Guest blogger: our 2015 adjudicator Sue Doherty

We’re delighted that our 2015 adjudicator Sue Doherty has taken time in her incredibly busy schedule to write a guest post for us here at hj1act.

We featured Sue back in November when we first got the great news that she was to be our adjudicator this year. You can find that story HERE.  Sue was also kind enough to answer some of our readers’ questions which you can read about HERE. And now we have another wonderful opportunity to get to know Sue a little better and find out what she’s been up to in the run up to her appearance at this year’s festival.

Welcome to hjHQ Sue and over to you…..

Sue Doherty photo

Our 2015 adjudicator, Sue Doherty, from The Guild of Drama Adjudicators, (GoDA)

‘I am so looking forward to coming to Swindon in ten days time. The scripts arrived last week, what a range of styles and genres. While you have all been rehearsing I too have been busy adjudicating, directing, teaching and working on a script.

In February I was in Brecon adjudicating The Brecknock YFC Pantomine and Drama Festival. It was great fun, and proved that comedy is one of the hardest genres to do well. The standard was very high, every company was so professional and the evidence of strong teamwork was reflected in every performance.

Last week I was in Tamworth, and there was a selection of both youth and adult groups. It was inspiring to see some highly imaginative devised work and challenging scripts. My advice to several groups was to think carefully about movement ” Every movement should have a purpose” Also in all female/male scenes make sure that you do not ” tune into each other”.

I have also been working on audition pieces with students applying for drama schools and universities. My advice here is always choose your pieces carefully, show you have a wide knowledge of playwrights both past and present, avoid ones that are done to death, always explore new writing.

Its A level time and one group I have been working with chose ‘Salt of The Earth’ by John Godber. A wonderful, moving play, his work is so well structured, but unfortunately many students do not realise there is more to him than Bouncers and Shakers!!

In between all this I am working on a script based on Post Natal depression, alongside professionals and the actress Denise Welch, so watch this space!!!

See you all soon, and good luck with the rest of your rehearsals!!’

Thank you Sue for stopping by for a chat and for some wonderful advice and insights there. We’re sure our entering teams will be taking on board your excellent words of wisdom and are super keen to showcase all their hard work when we see you in ten days time. We’re really  looking forward to welcoming you to Swindon and hj1act 2015!


NEXT UP: Our teams prepare: Tech Sunday


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If you have a story you’d like us to include here in our blog, or if there’s something you’d like us to write about, let us know at  So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!

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