Stu­dents set to do Shake­speare

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

Five as­pir­ing ac­tors from Mata­mata Col­lege will com­pete at a national Shake­speare Fes­ti­val over Queen’s Birth­day week­end.

Se­nior stu­dents Grace Drys­dale-Dunn, Quinn Wiles, Kelly Petersen, Ai­dan O’Mal­ley and Jor­dan Harper qual­i­fied at the South Waikato Fes­ti­val last month.

The group won the 15-minute scene cat­e­gory with their per­for­mance from the Shake­speare tragedy Antony and Cleopa­tra.

‘‘It was awe­some; it was a bit of a buzz,’’ said Kelly, who por­trayed Cleopa­tra.

‘‘We were all pretty ner­vous be­fore­hand but once you are on stage you stop think­ing and the words just come out.’’

They were up against seven other groups and drama teacher Natalie McBean said the com­pe­ti­tion was tough.

‘‘It’s a huge achieve­ment given the qual­ity of the per­for­mances and amount of time and money some of the other schools in­vest,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s not easy per­form­ing Shake­speare – you can’t just pick up a script and act, you have to un­der­stand the lan­guage.’’

The group will spend four days in Welling­ton at the national Univer­sity of Otago Sheilah Winn Shake­speare Fes­ti­val.

They are the first to at­tend from Mata­mata Col­lege for 13 years.

They are per­form­ing on the Satur­day morn­ing and are up against schools from across the coun­try. They will also at­tend three Shake­speare work­shops and spend time check­ing out the lo­cal theatre.

The fes­ti­val is run by the Shake­speare Globe Cen­tre New Zealand and judges will se­lect some ac­tors to travel to the United King­dom for a three-week act­ing tour.

Those se­lected will have the op­por­tu­nity to per­form on the Shake­speare Globe stage in Lon­don and visit Shake­speare’s home­town of Strat­ford-Upon-Avon.

‘‘It would be the ul­ti­mate for all five of us to go to Lon­don,’’ said Grace. ‘‘We def­i­nitely want to be up there and be high in the com­pe­ti­tion.’’

Act­ing buzz: Grace Drys­daleDunn, Quinn Wiles and Kelly Petersen in char­ac­ter ahead of the national Shake­speare Fes­ti­val.

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