Theatre's pub a work of art

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 08:01 26/06/2012

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Taranaki artist Sunset has transformed the New Plymouth Little Theatre stage into an Irish pub for its latest production The Weir.

"I've been in a few Irish pubs, so I have done my research," Sunset, who changed his name by deed poll in the 1970s, said.

The popular artist, who illustrates the Perky the Pukeko children's book series by Michele Osment, spent two days painting the Little Theatre stage, after being sought out by director Heather Harrison.

"I think he is the best, he has huge talent, and I couldn't praise him enough," she said.

"I'm always scared to ask him because I know how busy he is. I'm certain the first thing I say to him on the phone is 'I'll understand if you say no'.

Sunset, who painted his first set more than 20 years ago for Ali Girling- Butcher's production of Sweeney Todd, said he enjoyed being in the theatre.

"I like doing this. It's more immediate than my illustrations. This work doesn't last forever. You have to value it at the time, because after the play, it's gone," the 55-year-old said.

"I'm quite a quiet person so it suits me for my work to be noticed, not me. I think I am going to be pleased with this one."

Sunset, who has worked with Harrison before, said he had really enjoyed being a part of the behind-the-scenes process.

"There is something about the plays that Heather does. I want to add to what she is creating."

The Weir by Connor McPherson is showing at New Plymouth Little Theatre from July 11 till July 21.

Taryn Utiger is a Witt Journalism Student

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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