Elizabeth only dotty on the job

WHAT'S NEXT: Veteran actress Elizabeth McRae is making her next stage appearance in the comedy ifGwen in Purgatorynf.
WHAT'S NEXT: Veteran actress Elizabeth McRae is making her next stage appearance in the comedy ifGwen in Purgatorynf.

Actress Elizabeth McRae is still going strong even if it has been "100 years" since she got into the business.

She's most well known for playing Shortland Street receptionist Marj Brasch in the 1990s.

In September she'll star in the stage comedy Gwen in Purgatory.

It's being directed by her daughter, Shortland Street director Katherine McRae from Pt Chevalier.

"She thought ‘that'd be a good part for my mum' and it's good because I've always wanted to work together. We've done a few things together, but nothing quite like this.

"It's not a problem. I respect her as a director and she respects me as an actor."

Gwen in Purgatory follows the story of 90-year-old Gwen who is struggling to cope with the modern gadgets that fill a new house she's been moved into by her difficult children.

"I like Gwen. There are not a lot of roles out there for older women. It's strange because older men seem to get nice roles, whereas older women are usually batty," she says.

"Gwen is slightly dotty, but in many ways she's still fine."

She jokes she started acting 100 years ago, but in fact made her screen debut in 1974 on the children's mini-series The Games Affair which was based around the Commonwealth Games held here in the same year.

The 76-year-old has appeared in a raft of other stage productions since being on Shortland Street.

Unlike her latest character, Mrs McRae isn't too daunted by new technologies.

"I've got an iPad. I'm not very good, but I keep trying."

PLAY NEEDS HELP

Gwen in Purgatory needs a hand getting off the ground.

The Twist Productions play has received funding from the Auckland Council and TAPAC to cover most costs but still needs funds to cover things such as insurances, printing and rehearsal space.

Organisers have until Tuesday to raise another $780 to meet their $3500 target.

An account has been set up so people can make donations.

Visit pledgeme.co.nz/1221 to contribute.

Auckland City Harbour News