Students set to do Shakespeare
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.