Box­ing gloves come off on stage

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

Si­mon Ward’s new play prom­ises to pull no punches.

The Auck­land ac­tor and play­wright is tack­ling a top­i­cal sub­ject by play­ing a sports­man deal­ing with the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of a vi­o­lent out­burst.

I did have to have that way of car­ry­ing my­self. It’s def­i­nitely a shift for me to play that sort of per­son

vided the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore what drives this kind of be­hav­iour.

‘‘I think in cer­tain codes there is bit of a mon­grel men­tal­ity that is al­lowed to per­pet­u­ate and I think there are a lot of young guys who strug­gle with com­part­men­tal­is­ing the way you be­have on the field and the way you be­have out in the world.’’

Mr Ward con­sulted a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist to get the as­sess­ment de­tails right and trans­formed him­self phys­i­cally for the role to bet­ter con­vey an ath­lete’s pres­ence.

‘‘The di­rec­tor said it’s not like we see you in the ring go­ing 12 rounds with some­one, but you are com­bat­ive all the time, hos­tile and re­luc­tant.

‘‘I did have to have that way of car­ry­ing my­self. It’s def­i­nitely a shift for me to play that sort of per­son.’’

He says the play prom­ises to be con­fronting.

‘‘When you are deal­ing with vi­o­lence you would be do­ing a dis­ser­vice to pull your punches – so to speak.’’

Thumper is play­ing at The Base­ment for five nights, open­ing Fe­bru­ary 4.

Photo: JOE DAW­SON

Tough sub­ject: Auck­land ac­tor and play­wright Si­mon Ward wrote and is star­ring in Thumper, a play look­ing at the vi­o­lent off-field ac­tions of a sports­man.

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