Role reversal shows two sides of the Bard

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2013
Southland Times photo
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

Shakespeare in the Park director Hamish McGregor and Lyndal Ludlow at Queens Park, before the production of Julius Ceasar and The Merry Wives of Windsor, which begins tomorrow.

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Invercargill director Hamish McGregor may have once flourished under the stage instruction of Lyndal Ludlow - but 13 years later, the roles have reversed.

Starting tomorrow, Ludlow will play one of the Merry Wives of Windsor in the 2013 Shakespeare in the Park production, and it will be her former protege who will be wearing the director's cap.

This will be the fourth time that Ludlow has acted in a Shakespeare in the Park production, though it is only the second piece of theatre that McGregor has directed.

McGregor got his start playing a duke in Big River, directed by Ludlow in 1999.

He described his experience with cast, costumes, and settings as a huge task but said because it was a collaborative project he had learnt more than he expected.

At Queens Park yesterday, the two agreed their approach to directing was to have fun and create an experience.

"Now and then I have something useful to say," Ludlow said, when asked if she had given him any feedback.

McGregor joked it was more than "now and then" and it was appreciated.

Ludlow said she had watched his career progress since he was a young singer in Southland competitions, and he had the skills to be a good director.

"I told him to mention me when he gets his Tony Award." This year's double bill of Julius Caesar and the Merry Wives of Windsor shows are scheduled in Queens Park from Tuesday till Saturday (6.15pm) and Sunday (1.15pm).

gwyneth.hyndman@stl.co.nz

AT A GLANCE

The SIT Centrestage Theatre in Don St has been booked to accommodate audiences if the weather decides to play an unwelcome leading role. If your show is cancelled between Tuesday and Friday, you may attend any other show or one of the rained-out contingency nights at SIT Centrestage on either Thursday or Friday at 6.30pm. If your show is cancelled on Saturday, you can attend a Sunday show. If your 1.15pm show is cancelled on Sunday, you may be able to attend the 5pm show, if it goes ahead. Daily show announcements will be made at midday on radio and on the Shakespeare in the Park NZ Facebook page. The two plays, each about 45 minutes long, will be performed by the entire company, with various actors taking on at least two roles.

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