Director keen to break the mould
Things are heating up at the Theatre Royal with Nelson Repertory Theatre preparing to hit the stage like you've never seen before.
Erogenous Zones by Welsh playwright Frank Vickery opens next Thursday, with a five-strong cast, and high-impact scenes.
Sex and violence are not the usual territory of repertory theatre, but director Emma Schwass is keen to break the mould.
She is so passionate about the show that she has vowed to get an "Erogenous Zones" tattoo on her foot if it sells more than 1200 tickets.
Schwass says she has pushed the cast of established and emerging actors beyond their usual boundaries.
Rehearsals had been "intense", with emotional and intimate scenes, "but the characters are well developed".
The characters are Michael (Hugh Neill), Andrew (Aditya Kesarcodi-Watson), Lesley (Deb Fish), Allison (Amber Connolly), and Tom (Cam West), who are caught up in a quintuple love entanglement.
Michael is homosexual and in love with flatmate Andrew, who is confused about his sexuality.
Andrew is having a fling with Lesley, who has been married to Tom for "way too long".
Tom is having a long-term affair with Allison, who is Michael's best friend.
Schwass said the stage would feature three different rooms in three different houses - Allison's bedsit, Michael's lounge, and Lesley and Tom's kitchen and dining area.
"There are a lot of doors, but it's not farcical. It's not funny, ‘haha', but people are going to be able to relate to the characters," she said.
Schwass grew up in Nelson, and completed a diploma in film and television at the Hagley Theatre Company in Christchurch in 2003.
She said she was proud of her cast, and "overwhelmed" with the support she had received from the community so far, with an example being how the Men's Shed helped to build the set.
Erogenous Zones, Nelson Repertory Theatre, March 7 to 10, and March 14 to 16. Tickets from TicketDirect