Students impress in hard-hitting play

Monday July 02, 2018 Written by Published in Education
Tereora College Level 3 Drama class after their performance of ‘Verbatim’ on Thursday night. 18062945 Tereora College Level 3 Drama class after their performance of ‘Verbatim’ on Thursday night. 18062945

Level 3 Drama students from Tereora College put on a performance of the play Verbatim as part of their assessment on Thursday night.


The play written by New Zealand writers William Brandt and Miranda Harcourt, tells the story of Aaron Daly who is serving life in prison after murdering a young girl in a house robbery.

It centres around six monologues from Aaron and five members of his immediate family.

It was these monologues that drew drama teacher Ellen Gardner to choosing it for her students.

“At the start of this year I challenged them with a series of long monologues and this was just a natural progression in being able to continue to build their skills.”

Despite the heavy subject matter and at times strong language, Gardner said she was proud of how her students took on the challenging role.

“They all did very very well. While it was a serious play, they were able to put a little bit of their humour into some of the roles.

“With some of the strong language I said to each of them if they are not comfortable saying the word in front of their parents/families then we would change it and with some, we did.”

With a limited number of roles available in the play, the decision was made to have Aaron played by three students: Logan Melvin, Sakaraia Simpson and Adoni Wichman-Rairoa.

Doing this, Gardner said they were able to showcase the subconscious side of Aaron in three different ways.

Gardner said it was nice to be able to showcase her students in the new seminar room which is part of the new Tereora College administration building that opened at the start of this year.

Verbatim was created after Brandt and Harcourt conducted research within prisons, talking to people who had committed murder. And as the name suggests, every word in the show comes from a real person.

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