Whale tale winner for school

After an evening of music, dance and drama, Whangarei Intermediate clinched the Stage Challenge trophy for the second year in a row.

Forum North was filled with talented students telling different stories with dance and drama at the Whangarei ASB 2013 Stage Challenge and J Rock competition on Friday.

Whangarei Intermediate told the story of Paikea, the character from Witi Ihimaera's novel The Whale Rider and her struggle for acceptance as a young woman wanting to lead her tribe.

The team of 98 students told the story full of emotion that culminated in the famous scene when Paikea is rescued from the ocean by a whale and returned home.

Teacher in charge, Susan McDiarmid said the performance was amazing, and the students were thrilled to win the competition again.

The students collaborated with Ms McDiarmid to create the spectacle and banded together to become props, such as waka and the whale.

Event manager Sarah-Jane Phillips said Whangarei Intermediate captivated the audience with their performance.

"Watching the story we all know and love come to life was amazing," said design judge Gayle Dowsett.

"The way they created their sets was thrilling ... clearly well-rehearsed and a lot of effort has been put into it, as it looked incredible."

Whangarei Boys' High School placed second in the competition with their comedy performance about the struggle men go through to find love.

Head of drama at Boys' High Robert Pollock said the students provided the crowd with some light-hearted relief and were delighted to finish second.

Whangarei Girls' High School finished a close third with their performance My Tender Thoughts.

- Northern Advocate

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