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Classic NZ Play Returns To Stage

Classic Nz Play & Ex-Pat Kiwi Actor Return To The Stage

Neighbours star returns to New Zealand to tread the boards
in The End of the Golden Weather.

Actor Stephen Lovatt, who plays Max on Neighbours, will swap a quintessential Aussie suburb for idyllic 1930s New Zealand when he performs in a new production of the classic play, The End of the Golden Weather, from July 18-30.

The End of the Golden Weather was written by New Zealand playwright Bruce Mason in 1951 and was originally performed by Mason as a one-man show throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to being a much-studied play for secondary school students, it was also successfully adapted into an award-winning film directed by Ian Mune in 1991.

This new production returns to the original one-man performance format, directed by Mark Clare and produced by Graeme Bennett under the aegis of new production company, 88 In the Shade. It will be performed by Stephen Lovatt at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE® from July 18 to 30 as part of STAMP – Creative Development at THE EDGE®.

Through Playmarket, approval was sought from the Mason Estate and agreement was reached on the editing and length of the original script. The result is a new 70-minute version of the script that highlights the evocative nature of the language.

Set in 1930s New Zealand, Geoff Crome is 12-years-old and looking forward to an idyllic seaside summer. He makes friends with a strange character called Firpo. When Firpo reveals to Geoff his secret ambition of winning at the Olympic Games, Geoff does everything he can to help Firpo, including risking his father's disapproval and the ridicule of the local community.

As Geoff comes to realise that Firpo isn’t the mythical man of his dreams and fantasies, but a wounded, sick and vulnerable human being, he leaves the golden weather of his childhood behind him.

“Modern culture in its advances has lost some of the joys of literature,” said producer Graeme Bennett. “The End of the Golden Weather is a tale told with a love of language – language to inspire and illuminate a wonderful part of our history.”

“We aim to not only maintain the legacy of great New Zealand writing but to encourage an audience of today’s younger generation into the theatre.”

The End of the Golden Weather will be a return to the stage for Mr Lovatt, who has been a cast member of Neighbours since 2002 playing Max Hoyland. After training at the New Zealand Drama School, Mr Lovatt gained extensive experience in television, film and theatre in New Zealand and Australia.

After the STAMP season of The End of the Golden Weather, the production is likely to tour schools around the greater Auckland region in association with THE EDGE® Public Programmes. An extended regional and national tour may also follow. The production will also travel to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.


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