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Get to know our adjudicators

Cally Foster will be adjudicating poetry, prose and drama classes at WCAF this year. Read on to learn a little bit more about her and to see whether you can work out who her favourite writers are...

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Cally Foster



Since her first appearance in a festival at the age of five Cally has been committed to the festival movement and has pursued a career as a speech and drama specialist.  She was the principal of her Buckinghamshire based drama studio for more than 20 years, combining that role with travelling extensively in the UK, Europe and Internationally as an Examiner for LAMDA and as an Adjudicator.  Cally also delivers workshops on all aspects of communication and performance and is on various Speakers’ Panels. She is an Adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals, a Speech & Drama Representative on the Adjudicators Council and a former Chairman of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama.


Cally believes that performing in festivals not only encourages an appreciation of the Arts, but also develops the communication and presentation skills so important in today’s increasingly electronic world. Cally is delighted to be returning to adjudicate the Speech & Drama classes at the Worcester Competitive Arts Festival in 2024, and wishes everyone an enjoyable as well as a positive experience.

We caught up with Cally to find out a little more about her:

What are your top tips for preparing for a performance at a festival?

 Be really secure with your presentation.  Aim for clarity – (of speech and/or action) and always of intention.  The better prepared you are – the more you will enjoy the festival experience.

Who is your favourite writer/poet?

Many of my favourite writers have the first name – William.  Can you think of some who might be on my list of favourites?

What is your favourite/funniest/first memory of performing at a festival yourself

My first experience of performing at a festival was in a Dance class.  I was 6 and had no idea what to expect.  The stage was so large.  Where should I perform...? Ah.  I think I’ll face this curtain at the back.  It’s less scary...

What is your advice for dealing with nerves?

It’s normal to feel nervous.  Just remember to breathe, and do use those ’butterflies’ to give your performance focus and energy.

What is your favourite food?

I love spicy food –especially curries.

Where is the most exciting place you have adjudicated?

Every festival is exciting – but perhaps adjudicating in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka have made the experiences adventurous. (And also they have included curries, of course).

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and what is/are their name(s)?

Personally, I do not own a pet.  However, I shared a pony, called Sooty, with a friend many years ago.  Both my sons own cats and one has an enormous Golden Retriever, called Stevie G. as well.  (Can you guess the football team he supports – my son, not the dog?)

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself...

A little known fact...where to start?  Well, here’s one. I try to always have my lucky bracelet with me.

Thanks so much for letting us get to know you a little better, Cally! 

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