Bohally's Kiwi Christmas tale

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 14:48 11/12/2012
Morgan Gurr
Emma Allen

Teacher Rachael Moran, Year 8 Bohally Intermediate School pupils Morgan Gurr, Caitlyn Woodley, Chloe Crawford, Emma Gardiner

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A Bohally Intermediate School pupil has performed on stage with some of New Zealand's best-known actors from the small screen.

Caitlyn Woodley was among the group of year 8 pupils who won the ChildFund New Zealand Pens Against Poverty national play-writing competition in August, with their adaptation of the contemporary Kiwi Christmas tale Mary's Christmas Yarn.

The play was performed by professional Kiwi actors Jason Wu, George Henare, Annie Whittle, Laura Hill, Andrew Laing, Rachel Nash and TV One newsreader Peter Williams.

And right up there with them was Caitlyn, as Mary. She got the part after an audition.

Although it involved 12 hours of rehearsals over four days, the experience of meeting, talking, working and performing with professional actors had been "spectacular", Caitlyn said.

"This morning I was so excited I asked my mum if we could go back up to Auckland and do it all again," she said yesterday.

Group members Sammy Jarvis, Morgan Gurr, Emma Gardiner, Chloe Crawford and Grace Williams were among an audience of more than 200 who watched Caitlyn in the show at St Matthew-in-the-City, in Auckland, on Monday night last week.

Seeing the play performed by real actors had been rewarding, Emma said. Morgan hoped their work might lead to Combined Colleges' school productions in Blenheim being written by students.

The pupils were accompanied by family and Bohally Intermediate teacher Rachael Moran. They appeared on TV One's Breakfast and Good Morning shows as well as Nightline on TV3.

A tour of the Shortland Street set, the Mary Poppins musical and visits to the SkyTower and Auckland Zoo were among highlights of the three-day trip, Miss Moran said.

Proceeds from the performance go to ChildFund New Zealand's Christmas Gifts that Grow cause, for gifts to poverty-stricken families in the developing world.

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- The Marlborough Express

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