Kids shine at Christmas time

From left: Isabel Martin, Luke Gendall and Paige Gawn — three Wānaka performers in Queenstown’s annual Christmas Show.

Three local performers are trekking the Crown Range three times a week in a steely show of commitment as they rehearse for Queenstown’s annual Christmas Show. Luke Gendall, Isabel Martin and Paige Gown all had successful auditions to make the cast of 20 children. 

Luke, a year 7 student at Mt Aspiring College takes the starring role as he leads the cast through a diverse journey to discover Christmas traditions from around the world. Paige and Isabel are both in the ensemble with smaller roles requiring multiple quick costume changes as lantern paraders, Indian treatmakers, and little drummers. 

Luke’s mother, Suzy Gendell, said “Luke used to put on shows whenever people came to our house when he was really little so I got him into Dance Wānaka from when he was really young, and Dance Out Loud too. He just loves performing. It’s where he feels comfortable.” 

The 12-year-old has been going to the Christmas Shows for many years so now finds it “surreal” that he’s in one. “I think performing will be a big part of his future,” said Suzy.

The show is also being directed by another local, Lisa Clough from Luggate.


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