The regional final of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare festival was held on April 12, 2013, with Macleans becoming the first school to take out first place in both group categories.
Awards on the day were awarded to the best five minute performance, best fifteen minute performance and the most outstanding performer. Macleans College swept the festival awards, winning both the group categories.
The five minute winner was a hilarious extract, in traditional Elizabethan style, from the play As You Like It. It was directed and performed by Shaanil Senarath and Nishaa Senarath.
The fifteen minute piece was a very dramatic scene from Coriolanus, directed by Meerah Yogakumar. It starred Adam Berry and Abhinav Swarup in key roles with supporting performances by other actors.
There were many other superb performances on the day, including a unique take on a Romeo and Juliet scene. This performance had the two lovers falling in love to the sway of the hula.
Both of the Macleans acts now have entry into the national festival. Not only will they perform alongside some of the best acts in New Zealand, they will also participate in workshops and seminars.
From here, the top actors in New Zealand are selected to be sent to the Globe Theatre in London for a life changing experiencing at the heart of the works of Shakespeare. This year, Idam Sondhi will be travelling to the Globe, as a successful candidate from last year.
At Macleans, the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare festival is a major opportunity for students to showcase acting skills, as well as formulating whole performances through student directed pieces.
In the words of one judge, Sheilah Winn allows a man, who lived hundreds of years ago, to “come alive again”. Nationwide, the festival gives over 5500 participates every year in 23 regions the chance to perform extracts from Shakespeare’s works.
Photos and video by Adam Berry. Article by Zachary Wong, edited by Frank Zhou. Interview by Idam Sondhi and Adam Berry. Video edited by Andrew Hu.