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Obfuscate

verb –
1.to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy
2.to make obscure or unclear

The one-act drama festivals organised by the Sussex County Education Committee throughout the 1960s at numerous locations across County had always resulted in a production being promoted to the next round. And of course those of us moving ahead thought ourselves as winning that festival. But come 1968 and we were told otherwise – after eight years, this came down the turnpike:

1968

April 5 – Shoreham Herald

“FESTIVAL NOT COMPETITIVE”

“GROUPS taking part in the final of the West Sussex Youth Drama Festival on Saturday were surprised to find that the festival was non-competitive.

In previous years one production has been chosen at the final to represent West Sussex in an all-Sussex final later.  But the adjudicator at St. Wilfrid’s School, Crawley , on Saturday, Mr Hedley Goodall of Bristol, confined himself to comments about the six productions.

The Secretary of the West Sussex Youth Drama Committee, Mr J. M. Walton, told the Herald on Monday, ‘Our festival has never been competitive.  In each of the past five or six years, one finalist has been chosen to go to the all-Sussex final.  But, if people have taken that selected production to be a winner, that is up to them.’

Change

The format of the youth drama festivals is always subject to change, said Mr Walton.  “Our committee will be considering various suggestions from people in the county, particularly from those who took part in this year’s festival.  At the moment, we have preliminary rounds in various schools, with the final being held at a different school each year.”

Mr Walton added.  “Next year’s all-Sussex final will take the form of a residential weekend.  Each local education authority within Sussex will enter a production, but the emphasis will be on adjudication and discussion.  The aim will be to improve the standards of youth drama by exchange of ideas, rather than trophy-hunting.  It is hoped that the weekend will be May 10-11, at Brighton College of Art.”

[This ambitious ideal came to naught. 1968’s ‘week-end’ turned out to be a one day event – never to be repeated!]