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Wintec students land fairy tale roles in international Shrek: The Musical production

Talented Wintec | Te Pukenga performing arts students Memphis Ward, Helen Drysdale-Dunn, and Iosia Tofilau land fairy tale roles in Shrek: The Musical, touring the Middle East next year.

Three students from the Theatre stream of the Wintec | Te Pūkenga Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts degree have a busy summer ahead, having landed roles in the international touring production of Shrek: The Musical. Graduating Wintec students Helen Drysdale-Dunn and Memphis Ward and current second-year Iosia Tofilau will be part of the fully professional New Zealand cast to perform the musical in a number of Middle Eastern countries between January and March. 

Helen and Memphis have been cast as ensemble members, donning multiple costumes for fun roles including the Wicked Witch, Knights in the Dragon Tower, and the citizens of Duloc; Iosia has leapt into a leading role, playing Donkey, famously voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original movie. They will join recent Music graduate Jessica Ruck-Nu’u who was a standout as the Dragon in the New Zealand touring cast of this production through 2022. Alongside other members of the creative team, the students will work under Wintec Music and Performing Arts tutor Nick Braae who has been Musical Director for this show.

For Memphis, he “can’t wait to be surrounded by talented actors from across the country and having the chance to explore the world outside New Zealand. It is amazing to jump into touring straight out of study.” 

Helen is still coming to terms with being cast in Shrek. “Being part of a professional show is something I have dreamed about. I have worked hard to achieve this goal, but it still feels surreal, and I never expected to experience a tour of the Middle East!”

Wintec Music and Performing Arts Team Manager David Sidwell is thrilled for the success. “This is an incredible opportunity for our graduating and current students to make their mark. This will just be the beginning for all of them.”

“Their success speaks volumes to the calibre of singing, dancing and acting training they are getting from our talented tutors in the degree programme. The world of professional musical theatre is competitive, but our students are prepared and ready to foot it with the best.”

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