HIGHLY STRUNG: Pukerua Bay School students and their hobbits surround performance narrator Michael Nelson.
JOHN NICHOLSON/Evening Post
School creates hobbits on shoe-string budget
The Evening Post – October 13, 2000
For every million dollars spent by Peter Jackson to make The Lord Of The Rings, his old school, Pukerua Bay, spent less than a dollar on its performance of J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Unlike the film-maker, who is using thousands of actors, the Form 2 pupils’ 40 characters were all puppets.
Teacher Sandy Moeke said the children had been working on the play all year, beginning by making the puppets as part of a technology module. They had adapted the script themselves, even incorporating rap links to bridge sections they had missed out of the book.
She said putting on the show would have cost about $300.
Mrs Moeke said unfortunately Mr Jackson couldn’t come to the show last night because he was working on his $360-plus million film trilogy in the South Island – but his mother Joan was there.
“Mrs Jackson came to watch, which was really special, and she loved it too. The kids thought that was just wonderful,” she said.
Michael Lassak, 13, said he liked Tolkien stories because they were mythical and he would certainly be going to the movies to check out Jackson’s version.