Bucket list wish produces a star

Nick Round-Tuner and Jayne McAllister practice ahead of Shakespeare in the Park.
Nick Round-Tuner and Jayne McAllister practice ahead of Shakespeare in the Park.

What was merely something to tick off on a bucket list has turned into a theatre debut.

Jayne McAllister can cross off camel riding in Dubai and, as of next week, being in a Shakespeare play, too.

The emergency management co-ordinator at the Southern District Health Board will take to the stage from Friday in Shakespeare in the Park, her first time in the limelight.

She turned up to auditions for the production expecting to be a servant in the background, not minding what role she played, as long as she got to cross it off her list. But she walked away with lines to learn and a rehearsal schedule.

"It was one of those things you think you would like to have a try at before you don't have the opportunity to do it anymore."

She was cast as Julius Caesar's wife Calpurnia, a role she never expected to get. However, Julius, played by Nick Round-Turner, said Ms McAllister was a natural at acting.

Mr Round-Turner has been involved in Shakespeare in the Park productions for more than a decade and unlike Ms McAllister, has been acting in the author's plays since he was a school boy.

A friendship has grown between the two actors and the thespians plan to return to the stage next year.

"I'm actually really enjoying the whole experience," Ms McAllister said.

The show's opening night is February 12. It ends February 17.

Fast facts: Shakespeare in the Park What: Julius Caesar and The Merry Wives of Windsor. When: From February 12-17. How much: $20 for adults, $15 concession and $5 for school children. Where: Queens Park band rotunda

The Southland Times