Not ‘slightly dotty’ Elizabeth
Actress Elizabeth McRae is still going strong even if it has been ‘‘100 years’’ since she got into the business.
She’s most well known for playing Shortland Street receptionist Marj Brasch in the 1990s.
In September she’ll star in the stage comedy Gwen in Purgatory.
It’s being directed by her daughter, Shortland Street director Katherine McRae.
‘‘She thought ‘that’d be a good part for my mum’ and it’s good because I’ve always wanted to work together. We’ve done a few things together, but nothing quite like this.
‘‘It’s not a problem. I respect her as a director and she respects me as an actor.’’
Gwen in Purgatory follows the story of 90-year-old Gwen who is struggling to cope with the array of modern gadgets that fill a new house on the edge of suburbia that she’s been moved into by her difficult children.
‘‘I like Gwen. There are not a lot of roles out there for older women. It’s strange because older men seem to get nice roles, whereas older women are usually batty,’’ she says.
‘‘Gwen is slightly dotty, but in many ways she’s still fine.’’
Mrs McRae and her husband Don McRae have lived in Mt Eden for more than 50 years.
She jokes she started acting 100 years ago, but in fact made her screen debut in 1974 on the children’s mini-series The Games Affair which was based around the Commonwealth Games held here in the same year.
The 76-year-old has appeared in a raft of other stage productions since being on Shortland Street.
Unlike her latest character, Mrs McRae isn’t too daunted by new technologies.
‘‘I’ve got an iPad. I’m not very good, but I keep trying.’’