Staging sport, scandal and an askew moral compass
A former Shortland Street actor is wearing nothing but a red speedo and serpent tattoo in his new play.
Red Speedo tells the story of a swimmer who is on track to compete in the Olympics until performance-enhancing drugs are found in his locker.
It is a new role for Kiwi actor Ryan Carter, who played Cam McCaskill in Shortland Street and featured on Power Ranges.
He won't just be left in his speedo for the 80-minute play at ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland.
Every third day, Carter will need to sit still for 90 minutes as an elaborate temporary tattoo of a sea serpent is painted on his back.
The play is about picking the most desirable outcome when all options are evil. There are no good guys.
And the tattoo of a giant sea serpent on the lead character Ray's back should be a dead giveaway.
When Ray swims, the audience see his distinguishing tattoo.
The tattoo design was partly the brainchild of west Auckland make-up artist Samantha Fernandes.
Director Benjamin Henson said it took them three weeks to settle on the perfect design.
The drama, by American playwright Lucas Hnath, followed Ray and three other characters as they made choices to protect themselves from scandal.
"It comes with a wallop of questions about what's right [and] what's wrong, how our moral compass can go askew when it's us in trouble."
He said Red Speedo will transport the audience to the world of competitive swimming.
And they will turn into spectators during the race scenes as a giant screen projects pre-filmed clips of the races.
When the play was performed in America, the set was designed in a gym and the audience saw Ray swimming in an actual pool.
But that idea did not appeal to Henson, who preferred an audio visual screen for swimming scenes.
Red Speedo will run October 31 to November 15 at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Wynyard Quarter.
For tickets and more information go to atc.co.nz/whats-on/ or call 0800 282 849.