When three Northland students each performed a scene from a Shakespeare play as part of a national challenge, they never imagined it would lead them to the stage associated with the famous playwright.
Tauraroa Area School Year 13 student Llewelyn Yearbury-Murphy, Kamo High School Year 13 student Maea Shepherd and Whangārei Girls' High School Year 12 student Reagan Fielding are three of 24 across the country selected to head to London to perform at Shakespeare's Globe in July next year.
"I was over the moon," said Yearbury-Murphy.
"I love Shakespeare and acting is what I want to do so to have an opportunity to go over to London to perform is incredible."
The students have the opportunity because they entered the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand's (SGCNZ) University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.
They all performed a scene in groups at the Te Tai Tokerau regional competition in March.
Murphy's and Fielding's groups made it to the national competition in Wellington in June, and from there they were individually selected to attend the SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production in Dunedin in September.
Meanwhile, Shepherd skipped the national competition and went straight to Dunedin.
All three students were selected, from the 48 who took part in Dunedin event, to go to London.
Yearbury-Murphy, who will be studying theatre at Victoria University of Wellington next year and wants to be an actor, said performing at the Globe was one of his dreams.
"To be able to achieve it is pretty incredible to me. I didn't think I was going to get selected," he said.
Shepherd, who also wants to be an actor and will be studying performing arts at Whitireia next year, said she was in disbelief when she found out she was selected.
"That could be career-changing. Who know what contacts I make through this and I know it will be a huge platform for me to build the rest of my career," she said.
Meanwhile, Fielding said she called her mother, who was overseas, when she heard the good news.
She said acting was more of a hobby, but she was very excited.
"I was so shocked. It's quite a bit of pressure but it will be fun," she said.
Each student has to raise about $9000 for the trip.
Yearbury-Murphy is working and will be holding a craft fair and performance evening at the Riverside Theatre on February 16; Shepherd will be face painting at Christmas events and is organising a variety show at the Octagon Theatre; Fielding will be thinking about fundraising after her exams end.