Robyn Malcolm's dual role

JESS MCALLEN
Last updated 19:46 25/07/2014
DANIEL GALVIN/stuff.co.nz

Robyn Malcolm is stepping back from the screens and onto the stage for her performance in Bertolt Brecht’s Good Soul of Szechuan.

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Robyn Malcolm is stepping back from the screens and onto the stage for her performance in Bertolt Brecht’s Good Soul of Szechuan.

The play, which opens to the public this Saturday at Auckland’s Q Theatre, explores the line between good and evil.

Malcolm plays dual roles of Shen Te who she calls a “tart with a heart” and Shui Ta (“a total hardass”).

The play is set in a geographical combination of China and post-earthquake Christchurch, says Malcolm.

“So we’re in a devastated part of the world that is racked with poverty. Three gods appear and need somewhere to stay the night but no one will take them in because everyone is too poor.”

Prostitute, Shen Te, offers some hospitality and in return is gifted money. As a way to help her world she buys a tobacco shop.

“But because she’s surrounded by incredibly poor people who are only interested in their own survival she gets taken for a ride and her goodness is exploited.”

To survive she creates an alter-ego – her cousin, Shui Ta.

 “He comes in and kicks everybody out and runs the business successfully,” says Malcolm.

The Outrageous Fortune and Agent Anna star says being on stage helps flex her acting muscle.

 “I think the audience teaches you what it is that you’ve made. It’s a mistake to try and predict the outcome. The audience will find something that never occurred to us hilariously funny and bits we thought would get a massive laugh get silence.

 “I like to listen to what the audience is doing because they tend to guide you a bit.”

 The “fairy tale for adults” play is all about the liveliness of the audience. Actors speak to theatre-goers who are encouraged to use water bottles as percussion for the music.

What: Good Soul of Szechuan

When: July 26- August 17

Where: Q Theatre, Auckland

Tickets: Visit www.atc.co.nz

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