Stage set for soapy serial shenanigans
Titahi Bay resident Kaaryn Cater, who has a long association with Porirua Little Theatre, helps expose the dirt behind a soap in Stagecraft’s production of Serial Killers, which opens tomorrow at Gryphon Theatre.
Written by James Griffin ( Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Sione’s Wedding), Serial Killers follows the lives of the script writers of fictional medical soap Heart of Hearts. The play won awards and rave reviews and debuted as a television series in 2005.
Cater, who plays scriptwriter Sally and who in real life works as an academic adviser at Whiteria Polytechnic, says the play draws on a potential conflict between writers and actors.
‘‘The stage and screen students I work with understand the responsibility they have for bringing a writer’s words to life, and they recognise that an actor’s interpretation of a role may not completely match the writer’s original intention.
‘‘Writers have to live with this and actors must accept that the writer remains the ultimate creator in the partnership.’’
In the show, as Cater and the other writers scheme to kill off the annoying male lead, the tables are turned when the actor decides he doesn’t want to be written off and takes control.
‘‘While on one level it’s just plain funny, the tables are also turned on the usual rhetoric of fiction influencing reality from the perspective of the viewer. Here, the actor’s on-screen per- sona becomes more real than life itself. It’s an interesting skew on our increasing appetite for TV and video entertainment.’’
Bite me: Kaaryn Cater with one of her ‘‘lethal’’ colleagues, played by Alan Carabott, in Serial Killers, a satire about TV soap writers.