Dress­ing the part

For­mer Short­land Street star Jac­que­line Nairn (right and be­low) tells Kerry Har­vey how she had a taste of Vic­to­rian life for her role in The Bro­ken­wood Mys­ter­ies.


When Short­land Street’s much-loved Wendy Cooper was killed in 2016, ac­tress Jac­que­line Nairn said it would take a very dif­fer­ent role to lure her back in front of the cam­era.

“Be care­ful what you wish for right?” Nairn says, of play­ing the mur­der vic­tim in this week’s episode of The Bro­ken­wood Mys­ter­ies.

Char­ity High­more-Browne is the owner and cu­ra­tor of Bro­ken­wood’s His­toric Vil­lage. A stick­ler for all things Vic­to­rian, Char­ity lives in a time warp and her sud­den death – by ar­row – takes DI Mike Shep­herd (Neill Rea) and his team on a jour­ney into New Zealand’s colo­nial past.

“I said it would be nice to play some­one with a bit of an edge, and it’s fair to say Char­ity does have a bit of an edge and she’s un­like any other char­ac­ter I’ve ever played,” says Nairn, who has spent the past 18 months work­ing as a direc­tor on Short­land Street.

“She dresses and lives like she would in 1861. Ev­ery­one around her just dresses up for the live days, but Char­ity ac­tu­ally lives the life, down to corsets and bloomers and hair­style and no makeup. It was quite a de­par­ture from laven­der scrubs, I have to say.” The role gave Nairn an in­sight into what it was like to be a woman in Vic­to­rian New Zealand. “It took two of

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