Hermione, Pippi Longstocking and Macbeth could be found at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre this weekend.

They were just some of the characters portrayed by students from around the region at the annual Rotorua Speech and Drama Competition.

The competition saw about 175 students, aged 5 to 18, perform more than 500 pieces and compete for multiple trophies, cups and awards.

Mackenzie Holland as Hermione. Photo/Ben Fraser
Mackenzie Holland as Hermione. Photo/Ben Fraser

The ultimate award was Performer of the Year.


John Paul College student Josh McGrath was one of the seven students competing for the title.

"It's my last year so I wanted to make the most of it," he said.

"I've been doing the competition since Year 7 and it gives you a chance to perform with an audience."

Josh also entered the Shakespeare, group drama, monologue and prepared reading categories.

Cate Mills has been the event convener for five years and said it was a positive event.

Francis Larkin, 9, performing at the Speech and Drama Competition. Photo/Ben Fraser
Francis Larkin, 9, performing at the Speech and Drama Competition. Photo/Ben Fraser

"It's one of the only opportunities in Rotorua to perform and compete. We have our outside adjudicators that come in and give them feedback," she said.

"It's a really positive experience because most people get really positive feedback about how they can improve.

Mills said while most of the competitors were from local schools, the competition also drew competitors from Taupō and Hawke's Bay.

Brianna Lewis, 16, competed in the poem, single character and two impromptu categories.

"It's a bit of fun. It's the highlight of the year and you get to hang out with people that are similarly minded," she said.

Brianna said performing on the stage was a personal achievement but also helped teach other skills.

"It teaches you to be confident, and it helps with memorising things which is useful when you study."

Also in contention for Performer of the Year was Cullen Smith, 18, who said the competition was a chance to showcase the results of hard work to family and friends.

The 2018 competition was adjudicated by Pam Logan, Colleen Bassett and Josephine Carpenter and ran yesterday and today.

The competition winners will be announced later tonight . The Performer of the Year winner and two runners-up go on to compete in a national competition.