Lady Mac­beth duo are dou­ble trou­ble

Central Leader - - News - By Lisa Sloan

Phoebe Ma­son and Olivia Ten­net found it tough to choose which scenes to per­form in the Shielah Winn Fes­ti­val of Shake­speare ear­lier this month.

The Ep­som Girls Gram­mar act­ing part­ners both wanted to play Lady Mac­beth, their favourite Shake­spearean char­ac­ter, in the na­tional fi­nal of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Af­ter some de­lib­er­a­tion, the girls de­cided they would both take on the role.

And not only did they suc­ceed in hav­ing two ac­tors play one char­ac­ter at the same time, they also won four awards for their per­for­mance.

They took away the Frona King award for stu­dent di­rected scene, the Welling­ton Shake­speare So­ci­ety Cup for a pro­duc­tion show­ing best un­der­stand­ing of the play, the award for the most co-oper­a­tive school and the Peter Vere-Jones award for best per­for­mance.

The girls say they’re sur­prised by their achieve­ment.

“We feel we did pretty bril­liantly be­cause it was a re­ally big com­pe­ti­tion,” says Phoebe.

“We are re­ally stoked and pleas­antly sur­prised.”

The Sheilah Winn Fes­ti­val of Shake­speare in Schools has been run­ning since 1992.

Re­gional com­pe­ti­tions took place around the coun­try be­fore the fi­nal in Welling­ton on Queen’s Birth­day week­end.

Stu­dents per­formed pieces of their choice be­tween five and 15 min­utes long.

Be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion the girls were busy pre­par­ing for an­other school drama pro­duc­tion so they had only a short time to pre­pare be­tween re­hearsals.

Olivia says she en­joys the chal­lenge of per­form­ing Shake­speare.

“It’s very dra­matic and it’s great how his ideas are still rel­e­vant to­day,” she says.

“It’s so gritty and you can re­ally get your teeth into it.”

“It’s ini­tially harder to learn but once you’ve got it, it just flows,” says Phoebe.

“There’s so much rhythm in the lan­guage.”

Ep­som Girls Gram­mar head of drama Jane Grif­fin says the girls’ per­for­mance was amaz­ing.

“It was re­ally clev­erly de­vised and they re­ally in­ter­preted the mean­ing,” she says.

“It was very sharply chore­ographed and sim­ple.”

From their per­for­mance in the com­pe­ti­tion, the girls have been se- lected to take part in the Na­tional Schools Shake­speare pro­duc­tion.

From there they will have the chance to be se­lected for a trip to act at the Globe Theatre in Lon­don next year.

In­ter­pre­ta­tion: Ep­som Girls Gram­mar stu­dents Phoebe Ma­son, left, and Olivia Ten­net per­form at the Sheilah Winn Shake­speare Fes­ti­val. They won four prizes for their in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Lady Mac­beth.

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