The Dominion Post

Duncan Sarkies, actor, writer


DUNCAN SARKIES was the kid at school who came alive when he read a story to the class, so it’s no surprise that the actor and writer likes nothing more than turning his books into a live stage performanc­e.

Sarkies reads and performs his second novel, The Demolition Man, in a Circa Theatre show supported by musician Shaun O’Brien.

‘‘I loved theatre study and I’ve done performanc­e and comedy, but the thing that gives me the best thrill is reading my work. I make it theatrical, I make it come alive.’’

‘‘The ideal gig is when you get so lost in it,’’ says Sarkies, who took four years to write the novel about insurance investigat­or Tom Spotswood, who has lost his socks, suitcase, ex-wife and son. Fresh from performanc­es in the New Zealand Festival, Sarkies takes the stage in a humorous and sometimes heartbreak­ing look at families, memories and the fragility of the human mind. ‘‘Ultimately it’s about one who has lost so much . . . but ultimately it’s about acceptance,’’ he says.

Apart from the stage show, he’s working with his brother Rob Sarkies hatching another film script, following the success of their two feature films Scarfies and Two Little Boys.

Duncan is also in the ‘‘superearly stages’’ of writing his own comedy show for Australian television. But while much of his work is being written or shown across the Tasman, Sarkies has lived in Wellington for 20 years and wouldn’t choose to be based anywhere else.

‘‘I love it here. Thanks to Skype I can do so much from Wellington,’’ he says. The Cuba St bucket fountain. It’s an inspiring piece of architectu­re. I like playing ‘‘Cuba fountain roulette’’, walking close to the channel and risking getting splashed.

then over for a fancy coffee. Cleaning out my shed quite often leaves me coming back to the house with some new ridiculous thought or silly idea. I’m a hoarder and a terrible labeller. I have boxes marked ‘‘miscellane­ous’’, ‘‘miscellane­ous recent’’ and ‘‘to be sorted’’. The process of attempting to label items in my life leads me to the distractio­n of having fun ideas I want to write down. So labelling and sorting remains a perenniall­y unfinished task. I collect chip packets. Everyone was collecting stamps and coins, but I chose chip packets, which involved eating a lot of chips over the years. anyone with good taste appreciate­s. A great place to drink beer and see people you know losing their dignity.

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