Sun, 12 Sep | The Black Prince

The Bardic Picnic

Spoken word, music and many workshops to entertain, educate and inform :) And, of course, the election of Northamptonshire's Bard!*
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The Bardic Picnic

Time & Location

12 Sep, 13:00 – 20:00
The Black Prince, 15 Abington Square, Northampton NN1 4AE, UK

About the Event

  • Throughout the day, there will be storytellers, poets, previous and current bards all entertaining the crowds. 

We will be making use of the newly refurbished back room as well for open mic events throughout the day and a great comedy line up in the evening as well!

There will be craft stalls, entertainment, hot food and, of course, the Bardic contests to elect the new Bard of Northamptonshire!*

  • ***** Click the 'read more' below for info about the Bardic Contest **** 

Bardic contest info:

There is one contest running for the Bard of Northamptonshire on September 12th 2021.

  

*The Junior Bard contest will be ran later on in the next season or two two allow for more promotion and offering of workshops to any who would like to be involved.

The contest will follow this format:

  • Round 1: THEME: 'VOICE'

Contestants have UP TO 5 minutes to entertain the crowd with an original piece written by themselves that is audience apropriate and is based on the this years theme: VOICE - how a contestant interprets that is down to them, but this piece will be judged on how you interpret it so consider it well!

They will be visually informed when there is one minute left and again at 30 seconds.

  • Round 2: WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE THE BARD?***

Contestants have UP TO 5 minutes to entertain the crowd with an original piece written by themselves that is audience appropriate. This piece is to be about WHY THEY WANT TO BE THE BARD / JUNIOR BARD.

They will be visually informed when there is one minute left and again at 30 seconds.

  • Round 3: OWN PIECE ***

Contestants have UP TO 5 minutes to entertain the crowd with an original piece written by themselves that can be about anything. 

There will NOT be any warnings about time for this round but contestants will still be judged based on time management.

Note: this Bard of Northamptonshire round will be after the family friendly timing so can be more adult in content.

Tips: 

  • The key here is to entertain the crowd - ensure each piece is powerful but also uplifting: many times have people performed very personal pieces which are moving - which definitely has a place in the picnic but vary your material - if all your pieces are about one topic, or all negative in tone, they are unlikely to be judged highly.
  • While it is fine to have paper or device to read from, practice your pieces. The more you can engage the audience without looking away, the better.
  • If you are using a device to read from, ensure it is fully charged!!! We cannot provide assistance for you if you run out of battery.
  • If you are using anything apart from your voice [an instrument etc.] ensure you let the judges and sound technician at the START of the event - this will allow us to schedule setting up. Do not rely on the support though and have a back up plan - ideally keep it simple!

*** Due to timing and numbers, there will be only 4 spaces in the second round, and three in the final round.

Judging:

There will be voting by the audience and 3 judges [one being the current Bard of Northampton] who, together will arrive at the total score. In the event of any tie or dispute, the current Bard will have final say.

Judges will be weighting the CONTENT, DELIVERY and TIMING [both the keeping to 5 minutes and the pace of the piece] of each piece, creating a total score out of 15 each. 

CONTENT: How good is the piece in itself? Does it have good imagery / message / meaning? Does it engage the minds of the audience? Is it relevant to the theme of the round? It is not an English assessment though - don't try to be too clever.

DELIVERY: This is the performance aspect - how well has it been spoken? Is the candidate engaging with the audience: eye contact, varying of tone etc. Has the audience been moved?

TIMING: Each piece should be a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes. Less or more than this and the candidate will be penalised. It also incorporates the sue of pausing, the apcing of the performed piece and whether the piece is too slow or too rushed or 'just right'.

One judge, per round, will have a bonus 5 points to allot for one contestant per contest round for an overall 'best impression'.

The audience will vote by ballot [having one ticket issued per round] and the highest amount of votes will get a score of 10, the next 9 and so on. 

This makes the total available score per round being out of 60.

Schedule


  • 15 minutes

    Official opening of the Picnic: Bard of Northamptonshire with the Mayor of Northampton.

    Main stage

  • 15 minutes

    Music: Chris Watson

    Main stage
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