05 October 2010

The Birthday Boy

One of New Zealand’s leading actors (Grumpy Old Women, Second-Hand Wedding, Dancing with the Stars), Geraldine Brophy returns to Circa  for the first time since 2009’s Blood Wedding to star in The Birthday Boy. She takes a moment from her hectic rehearsal schedule to tell drama on the waterfront all about Carl Nixon’s fantastic comedy.

DOTW: What is the basic story of The Birthday Boy?

GB: The Birthday Boy examines the friendship between two men over a 25-year period from their fortieth birthdays until they are 65. Their lives play out very differently when one becomes a father and both of them deal with the successful careers of their respective wives.

DOTW: What was it about this story that drew you to the play?

GB: Carl’s script has elements of traditional key male and female roles in reversal. He examines these from opposite perspectives. Parenting and Partnerships. I liked the fact that he has pushed some interesting boundaries with his approach to these role changes – male and female capacity for nurture and empathy, for example.

DOTW: What can you tell us about your character?

GB: My character, Kathy, is the embodiment of the modern woman who tries to have it all – motherhood and a career. She is more conflicted early on when her children are smaller, but as they mature and her career shoots to the stars, she copes by absenting herself both physically and emotionally with a single focus.

DOTW: How is it to work with director Jane Waddell?

GB: Jane has been a delight to work with as a director. She has a gentle but solid hand on the tiller. The play is the current contemporary mix of comedy and drama, so navigating the moments when we play both can be tricky. You want an audience to laugh but also for the subject matter to resonate, in order to feel for the character’s plight. Jane is very cognizant of this.

Geraldine Brophy and director Jane Waddell.

DOTW: The Birthday Boy has a very strong cast of talented actors; what can you tell us about your fellow cast members?

GB: My fellow cast members are experienced and talented artists. Some of us have worked together before many times and this is often a short cut to convincing ensemble work. Coming to work and moving through the story each day is a pleasure. They make the job look easy and that is, of course, the great skill of such people.

DOTW: Finally, what should audiences know about The Birthday Boy?

GB: Audiences should know that The Birthday Boy is another fun New Zealand play in the style of “Theatre of Recognition”, but that it provides, as all good comedy should, the possibility of a great conversation post-show. And if anyone’s having a birthday, we have a couple of great packages to help celebrate!

Tickets are now on sale for The Birthday Boy, 9 October - 6 November. Call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.

Celebrate your birthday at The Birthday Boy!
Circa Theatre and Wharfside Restaurant are happy to offer some very special options throughout the season of The Birthday Boy (all include ticket price based on groups of 6 or more):
Bubbly and Birthday Cake - $45.50 per person
Nibbles, Bubbles, Coffee and Cake - $57 per person
Birthday Dinner - $75 per person (not including wine) $80 per person (including a glass of wine per person)
And a special surprise treat for the birthday person!
For more information about our birthday packages, contact Cara Hill, Audience Development Director, at 801-8137 or carah@circa.co.nz.

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