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Oct 292018

RNZN Pinafore set sail with singing, dancing, live music and with a wonderful exhibition of acting at Kuranui College this week.

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This highly-energetic show was revamped from the original HMS Pinafore script and updated to include social commentary on the world we live in today.

“The decision to update HMS Pinafore was made for many reasons,” explained director Juanita McLellan. “Not only was it outdated with its jokes and ideas, it was also the first show performed at Kuranui College. We thought it would be nice to do a tribute to our past pupils as well as acknowledge the world as it is now.”

At its heart is a love story, but also a political reminder of why we celebrate suffragette and inclusiveness. The show has a unique New Zealand flavour from vote for women sashes, to Kiwiana music that the audience kno and loves.

And for many performers, this was their first foray into the world of dramatic arts and they are loving every moment of it.

There were some stand-out moments from this ensemble cast. Corban van Manen’s solo piece was lovely (as was his hair), while Grace Voice, Awhina Southey and Jazz Houghton-Swain showed their repertoire of vocal ranges. Amelia Barton’s cheeky boson and AJ Southey’s characterisation of Sir Joseph had the audience in stitches.

The set, worked on by the students, was a visual treat, with activity pouring out from every nook and cranny, ably assisted by superb lighting and the wonderful live music. Costuming was bright and cheerful; certainly what one would expect to see onboard a navy sailing ship.

The school’s Cultural Awards will be held this Thursday 1st November, where some of these young performers are sure to be recognised.

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Oct 182018

Kuranui College student AJ Southey has achieved another milestone by being selected to attend the Globe in London next year.

AJ plus 47 other high school students from around the country, descended on Dunedin for the National Shakespeare Schools Programme week. Run by the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company, the week-long workshop concluded with three, 45-minute long performances.

“I was thrilled and excited to attend this week,” explained AJ. “Being amongst like-minded people who are passionate and keen left me feeling grounded and rejuvenated.” The workshop focused on things like physical awareness of the stage and other actors, breathing techniques, speech patterns within words and taking care of yourself.

Only 24 students are selected from the workshop to attend the Globe in London. When he found out he was going, AJ was speechless. “It’s such an honour. I get to have an experience I’ll never forget and at the same time, bring my own culture of waiata and haka to the Globe.”

Over the two weeks in London, AJ will learn about movement, voice, history and Shakespeare’s plays, along with a three day visit with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The whole trip culminates with a free night performance on the Globe stage.

In order for him to attend London next year, he will have to raise $10,000. Another Wairarapa student Jackson Burling will also be attending the Globe and the two of them are looking at fundraising ideas.

“We’d quite like to offer drama classes over the holidays for children,” AJ said. “Because every new generation needs encouragement and someone to believe in them.”

Next year, AJ will be studying for a diploma in stage and screen at Te Auaha, which will lead him onto a Bachelor of Arts in Creativity.

AJ Southey

AJ Southey

Oct 172018

“RNZN Pinafore” is Kuranui’s take on the traditional musical, with all the songs you love…

Three performances only … so make sure you don’t miss out!

Matinee performances on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 at 12:30pm and one evening show on Thursday 25 at 7:00pm start. $5 on the door.

Directed by Juanita McLellan, William Taber (Musical Director), AJ Southey (Production Manager), Kirsty Williams (Stage Manager)and Beth Graham and Grace Voice (Costumes).

RNZN Pinafore