New role for Survivor NZ champion
No man is an island, as Avi Duckor-Jones well knows.
After winning this year’s Survivor New Zealand, he’s returned to his love of the theatre with an original two-man play set on an island rehabilitation facility.
On Dry Land focuses on an older, long-standing rehab attendee and a younger arrival to the island.
Duckor-Jones was on a boat around Waiheke Island when someone pointed out Rotoroa Island to him and told him a little about its history. The island was once used as a rehabilitation centre for addicts.
He found the idea of addicts being shipped off and dumped on an island an interesting one and decided to write a play around it.
‘‘Being confined on an island, these two are forced to face themselves,’’ Duckor-Jones said.
‘‘A big theme throughout the play is control - are the characters in control of themselves? Is one character controlling the other?’’
Joining him on stage was fellow actor John Marwick, taking on the role of Bruce, the older character.
Marwick said there was an extra level of excitement that came with a world premiere.
‘‘We have no idea how this is going to go, there’s no benchmark,’’ he said.
He hoped instead the pair would be able to hear some feedback from the crowd for their four-day long run.
For Duckor-Jones, this would be his debut as an actor and writer combined.
‘‘I think there’s a lot of pres- sure. Usually you have complete trust in the text you’re working on, because it’s Shakespeare.’’
The nerves were starting to flutter ahead of opening night, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
‘‘When you’ve got those nerves fizzing, the sparks fly on stage,’’ Duckor-Jones said.
This isn’t the first time Marwick and Duckor-Jones have played opposite each other either. The pair starred in A Life in the Theatre in 2013, a two-man play charting the relationship between a veteran actor and an up-andcoming star.
On Dry Land
* plays November 14 to 18 at the Muritai School Hall, Eastbourne. Tickets start at $15 and are available from Rona Gallery or at bctt.org.nz.
Left: Drying out is no easy task for actors John Marwick, left, and Avi Duckor-Jones as they play recovering addicts in a new play.