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Channelling the Bard

Students involved in the National Shakespeare Schools Production performing the haka Tika Tonu. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Two Wairarapa secondary school students have taken a big step towards a possible opportunity to perform at London’s Globe Theatre in 2018.

Chanel College’s Andriette Erasmus (Year 11), and Thomas Laybourn (Year 13) of Kuranui College, performed in ‘The Comedy of Errors’ at the National Shakespeare Schools Production in Wellington last weekend.

The story was set in a modern cell phone and media-obsessed society, and the actors involved an enthusiastic audience in the action.

The play was directed by Peter Hambleton, who starred as Gloin in The Hobbit.

Being one of the youngest in the 48-strong group didn’t stop Andriette from chasing a trip to London.

“It was very intimidating at first, because everybody was so bubbly and they were all dramatic because we’re all drama students,” she said.

“Everyone was so welcoming so you made friends quite fast.”

Twenty-four students will be chosen to go to the Globe Theatre next year.

The students worked through the first week of the holidays to prepare shortened versions of ‘The Winter’s Tale’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘The Comedy of Errors’ for two public performances.

They also had the opportunity to participate in a range of workshops led by history and play tutor, Hannah August, historical tutor Raymond Voice, singing tutor Lesley Graham, performing for screen tutor Danny Mulheron, mime and dance tutor Sir Jon Trimmer, and stage combat tutor Brendan West.

After the performance of the three plays the troupe performed the songs ‘The Compleat Works’ and ‘Non Nobis Domine’ and the waiata ‘Tai Aroha’.

That was followed by the haka Tika Tonu, which was taught and rehearsed by Andriette alongside Ben Kelly from Cashmere High School in Christchurch.

Andriette had developed a range of kapa haka skills from performing in the Chanel College Cultural Group for three years.

She said it would take up to two weeks for the 24 students embarking on next year’s trip to be chosen, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if she failed to make it this time around.

“I don’t mind if I don’t get in because I’ve still got a couple of years to try and make it.

“But if I do make it, it would be the experience of a lifetime and I’ll be so grateful.”

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