Antonia Prebble goes back to school

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2013
Antonia Prebble
Fairfax NZ
ACTING VETERAN: Actress Antonia Prebble.

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Antonia Prebble is used to being interrupted by the school bell, she hears it every rehearsal.

But the 28-year-old TV actress is a professional when dealing with distractions.

The stage production she stars in - The Glass Menagerie - was moved to Selwyn College's theatre at the last minute after fire damaged the Maidment Theatre last month.

"I had no idea that high school theatres existed," Prebble enthused. "I mean this is a professional theatre.

"I think it's actually better than the Maidment in terms of sight lines, the seats are more comfortable, the sound is better."

The one downside is the bell sounding during matinee performances, but it's a small price to pay.

There was a panicked moment when the Auckland Theatre Company thought the show might not go on.

It was an especially nailbiting time for Prebble, who turned down the opportunity to get involved in a career-advancing Australian TV show for the role.

"It was hilarious, in a terrible way, the irony."

But Selwyn came through in the end. Coincidentally, the Tennessee Williams play was frequently referenced by American acting coach Larry Moss, when Prebble trained with him recently.

And her character's nickname "Blue Roses" draws links with the name of Prebble's latest TV crime drama, Blue Rose, which has just finished its first season.

In The Glass Menagerie, Prebble was keen to take the role of Laura, a "desperately shy" girl who needs coaxing from the shadow of her overbearing mother.

"I just decided creatively it was worth pulling out of the running of those other opportunities that would take my career further."

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