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Taking on Globe Theatre

Florence Cater, Charlie Butler, Ashley Taylor, and Grace Hancox are the four of the 24 students around the country heading to the Globe in London. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Four Wairarapa students will be heading to London next year, covid-19 restrictions permitting, for the Globe Centre NZ Young Shakespeare Company trip to the Globe Theatre.

The four students underwent quite a process to be chosen to go to London, having a changed submission process due to covid-19, Wairarapa regional organiser Marilyn Bouzaid said.

Florence Cater and Ashley Taylor from Kuranui College entered their 15-minute scene from King John, where Florence played Constance and Ashley played Queen Eleanor.

Charlie Butler from St Matthew’s Collegiate School gained direct entry to the national Shakespeare festival with her five-minute performance for Macbeth, which she had also directed.

Grace Hancox from Wairarapa College was also in the student-directed five-minute category, where she played Calpurnia in Julius Caesar.

The students are part of a group of 24 who will be heading to the Globe Theatre in London, selected from an initial pool of “around 40 school groups,” Bouzaid said.

They were selected from a group invited to the National Shakespeare Schools Production in Dunedin in September.

“We’ve had one student go most years; to get the four of them is amazing.”

The students need to raise $9500 to make the trip to London, but this is the cost without needing to quarantine on the way back “which is an extra $3000”, Taylor said.

Butler said the trip was not just about Shakespeare; the benefits of the trip and opportunities given were about personal development and growth.

“For us, this is our First XV trip to Australia.”

Taylor thought that there was “a lot to live up to in a weird way”.

“I know from Kuranui, mostly males get selected, so it’s cool that it’s not just one but two girls,” she said.

“It’s just exciting to be a part of it really.

“My cousin went to it years ago, and it’s cool to be following her footsteps. I got to watch her perform at the regional festival and thought, ‘wow, she’s amazing,’ now I’m going to the same thing.”

Taylor thought that Shakespeare was “for men in a way with a lot of the roles,” but through performing, she realised that “there are some awesome female roles in Shakespeare”.

Butler said the experience so far “was just fun”.

“They told us when we were down there [Dunedin] it’s not an audition, it’s a performance.

“It was just fun; everyone who was there would’ve been worthy of being selected.

“It wasn’t anxiety-inducing or anything like that.”

According to Bouzaid, “the saddest thing covid did to these people is cut out the big stage”.

“When you saw how these students had to perform, and you knew it was Michael Fowler worthy, that’s when covid hit.”

If the trip goes ahead, the students will be heading to London in July next year.

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