On June 2, twelve level one students braved the Cook Strait, the Wellington weather and Covid to perform in the Otago University Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand National Festival (phew – let’s just say National Shakespeare Festival). The festival has at least one, generally two and sometimes three, schools entered from NZ. They performed in the Michael Fowler Centre over two days and the caliber was high. It was sensational watching kiwi kids take the Bard’s work and re-play it to meet their own understanding of the issues, often within their own cultural context. The performances were either 5 or 15 minutes.

Garin students were amongst the youngest there and held their own, both in terms of attitude and performance. They had no expectations of anything beyond doing their best and watching others perform. Their expectations were exceeded. They were awarded three major prizes and Bella Goomes was subsequently invited to attend and perform in the National Schools Shakespeare Production in Dunedin in October.

The return trip was a lot quieter as twelve happy but exhausted kids anticipated their own beds.

Annie Millard