Three Northland students have one more hurdle to clear before they hopefully get chosen to represent the country at the Globe Theatre in London next year.

Whangarei Boys' High School Year 13 students Tim Atkins and Jonathan Leftley together with Stan Hallet-Pullen from Year 12 are among 46 students selected from throughout New Zealand to perform at the National Shakespeare Schools' Production (NSSP) at Dunedin in October.

The three formed an 11-member cast from their school that scooped three individual awards and a group award at the national University of Otago Sheila Winn Shakespeare festival in Wellington on Queen's Birthday weekend.

They performed Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Nights' Dream.


School drama teacher Fiona Pope is thrilled with their selection for the NSSP, which she said was a testament to their ability on stage. The whole cast of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Nights' Dream were talented, she said, and any of them could have been 'the ones'.

"However, it is a very tough selection process with very specific criteria that these boys have undergone.

"We are very lucky to have three chosen and they should all be extremely proud of themselves," Ms Pope said.

For Hallet-Pullen, acting is in his blood. His parents are involved in the Northland Youth Theatre and his sister nailed the best costume award at last year's University of Otago Sheila Winn Shakespeare festival in Wellington.

"I've been doing it [acting] all the way through high school. It's something I enjoy and it's a lot of fun, the buzz you get both on and off the stage," he said.

"It feels awesome to be recognised. Otago is a big deal but I am slightly nervous because it will be a new experience for me."

He won an award in Wellington for his role as Mercutio in a new title created by the assessors for this year's festival called "Finding New Naughty Bits in Shakespeare."

Atkins received the Best Individual Comic Role for playing Quince, a transgender director who slowly loses his/her "rag" throughout the bumbling performance and ends up wig-less, shoe-less and holding it all together with rope as the troupe derail the big debut.


Leftley was in the cast of A Midsummer Nights' Dream.

The 46 students chosen to perform in Dunedin will be judged by renowned theatre directors Stuart Young, Colin Spicer and Kim Morgan. Twenty two students will be selected for the Globe Theatre.