On Saturday 30 March, a merry band of players made their way to Waimea College for the annual festival, a highlight every year for the Drama department. Six different Garin groups performed across the day, and watched other schools, or relaxed in the green room before performing their pieces. This year, Mr Allan directed a junior group in a short ensemble piece based around a monologue by Lucien Panting as Launcelot Gobbo, from the Merchant of Venice. A group of angels and devils simulated the inner-most thoughts of the character. The piece was precise, looked striking, drew laughs from the crowd and brought the monologue to life very clearly. Lucien won two awards at the end of the evening, for ‘Best Delivery of the Text,’ and as runner-up for direct entry student to the National Secondary School Production, a huge achievement for a Year 10.

Two year 12 groups, consisting of Tegan Gibbs-Fleming, John Noble, Seth Blackburn (Taming of the Shrew) and Flurina Gauler and Sarah Carter (As You Like It) performed vocally strong and connected pieces from their class work this year. The sight of John reaming and running from the stage in full princess outfit, and losing his wig in the process, was a memorable ending.

The marquee Year 13 group of Jade Alborn, Jed Frethey, Megan Ritchie and Hamish Shelly, otherwise known as ‘Art’ entered three pieces between them. They were deservedly awarded ‘Best Team Performance’ for their quirky and irreverent piece in one of the final acts of the day, in which a bewildered Macbeth encountered a group of performance art witches. Hamish Shelly got so involved in his performance that his microphone flew into the audience as he aggressively clutched the mic stand. Jade and Hamish also did a great job of a very bawdy piece from A Comedy of Errors, and Megan and Jed took home more silverware for their chilling wartime version of an extract from Richard III. For this they were awarded ‘Best History’ play, ‘Best Tragedy’ play and for her outstanding efforts across the day, Megan Ritchie was awarded the NSSP Direct Entry award, which recognises the most outstanding performer from a group that was not selected for a place in the National Finals, and grants her a place in the National Secondary Schools Production in November, and a chance of being selected for a trip to the Globe Theatre in London. Congratulations Megan, a fully deserved recognition for your amazing efforts in Drama in your time at Garin. Thank you to Club Garin for their sponsorship and a special thanks to Sarah Pumphrey and Dan Allan for accompanying the group, and all their organisation leading up to the event.