The Lady Bourchier Reading Prize, now in its 121st year since Lady Bourchier endowed the prize in 1898, show cases excellence in reading aloud. Junior finalists read extracts from The Lord of the Rings and the Senior finalists amused the audience with some comic moments from A Room with a View.
Faced with some challenging poems and given just five minutes to read and prepare their performance, the Juniors read poems by Edward Thomas and the Seniors had the more challenging task of reading some Sylvia Plath poems. William Orr-Ewing (Elmfield, 1998) adjudicated the event and commented on pace, pitch, sensitivity, use of voice, and general engagement.
The winner in the Junior competition was William Wauchope. The clarity, drama, and expression of his voice made him a wonderfully engaging reader. The winner for the Seniors was three-time champion Max Evans-Tovey, proving to the audience once again that he has the ability to deliver highly engaging, sensitive, and moving readings.