Intimacies and intricacies of country house goings-on
Getting the chance to perform in a play she studied as a drama student is a dream for actress Dena Kennedy.
After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber will be at The Basement from August 27 to September 7.
Miss Kennedy will perform alongside Erroll Shand and Jodie Hillock, who is the driving force behind the production.
"This has been her baby. Jodie has wanted to do this for years and she is perfectly cast in the lead role. She's an amazing actress and I wanted to suport her in this," Miss Kennedy says.
The play is a reworking of August Strindberg's tragedy Miss Julie, but relocated to an English country house in July 1945.
Full of electricity, sexuality and lust, the play follows a relationship constrained by the class system of the time.
"It's a highly intense relationship that goes horribly wrong."
Mr Shand plays John the chauffeur, while Miss Hillock plays the daughter of the house who commands his attention. Miss Kennedy plays Christine, who is the cook and John's partner.
Watching characters in such a tumultuous emotional state in an intimate performance space will be quite an experience, Miss Kennedy says.
"It is one of those plays that should be seen. Unless you are a drama student you might not have come across it before, but everyone should see or experience it as it's not often performed."
A graduate of the National Drama School in Wellington, the 34-year-old has been working in theatre, film and television for 11 years. She went back to university and did her masters in film production and is now equally happy behind the camera as in front of it.
It makes her highly employable - not all actors have the desire or the skills to work as a production manager or line producer. While there is plenty of production work, acting in a play like this is important, she says.
"It is so beautifully written. It's good for actors to do plays like this. It helps keep your craft up to a high level because the quality of the writing is so high."
After Miss Julie is at The Basement, August 27 to September 7. Tickets from iticket.co.nz or phone 361 1000.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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