Pupils overcome fears to take shot at nationals

Performing a scene from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Kings and Queens...
Performing a scene from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre yesterday are King’s High School pupils (from left) Harvey Rawlings, 17, Gregor Watts, 14, and Ethan Towers, 16. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A group of Dunedin secondary school pupils who found Shakespearean language terrifying at first have made it to the finals of a national competition.

Seven pupils from King’s High School are heading to Wellington to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival on June 1.

The pupils will be competing with 47 other groups from across New Zealand at the St James Theatre in from of guest assessor the Shakespeare Globe director of education Lucy Cuthbertson.

Year 12 pupil Ethan Shaw-Wood, 17, who will be playing the role of Puck, said he found taking on the Shakespearean language terrifying to begin with.

"This is my first year doing Shakespeare and all these words just looked like letters.

"I was like what is this and I had to keep asking every second word what it means but slowly you get a better understanding of it."

The group performed the play and qualified at regionals in April and have since revisited it in preparation for June.

King’s head of drama Andrew Perkins said rehearsals were now ramping up.

He said Shakespeare was one of his favourite things to work on with pupils.

"The thing about working in a boys’ school is they’re enthusiastic and competitive.

"They’re really keen to jump in and they want to know, they want to try and do their best."

The group was excited to be going to nationals and meeting other like-minded individuals like themselves.

Pupils from Trinity Catholic College, James Hargest College and Central Southland College will also be performing at the competition.