Third Annual Canning Shakespeare Competition a Great Success

On Saturday 21 July twelve local high school students participated in Andrew Hastie MP’s third annual Canning Shakespeare Competition at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC), competing for cash prizes, tickets to Julius Caesar and the honour of becoming Canning’s best youth Shakespearean of the year.

Students performed monologues from works including Hamlet, Henry IV, Henry V, Richard III, King John, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and As You Like It in front of a panel of expert judges. The panel included professional actress and Head of Acting at WAAPA, Glenda Linscott, and Mandurah local and long-time theatre professional Merle Brown, who has been heavily involved with local theatre for years, including with the Canning Shakespeare Competition.

The annual competition, which started in 2016, invites students aged 15-17 to submit a video performance of a monologue from one of William Shakespeare’s works. This year, the top twelve were then selected for the final performance before a live audience.

Sharni Uchtman from Austin Cove Baptist College won first place, performing as Constance from King John.

Second prize was won by Kade Chatfield from Frederick Irwin Anglican School.

Third by Abby Jennings from Austin Cove Baptist College. 

In addition to prize money, MPAC gave the top three contestants two tickets each to Bell Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar on August 14.

“William Shakespeare is one of the greatest storytellers of all time. His understanding of human experience and emotion is unmatched in the English language. I want our next generation of Australians to engage with this heritage, to experience it and internalise it.”

“The competition is about encouraging young people to take a risk and build self-confidence through engaging with the work of William Shakespeare.” Mr Hastie said.

“The performing arts are a great way to build confidence in our youth and to bring people together from all walks of life,” he added.

The event was co-sponsored by Senator Slade Brockman, and run in partnership with Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and Bell Shakespeare.