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St Thomas of Canterbury College Theatre Sports

It's An Old Cliché But True …

St Thomas of Canterbury - winnersThe World's A Stage - especially for Daniel Pengelly, Nicholas McDonnell and Dominic Wallis, from St Thomas of Canterbury College, winners of Canterbury Theatre Sports 2004.

These guys are fast and furious. Almost too fast and too furious for this Pulse reporter who missed a whole heap of what was going on whilst having to do a lot of head swivelling between 1, 2 & 3 answers! They are obviously so used to each other they can practically tell what's going to be said before it's even out there - or else they're damned good at lip reading.

Trying to hold fast to a normal conversation was hopeless and one can't help but see why they came first in all three rounds. The teams from Timaru Boys, Burnside, Christs College and Riccarton , were probably left open-mouthed and stuttering too, just like me after half an hour in their incredible and totally unique company. It's almost subconscious, I'm sure, as natural as breathing to them, as they slip into flawless banter and quips and swap subjects within seconds. Take this for example - one minute we'd been talking about what they were going to do when they finished school and within seconds this little interlude cropped up …

  1. You see, my family's just moved to a lifestyle block
  2. A ranch
  3. It's called Hoon Hay

As an interviewer, I gladly relinquished my role and became a one-person audience who just sat back and enjoyed the show … but here's a few of the details I did manage to salvage in-between laughing.

St Thomas's teamWhat makes for a successful theatre sports team?

  1. You've gotta have fun and not take yourself seriously because it all shows when you're up there on stage. If you're not into it people can really tell.
  2. We're never really playing for the audience because we're really amusing ourselves. There's been quite a few times when we haven't been able to finish a scene or a game just because we're laughing too much - although this happens mainly at practises and we usually manage to pull it together on the night.
  3. Plus of course, we've got natural born ability … oh, and don't forget we're simply the best and we never screw up. When we arrived at the finals I looked around and said "It's in the bag, boys" … Yeah, and one other important thing - we never take ourselves seriously - or have we already made that point?????

How was it at the finals?

  1. Okay. We had three rounds of games including the Open Scene that was good - we got challenged to include a character with a flaw … oh, and then we got asked to do a scene with toast in it.
  2. The Court Jesters were doing the judging but, um, well, we didn't really listen to them much. You could say we were kinda rebellious I guess ( suggested alternative: innovative?) Yeah, that's the word I was looking for!
  3. Like we weren't allowed to act out female roles but there are some instances where you simply have to, so we kinda went ahead and did our own stuff.

Have you all known each other for very long?

  1. Yeah, him and him
  2. We've known each other since primary school
  3. But none of us play with each other any more

***End of first act due to overwhelming laughter***

What's been the best experience about it all?

  1. Hmm.
  2. Probably winning the audience over.
  3. When they respond there's nuthin' like it and because they're right into it, it kinda feeds our performance, you know?

Any previous experience?

  1. In 2002 we won.
  2. 2003 was a BAD year - one of the guys left and we seemed to have a difference in style and had to get used to working around it.
  3. And then in 2004, we were back to normal and winning again.

The winning teamWhat about other drama productions etc?

  1. Only the school productions.
  2. Bats was the beginning of it all for me.
  3. Mine was Legends Night - I had two parts - one as a woman …

And for the future?

  1. Canterbury Uni - I'm looking at psychology.
  2. Law. Lawyer.
  3. I'm off to Polytech for 2 years to train as a chef and then maybe Uni …

But nothing in the Performing Arts?

They wandered off, still jesting as jesters do … and I toddled off to my car, holding aching ribs and reckoned it was a real shame there weren't more of these sorts of guys around - the ones that simply want to laugh and have others do the same.