Footrot Flats from page to stage

REAL LIFE CHARACTERS: From left, Danielle Siata (Cheeky Hobson), Walter Walsh (Wal), Peter Grealish (Cooch), Heather Derby (Aunt Dolly) and Mat Hatten (Dog), join the bronze sculpture of Wal and Dog for a photo. Picture by Stephen Jones Photography

From cartoon to the stage, Footrot Flats’ characters are larger than life, as the actors in Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production have found during rehearsals for the upcoming show.

Wal

Played by Walter Walsh, gumbooted, black-singleted Wal is about to be nudged out of his comfort zone.

“He’s a down-to-earth bloke from Te Kuiti who loves the farm,” says Walsh.

“He meets this young blonde who wants him to go into town. Wal is a good old Kiwi bloke who’s not used to town ways. He hasn’t had a girlfriend before. When Cheeky Hobson comes along he tries to make an effort but he’s worried about the farm.”

For a man who has never worn a tie in his life, town life doesn’t appeal to him, but Cheeky persuades him to go with her.

“He doesn’t like it,” says Walsh.

“He goes back to the farm and leaves Cheeky behind.”

There is a happy ending, though, says Walsh.

Cheeky Hobson

Cheeky is a determined character who knows what she wants, says Danielle Siata who plays Wal’s new girlfriend.

“And she wants Wal. She doesn’t have a problem making that known. She’s very forward and sometimes scares him — but she does make him question a bit what he’s used to.”

Cheeky doesn’t understand what Wal sees in the farm life, says Siata.

“I’m a town girl and want Wal to experience the hustle and bustle of town life.

“She’s fun, bigger than life and that makes her fun to play.”

Dog

Dog is definitely a fun part to play, says actor Mat Hatten.

“Dog is almost like a child. He goes from being really happy to being really sad. He’s animated with over-the-top emotions. He doesn’t hold back.”

As “man’s best friend”, Wal’s dog, Dog, prefers the uninterrupted relationship he has with his master on the farm but along with Wal, Dog’s sweetheart Jess heads for the city with Cheeky Hobson, says Hatten.

“There’s a big sad song called Baying at the Moon. It’s all about Dog missing Jess and Wal. But Wal and Jess come back to the farm and Jess has puppies. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker but there is a happy ending.”

  • Musical Theatre Gisborne presents Footrot Flats: The Musical, War Memorial Theatre, July 18-21, 7.30pm. Matinee July 21, 2pm. Tickets $25-45 from Stephen Jones Photography and ticketdirect.co.nz

From cartoon to the stage, Footrot Flats’ characters are larger than life, as the actors in Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production have found during rehearsals for the upcoming show.

Wal

Played by Walter Walsh, gumbooted, black-singleted Wal is about to be nudged out of his comfort zone.

“He’s a down-to-earth bloke from Te Kuiti who loves the farm,” says Walsh.

“He meets this young blonde who wants him to go into town. Wal is a good old Kiwi bloke who’s not used to town ways. He hasn’t had a girlfriend before. When Cheeky Hobson comes along he tries to make an effort but he’s worried about the farm.”

For a man who has never worn a tie in his life, town life doesn’t appeal to him, but Cheeky persuades him to go with her.

“He doesn’t like it,” says Walsh.

“He goes back to the farm and leaves Cheeky behind.”

There is a happy ending, though, says Walsh.

Cheeky Hobson

Cheeky is a determined character who knows what she wants, says Danielle Siata who plays Wal’s new girlfriend.

“And she wants Wal. She doesn’t have a problem making that known. She’s very forward and sometimes scares him — but she does make him question a bit what he’s used to.”

Cheeky doesn’t understand what Wal sees in the farm life, says Siata.

“I’m a town girl and want Wal to experience the hustle and bustle of town life.

“She’s fun, bigger than life and that makes her fun to play.”

Dog

Dog is definitely a fun part to play, says actor Mat Hatten.

“Dog is almost like a child. He goes from being really happy to being really sad. He’s animated with over-the-top emotions. He doesn’t hold back.”

As “man’s best friend”, Wal’s dog, Dog, prefers the uninterrupted relationship he has with his master on the farm but along with Wal, Dog’s sweetheart Jess heads for the city with Cheeky Hobson, says Hatten.

“There’s a big sad song called Baying at the Moon. It’s all about Dog missing Jess and Wal. But Wal and Jess come back to the farm and Jess has puppies. It’s a bit of a tear-jerker but there is a happy ending.”

  • Musical Theatre Gisborne presents Footrot Flats: The Musical, War Memorial Theatre, July 18-21, 7.30pm. Matinee July 21, 2pm. Tickets $25-45 from Stephen Jones Photography and ticketdirect.co.nz
Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​​If the council does proceed with an online voting option for the 2019 election, will you likely vote online or by ballot paper?