• Dangerous Minds
  • 31 January 2024

Dangerous Minds 2024 – Eight Minutes to Change the World!

Six Cranleighans took to the Speech Hall stage to showcase their ambition and their public speaking prowess, and to compete for the…

Six Cranleighans took to the Speech Hall stage to showcase their ambition and their public speaking prowess, and to compete for the Henry Hunt trophy (which, incidentally, has had a fantastic makeover this year, thanks to Mr. Hill in the Design Department!). Each year, Dangerous Minds invites Cranleighans to propose a dangerous truth or idea, and to utilise every rhetorical tool in their belt in order to convince their audience, and the judge, of its merit. The challenge is great, not only with regard to the meticulous process of crafting the speech and delivering it to a considerable crowd, but also in terms of handling sensitive and potentially controversial topics.

Brandon G., a regular competitor on the Dangerous Minds stage, turned his attention to hosting this year, and did so with characteristic aplomb; Brandon’s sense of humour and easy manner captivated the crowd, and lightened the atmosphere between each challenging eight minute speech.

Alex R. opened the show with a fascinating speech about global blood and organ shortages. Alex interrogated a model, already reflected in a proposed bill in Massachusetts, that allows incarcerated men and women to donate blood or minor organs in exchange for shorter sentences. It was an emotive speech, tackling an ethically complicated issue with grace and maturity.

Isaac T. was next, with his debut Dangerous Minds talk on the viability of borders between countries. Isaac’s argument considered historical hunger for power and land that he posits has been exacerbated by the existence of ‘imaginary lines in the sand’ as he called them, and looked towards a borderless future characterised by a global culture and unity. 

Mads R. closed the first act by delivering her first Dangerous Minds speech; she questioned current narratives on women’s rights – both those of trans and cisgender women – and proposed a number of suggestions aimed at including, satisfying and protecting all women.  

Before our next speech, and in a Dangerous Minds first, Molly A. took the stage for a musical interlude between speeches, delivering a moving rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’ Then, Zoe G.returned for her second competition, this time speaking about the dangers of silence, using Marina Abramovic’s performance art as a springboard from which to explore deeper crises of human morality. She focused, in particular, on the position of women in society, and the importance of using our voices every day in order to ensure continual progress. 

Our third Dangerous Minds debut of the evening was Theo D. who questioned the success of history’s great empires and governments, wondering whether the elimination of human error in leadership might make for a Utopian future. His analysis of the perfect A.I. (Or A.G.I) leader was driven by an impressive knowledge of Artificial Intelligence and its pitfalls, and a great sense of humour. 

Ultimately, it was Lauren B. who took home the trophy, for her speech on the dangers of victimhood. Lauren has won the competition before, for an impassioned speech on the merits of veganism, and she approached her most recent entry with similar verve and vigour. Our esteemed judge, Monica Fisher, praised the variation in Lauren’s delivery, and her ability to capture the audience with an easy, comfortable style; Lauren’s curiosity and ambition make her a force to be reckoned with, and her speech last week was no exception, and a deserving winner! 

We would like to publicly thank Monica Fisher for judging the event, and for offering feedback to each contestant. Similarly, this event would not have been possible without the efforts of our fantastical Technical Theatre and Film crews. Thank you especially to Mr. Humphreys, Mr. Jewell-Smith, Will M., Mary S., Archie L., Ben, Alexis H. And Jack D, for your commitment to putting on such a professional event!

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