ON STAGE: Eleven-year-old Amity-Rae Medcalf is taking part in the Bundaberg Eisteddfod, which begins today.
ON STAGE: Eleven-year-old Amity-Rae Medcalf is taking part in the Bundaberg Eisteddfod, which begins today. Mike Knott BUN270418EISTEDDFOD2

Characters take to stage for eisteddfod

FOR an 11-year-old, Amity-Rae Medcalf hasn't aged well.

Her grey rollered hair, big glasses, cardigan and slippers belie her youth.

Luckily for Amity-Rae, the effects of old age will begin to wear off come next Friday.

The St Joseph's Catholic Primary School student is one of 500 competitors warming up their vocal chords for this year's Speech and Drama Eisteddfod, which gets underway tomorrow.

Treading the boards is nothing new for the Year 6 student, who began learning the art when she was just three years old.

She now attends two drama schools and dedicates five hours a week to classes.

"I like being different characters and expressing my talent,” she said.

"I don't have a favourite category, but I do like character recitals because it's more acting.”

All up she will compete in 11 categories at the eisteddfod, including in a duologue with partner in crime Nicholas Krebs, who she describes as "a very, very talented actor”.

Together they will deliver a scene from The Old Chestnuts, both playing elderly ladies who meet up in a park.

Amity-Rae says she practises "a lot” but it's all worth it when she steps out on stage.

"Some pieces you don't have to memorise like your reading of prose, but the rest you do. You have to know it all by heart.”

The young thespian has plans to open a drama club at her school and in June will travel to Parliament House in Brisbane where she will receive a prestigious Barbara Sisley Award for excellence in the Australian Music Examinations Board Drama and Performance exams.

Amity-Rae's mum, Tammy, is also heavily involved with the eisteddfod and said this year the committee had introduced a novice section, which was about encouraging competitors and giving them an "opportunity to just have a go”.

The committee is in desperate need of volunteers for general tasks.

If you would like to lend a hand, contact Diane Cooper on 0412 353 327.



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