Shakespearean team take poignancy prize
A moving World War I interpretation of Shakespeare’s Henry V play has won a central Auckland high school the top award at this year’s National Shakespeare Festival.
Diocesan School for Girls beat 45 other schools to win the award for Most ThoughtProvoking Performance at the Shakespeare Globe Company’s National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in Wellington last month.
Eight students from the school won the award at the 22nd national festival with a performance set in a makeshift hospital at the French Front during World War I.
In the 15-minute scene four fresh young nurses arrive full of enthusiasm and ready to do their bit for their country.
They are quickly shaken by the reality of war when their hospital is constantly bombed and it falls upon four warweary senior nurses to inspire them to fight like men for God, King and Country.
Chief executive of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Dawn Sanders says the three judges agreed unanimously that Diocesan’s performance was the most poignant.
‘‘The strength and integrity of Diocesan’s production of Henry V made it a real standout. The whole cast gave a strong performance that was clean, sincere and totally memorable. We are still talking about it.’’