Andrew Grainger had always been interested in acting but came to it as a profession by way of a friend – she was headed to London to audition for drama college and asked him to keep her company. He did and he got in. He was 16, it was the late 70s and his dad said he should stay in school. As it turned out, he only lasted three more months at school. “Then they asked me to leave.” So London and a musical theatre course it was.
Dedicated British telly fans might recognise Grainger from shows such as The Bill, and EastEnders and a bevy of others. He also worked alongside Robert Redford in the movie Spy Game. Since moving to New Zealand just over a decade ago with his Kiwi wife Sacha, he has kept busy on screen and stage. Earlier this year, he was in Chekhov classic The Cherry Orchard while his current project, Filthy Business, returns him to a part of the world he’s very familiar with: East London. It’s a dark comedy, a genre Grainger says is layered – it can be moving, shocking and extremely funny all at the same time.
“Which is what life is about, really. In all kinds of darkness we can find humour.”
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Bovril! Auckland Theatre Company’s Filthy Business is at the ASB Waterfront Theatre until August 29.