Shake­spearean team take poignancy prize

Central Leader - - NEWS -

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.’’

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