Four actors and a portaloo

THE BACH: The bach figures as a Kiwi icon in Gisborne artist Tony Ogle’s 2017 screenprint Sandspit baches, Matapouri Bay, and is the setting for Stephen Sinclair’s comedy The Bach for which director James Packman has cast four actors (and a portaloo) for Unity Theatre’s next production.

THE cast for Unity Theatre’s production of Kiwi comedy The Bach has been selected and director James Packman is happy as a blowfly at a barbie.

Described by a Listener reviewer as intellectually daring and darkly funny, the four-character comedy features Simon, who lives in the shadow of his screenwriter wife Sally. Simon and Sally have gotten away from it all to sort out their marital issues.

Recently returned from London, Simon’s under-achieving younger brother Michael joins the mix and matters are complicated further by Sally’s PA, Hana, a budding Maori radical who struggles with her Maori and European identities.

Walter Walsh, who has performed in Musical Theatre Gisborne productions, makes his non-musical debut as Simon.

“Simon is a stuck up lawyer,” Packman said.

“The role will be a bit different for Walter. He’s usually in comic roles, but this character is more in your face.”

Packman handpicked Melissa Andrew for the part of Sally.

“She read the part and fell in love with it and got the role. Her character is a real bitch. That’s why Melissa liked it so much.”

Michael will be played by Aiden Malone who has been involved with the 48 hour film-making competition over the years. He now returns to the stage after his last appearance as an IRA member in Unity’s production of Martin McDonagh’s black comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Malone also starred as one of the sheep in David Geary’s The Learner’s Stand.

“Michael is a troublemaker,” Packman said. “As soon as he gets to the bach he starts drinking.”

Selected as one of 24 student actors who workshopped and performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London this year, Laurel Mitchell was determined to play Hana and auditioned from Hamilton on Skype.

“She chose the part she wanted ... and she was wonderful,” Packman said.

“She is perfect for the role.”

Packman sees a bach on a beach with a nearby portaloo and Coromandel-like backdrop, for the set design.

The portaloo has no dialogue but plays a fundamental part in the comedy ... as audiences will see from November 24.

THE cast for Unity Theatre’s production of Kiwi comedy The Bach has been selected and director James Packman is happy as a blowfly at a barbie.

Described by a Listener reviewer as intellectually daring and darkly funny, the four-character comedy features Simon, who lives in the shadow of his screenwriter wife Sally. Simon and Sally have gotten away from it all to sort out their marital issues.

Recently returned from London, Simon’s under-achieving younger brother Michael joins the mix and matters are complicated further by Sally’s PA, Hana, a budding Maori radical who struggles with her Maori and European identities.

Walter Walsh, who has performed in Musical Theatre Gisborne productions, makes his non-musical debut as Simon.

“Simon is a stuck up lawyer,” Packman said.

“The role will be a bit different for Walter. He’s usually in comic roles, but this character is more in your face.”

Packman handpicked Melissa Andrew for the part of Sally.

“She read the part and fell in love with it and got the role. Her character is a real bitch. That’s why Melissa liked it so much.”

Michael will be played by Aiden Malone who has been involved with the 48 hour film-making competition over the years. He now returns to the stage after his last appearance as an IRA member in Unity’s production of Martin McDonagh’s black comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Malone also starred as one of the sheep in David Geary’s The Learner’s Stand.

“Michael is a troublemaker,” Packman said. “As soon as he gets to the bach he starts drinking.”

Selected as one of 24 student actors who workshopped and performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London this year, Laurel Mitchell was determined to play Hana and auditioned from Hamilton on Skype.

“She chose the part she wanted ... and she was wonderful,” Packman said.

“She is perfect for the role.”

Packman sees a bach on a beach with a nearby portaloo and Coromandel-like backdrop, for the set design.

The portaloo has no dialogue but plays a fundamental part in the comedy ... as audiences will see from November 24.

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