘Postscript’ by Seamus Heaney. The second poem recited by the students must come from ‘The Rattlebag’, ‘Lifelines’ or ‘Something Beginning with P’.

The students participating and their poems are as follows:

  • Joe Dunne (5th year) – ‘Timothy Winters’ by Charles Causley
  • Sean Hayes (5th year) – ‘Poor but Honest’ author unknown
  • Sami Iqbal (2nd year) – ‘London’ by William Blake
  • Andres Martinez (2nd year) – ‘Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock’ by Wallace Stevens
  • Conor McCormack (2nd year) – ‘Child’s Song’ by Robert Lowell
  • Olamide Okusaga (1st year) – ‘John Mouldy’ by Walter de la Mare
  • Conor O’Sullivan (2nd year) – ‘Dahn the Plug’ole’ author unknown
  • Sean Power (1st year) – ‘John Mouldy’ by Walter de la Mare
  • Hunain Saqib (5th year) – ‘The Tyger’ by William Blake
  • Robert Tully (5th year) – ‘Poor but Honest’ author unknown
  • Duncan Walker (5th year) – ‘Out, Out -‘ by Robert Frost

These students have worked very hard to learn these poems and practise reciting them with passion and emotion. We wish them the best of luck tomorrow and hope that their hard work will pay off!