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Kura For­rester — Ac­tor

Metro Magazine NZ - - Calendar - TEXT — IN­DIA HENDRIKSE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY — MIKE ROOKE

At­tend­ing the pres­ti­gious École Philippe Gaulier clown school near Paris can ei­ther make or break an ac­tor. While oth­ers cried and crum­bled un­der Gaulier’s bru­tal cri­tiques, Kura For­rester flour­ished.

The Auck­land ac­tor — who at­tended the school for eight weeks dur­ing a two-year overseas hia­tus — says the ex­pe­ri­ence helped pre­pare her for the suc­cess she’s now reap­ing back home.

“I spent two years away from this coun­try and I re­ally gained a lot of perspective about what we do as ac­tors and what our theatre scene is like and sort of came back with a new sense of con­fi­dence.”

For­rester re­turned to Auck­land in

2015, af­ter work­ing in a restau­rant dur­ing her time in London and putting act­ing on hold.

The 32-year-old is now, seem­ingly, ev­ery­where. From work­ing with Chris Parker and Tom Sains­bury last year on com­edy show Camp­ing, to de­vis­ing her own stand-up gig, Tiki Tour, to re­cently per­form­ing in ATC’s Amadeus and, now, owning a role in the com­pany’s When Sun & Moon Col­lide and step­ping back into Mas­sive Com­pany’s The Whole­hearted for its sec­ond sea­son, she’s in hot de­mand.

Be­ing away from home trig­gered For­rester’s re­al­i­sa­tion that telling

New Zealand sto­ries was of ut­most im­por­tance to her. The Whole­hearted has given her a plat­form to do just that.

“I feel like the ethos around Mas­sive Com­pany is so strong it’s al­ways a place for me to come back to,” she says. “All of us older ac­tors talk about the com­pany as our home fire burn­ing, be­cause there’s a real sense of fam­ily in it.”

In The Whole­hearted, For­rester plays her­self. Her per­son­al­ity is a bub­ble of en­ergy and fun, some­thing Gaulier clearly missed: “Once, he said to me, ‘Kura, you are so bor­ing, you are like a school teacher in Welling­ton and it is rain­ing,’” she says. “And I was like, ‘Oh, okay, thanks man.’” She starts belly laugh­ing here; Gaulier clearly mis­judged her.

While For­rester grew up in Welling­ton, she’s Ngati Porou on her dad’s side and proud to rep­re­sent Maori women in theatre. “I’m so thank­ful for peo­ple like Rachel House, Nancy Brun­ning and Miriama McDow­ell, and all these amaz­ing women who have come be­fore me,” she says. “There’s been such a great ex­am­ple set by Maori women in theatre in New Zealand that I just don’t want to fuck it up. I al­ways want to be conscious about roles that I do and use the pow­ers for good.”

WHEN SUN & MOON COL­LIDE, ASB WA­TER­FRONT THEATRE, UN­TIL JULY 6, ATC.CO.NZ, AND THE WHOLE­HEARTED, HER­ALD THEATRE, SEPTEM­BER 9-12, MAS­SIVE­COM­PANY.CO.NZ

There’s been such a great ex­am­ple set by Maori women in theatre in New Zealand that I just don’t want to fuck it up.

LEFT— Kura For­rester: a bub­ble of en­ergy and fun.

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