helping to develop speaking and leadership skills 
Wokingham Speakers Club

News, August 2015 

The Fringe 
Therese Edkins 
4th August 2015 

The theme for the evening was the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, also known as the Fringe. It is an annual event in August and considered to be the world's largest arts festival. 
 
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe started life when eight theatre companies turned up uninvited to the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. These groups aimed to take advantage of the large assembled theatre crowds to showcase their own, alternative, theatre. 
 
The Fringe is an unjuried festival with no selection committee, and therefore any type of performance may participate, for example dance, musicals and opera, comedy, drama and music. 
 
Winners showing their awards with Mell Sheppard, President 
Therese, as TME went on to draw parallels between the Fringe and Wokingham Speakers, encouraging the members to try out their material in the safe environment which is our club. 
 
The first prepared speech was delivered effortlessly by Alice Francis. Entitled “Another world”, Alice spoke about the wit and wisdom she finds in the Terry Pratchett novels. The next speaker was Graeme Hobbs who fascinated the audience with the history of the London underground. His speech was called “The subterranean railway”. 
 
We were then treated to two speeches from the storytelling manual, firstly John Murphy gave a moral interpretation of the fable “The hare and the tortoise” using the principle of the compound effect. Additionally, Thomas White chose to speak about the time a fellow traveller at the airport pinched his biscuits. With a speech title “My cookies are not your cookies”, the moral was not to be too quick to judge people. 
 
Thomas was awarded the prize of best speaker. 
 
After the break, Mell Sheppard ran a light hearted and entertaining table topics session around the theme of the fringe. The audience heard from Louisa that her favourite comedian was Michael McIntyre, Randip aired his views that talent could be taught, citing Tiger Woods and Serena Williams as examples where hard work pays off. 
 
The next table topic speaker was Padma who was passionate about writing a play based upon the north of England. Entitled “Great up north”, the play would depict the delicacies of northern food, accents and much more. Clare was the next speaker who told us that Lee Mack and Tim Vine in “Not going out” were her favourite comedians who excelled in timing. Lastly, Jo was asked to comment on whether art was an act of genius or madness, he replied very eloquently that art is whatever you want it to be. Jo was voted best table topic speaker. 
 
We heard detailed and inspiring evaluations from Marce, David, Brian and Steve, followed by an evaluation of the table topics section by James Howlett. James was awarded best evaluator. 
 
Asha Prasanna, in her role as Grammarian, gave valuable feedback to all speakers on their use of the word of the day, crutch words and pauses. The General Evaluator was Amanda Bouch who inspired us all to keep working on our skills. 
 
Therese thanked everybody for their contribution to the evening before the meeting was closed by the President.