Pupils get all Shakespearean

There was tragedy, romance and drama aplenty at the 2019 Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival held yesterday in Dunedin.

Ten schools participated in the annual Otago regional event held at King's and Queen's Performing Arts Centre, all hoping to make it to the national competition in Wellington at Queen's Birthday weekend.

More than 120 secondary school pupils spent the day acting out various scenes from Shakespeare's plays, while three finalists in each category performed in an evening showcase.

Otago regional representative Debbie Vercoe said this year's entries were mostly pupil-directed.

Wakatipu High School pupils Gracie Hansby (17) as the Ghost of King Hamlet and Annie Black (17)...
Wakatipu High School pupils Gracie Hansby (17) as the Ghost of King Hamlet and Annie Black (17) as Hamlet perform at the regional Otago Shakespeare Festival in Dunedin. Photo: Peter McIntosh
''The schools have been working really hard since the start of the year ... there are lots of really fresh interpretations of Shakespeare's words.''

Pupils from Wakatipu High School directed both of their entries.

Their five-minute entry, directed by Annie Black, was based on the tragedy Hamlet.

Annie said they had fun performing in front of the other pupils.

''It went a lot faster than I thought it would.''

The three adjudicators announced the winner at last night's evening showcase.

Results:

Winning 5-minute scene: John McGlashan College, Romeo and Juliet.

Winning 15-minute scene: Logan Park High School, King Lear.

Direct entry to National Shakespeare in Schools Programme: Maeischa Fox, Kavanagh College.

Denise Walsh Memorial Award for the Best Ensemble: Kaikorai Valley College, Macbeth.

laura.smith@alliedpress.co.nz

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