Theatre to end with win­ning streak

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - RICHARD MAYS

Nu­dity and the theatre don’t al­ways go well to­gether. Es­pe­cially in an in­ti­mate venue like Cen­tre­point Theatre.

Di­rec­tor of Cen­tre­point’s new pro­duc­tion The Streaker Jeff Kings­ford-Brown is hop­ing that one won’t get in the way of the other when his last pro­duc­tion as artis­tic di­rec­tor opens its preChrist­mas sea­son on Satur­day.

‘‘There’s not a huge de­mand for nu­dity on stage th­ese days, un­less it’s nudie funny, which is what this is. It’s a nice way to fin­ish, with a com­edy - it’s what I en­joy, and [play­wright] Greg [Cooper] has given us some­thing quite meaty.

‘‘He has a re­ally good ear for Kiwi speech pat­terns and id­ioms. He’s an ac­tor too, so he knows how things work on stage.’’

Any­one who saw MAMIL (Mid­dle-Aged Men In Ly­cra) or The His­tory of the Royal New Zealand Navy (Abridged), will have some idea of Cooper’s style.

Hero Ron Hewlett, played by city-raised ac­tor Greg John­son, has lost his job, is about to lose his house, and is be­ing en­cour­aged to lose his dig­nity as well.

The Tur­bos have made the fi­nal of the ITM Cup. A lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion has of­fered $1 mil­lion to any­one who will put a logo on their bum, and streak the length of the field with­out get­ting smashed by se­cu­rity. With a lit­tle arm-twist­ing, a plan and the help of friends, Ron is pre­pared to give it a go.

‘‘It’s a fantasy,’’ Kings­fordBrown said. ’’But we’re hop­ing to in­spire the Tur­bos to go all the way next time. Rugby plays a big part in this show.’’

John­son, who will be re­mem­bered for his Cen­tre­point roles in The Mo­tor Camp and Penal­ties, Pints and Pirou­ettes, and in movie The In­sa­tiable Moon, is joined by five other ac­tors, in­clud­ing Palmer­ston North-raised Car­rie Green.

A Welling­ton Theatre Award win­ner, Green took part in Cen­tre­point’s White Rab­bit, Red Rab­bit, and has played here in tour­ing shows I Could Live Here, and Cap­i­tal E’s Kiwi Moon.

One of her chal­lenges in The Streaker is to play a 7-year-old, while she has her own mis­chievous idea of how to pub­li­cise the play.

‘‘We should ask peo­ple to streak at the Speed­way, and if they make it across the field, they get a dou­ble pass to the show.’’

Or you could keep your gear on and buy tick­ets like most other peo­ple.

Greg John­son as Ron Hewlett, with Teresa Wood­ham as Ron’s mum, Llana in ‘‘The Streaker’’.

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