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Ginette McDonald returns to Downstage Theatre

Ginette McDonald returns to Downstage Theatre

“Certifiable Living Treasure” stars in My Brilliant Divorce

See Ginette McDonald starring in Downstage’s newest production My Brilliant Divorce, a hilarious one-woman tour de force. Wittily observant, achingly funny and heart-wrenchingly real, this comedy explores what life is like for Angela, recently dumped by her accountant husband for a younger model. Emotionally bereft and with self-confidence at an all time low, Angela slowly and at times painfully rebuilds her life. She finds herself adrift in a sea of weird sexual encounters, sneaky solicitors, phone-in counsellors, a bad case of hypochondria and the spectre of poverty. Should she fight to keep her husband? Or should she sign the final papers and move on?

With My Brilliant Divorce, written by Geraldine Aron and directed by Geraldine Brophy, Ginette McDonald returns to Downstage Theatre in Wellington, where she began acting professionally at the age of 14. It was at Downstage where she developed the famous “Lyn of Tawa”, a character that she describes as becoming a “Cultural Ambassador & Certifiable Living Treasure”. She has been an important part of the New Zealand entertainment industry for many years as comedienne, actress, producer, director and TV presenter.

My Brilliant Divorce received a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination in the category Best Entertainment for its run at the Apollo Theatre London in 2004. The one-woman comedy is playing at Downstage from Friday 30 May till Saturday 28 June, Monday to Wednesday at 6.30 pm and Thursday to Saturday at 7.30 pm. There will be a $20 preview on Friday 30 May, additional $20 performances on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 June and afternoon matinees at 3 pm on Saturday 14 and 21 June.

Ticket prices range from $39 for a full price ticket, $30 for a concession ticket (65plus and Community Service Card holders), $20 for a student and under 25s ticket and $29 for Downstage members. Special group discounts apply. Tickets can be purchased online at, at Downstage’s box office or by phone at (04) 801 6946.

For more information on the show and the venue please visit Downstage’s website at or the newly established theatre blog at

Written by Geraldine Aron
Directed by Geraldine Brophy
Designed by John Harding

"Timed to perfection, delivered with gusto ... a funny, funny piece"




From a large Irish/French family, Ginette began acting professionally at age 14 at Wellington’s Downstage Theatre. Her vowel-challenged alter ego Lyn of Tawa was born two years later. Lyn has become, in her own words, a “Certifiable Living Treasure”.

Ginette’s career has spanned over 30 years, including a five-year stint in England in the 1970s. As an actress she has done an enormous amount of theatre, television and radio in both countries. For many years she worked for TVNZ as a drama producer/director. She has written articles, opinion columns, reviews, after dinner speeches and debates. She has won numerous awards for acting, producing and public speaking.

A nominee for Best Presenter in the TV Guide Awards, Ginette’s TV roles include 5 years hosting the garden makeover show ‘Ground Force’ and the reality series ‘PA for a Day’. Her recent documentaries have probed the New Zealand police, alternative health and the nations’ chefs.

In 2005 Ginette appeared in the BBC drama “Kidnapped” as a Gaelic speaking Highland rebel and the TV3 drama “Doves of War” as the Italian war crimes prosecutor. She played Madame Ranevskaya and Lady Bracknell in Circa Theatre’s “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Importance of being Earnest”.

Most recently, she appeared in “The Rocky Horror Show” as NZ’s first female narrator and has been a regular on TV1’s Good Morning as a social commentator and agony aunt. Ginette is currently relaunching Lyn of Tawa as an Islam friendly cultural ambassador and living Taonga. A believer in the healing power of humour and always willing to face any challenge, Ginette is much in demand as an empathetic MC and warm and friendly after dinner speaker. In 2007 Ginette was made an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Entertainment.


Geraldine Brophy was born to Irish parents in Birmingham, England, in 1961. She came to New Zealand in 1972. In 1983 she was offered her first professional role in the Centrepoint Theatre, Palmerston North, production of Duet for One. She went on to become a company member for Stuart Devenie.

The following year she was a member of Tony Taylor’s first Fortune Theatre Company, appearing as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Multiple Choice, Fresh Revolving Pleasures and A Christmas Carol.

In her subsequent 24 years in the industry she has played more than 150 roles on stage. She was a core member of Elric Hooper’s Court Theatre Company for over a decade, winning the Press Best Actress award several times. Her memorable work there includes leads in a range of classics, among them the title roles in Medea and St. Joan, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Gertrude in Hamlet, Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing, Gwendoline in The Importance of Being Earnest, Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Mae in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and Sonia in Uncle Vanya.

More recently Geraldine has appeared for Downstage Theatre, Circa and Auckland Theatre Company in The Rivals, Flagons and Foxtrots and The Graduate, Middle Age Spread and toured extensively her one-woman show Confessions of a Chocoholic. She also played the title role in the New Zealand Actor’s company Festival production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Leah. She won the 1996 Chapman Tripp Award for Best Supporting Actress in the Downstage production of Tzigane.

For five years from 1997 to 2001 she appeared as receptionist Moira Crombie on Shortland Street. She won the 1998 New Zealand Film and Television Best Actress award for her lead role in Home Movie and was a finalist for Best Actress in the 2000 awards for Shortland Street. Other television appearances include the recent Seven Periods with Mr. Gormsby, Serial Killers, Spin Doctors, Maddigan’s Quest and Insiders Guide to Love, Outrageous Fortune, Welcome to Paradise and Time Hackers.

She has been seen in the cinema in the acclaimed film In My Father’s Den, King Kong, The Waterhorse and Underworld Three. Geraldine is looking forward to the release of the NZ feature Second Hand Wedding in cinemas in May 2008.

Geraldine directed Finding Murdoch for Downstage in 2007 and a sell out revival of her own work, The Viagra Monologues, the Pulitzer prize winning play Doubt for the Court Theatre, and the revival of Renee’s Wednesday To Come. She directed the highly successful season of Under Milk Wood for the Court Theatre Christchurch in January 2008.


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