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Howick Little Theatre's Peninsula

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 12:22 07/09/2012
Peninsula
ROSE CAWLEY

IN CHARACTER: Actors Julian Harrison and Kelly Scott as the characters they perform in the play Peninsula.

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The students have become the inspiration for two Howick theatre teachers as they prepare to take the stage as children at the Howick Little Theatre.

Julian Harrison and Kelly Scott are performing in the play Peninsula, which is starting its Auckland premier season tomorrow night.

Both actors joined Howick Childrens and Youth Theatre as kids and years later returned as teachers.

Mr Harrison says their teaching careers have bolstered their performances as children in the play.

"We've spent our life teaching children so we have no end of students to pick qualities from and create those characters with," he says.

Having the reputable Howick Little Theatre so close allows them to keep their craft fresh and pass that spark for acting on to the children.

"To be able to teach well you need to keep your practice up, I think if you didn't keep things up yourself you would start to begrudge teaching."

Mr Harrison, who is deputy principal at the theatre school, says the Howick Little Theatre offers a way for the students to see the teachers in action.

"In the last production I was in, As You Like It, I had a child come up to me afterwards, who I had just directed earlier in the year in a Shakespeare, and he said to me ‘now I know what you meant'."

He says without being exposed to that performance the student may never have fully grasped what he had been trying to teach him.

The actor says the play is set to become a New Zealand classic.

"I find it a very moving and sentimental story, even though I am only in my mid-30s there is so much of the growing up and the New Zealandness of the play that just rings true."

Kelly Scott says it is this "Kiwiness" and a polished script that will make it one of New Zealand's most performed plays in years to come.

"You read the script and some of the things the characters say, it's like ‘oh my mum used to say that', so it is that really natural New Zealand family life."

The play will run for three weeks and tickets can be bought at iticket.co.nz or by phone on 534 1406.

Peninsula preview from Peter Webster on Vimeo.

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- Eastern Courier

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