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A Good Soul, These Days, is Hard to Find

A Good Soul, These Days, is Hard to Find

Robyn Malcolm does good - and evil - in next ATC production

Much-loved New Zealand actress Robyn Malcolm (Agent Anna, Outrageous Fortune) will take on dual male and female roles in Auckland Theatre Company's production of Bertolt Brecht's The Good Soul of Szechuan.

Playing at Auckland's Q Theatre from July 24 to August 17, Malcolm will demonstrate why she is one of the best in the business as she channels both good and evil, man and woman, in the carnival-esque masterpiece by one of theatre's most respected and influential playwrights.

Prostitute Shen Te is a "tart with a heart"; compassionate and generous, even toward people who exploit her virtues. Three gods on a fact-finding mission reward her, the only good person they can find, with the means to start a small business. And that's when her troubles begin.

Shen Te soon finds herself overwhelmed by scrounging freeloaders who take advantage of her good nature. To survive, she creates a male alter ego, her vicious and brutal cousin Shui Ta - a ruthless businessman who can make the hard decisions without a conscience.

But juggling the two identities doesn't come easily - can her good nature endure the pressures of hardship when self-interest, deceit, corruption and opportunism are more readily rewarded?

Directed by Auckland Theatre Company's Artistic Director Colin McColl, Malcolm is joined by a stellar cast including Cameron Rhodes (Agent Anna, Mister Pip, Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song), Andrew Grainger (Once on Chunuk Bair, Chicago, Anne Boleyn), Simon Prast (Anne Boleyn, Go Girls) Byron Coll (Once on Chunuk Bair, Badjelly the Witch), Goretti Chadwick (Auckland Daze, Apron Strings, Sione's Wedding), Yuri Kinugawa (Memory and Desire, A Thousand Apologies), Edwin Wright (The Glass Menagerie, Top of the Lake ), Bronwyn Bradley (Agent Anna, Assasins, Go Girls), Katlyn Wong (The Wife Who Spoke Japanese in Her Sleep, My Wedding and Other Secrets), Shimpal Lelisi (Sione's Wedding, Bro' Town, Shortland St) and Phodiso Dentwe.

"Some of my most satisfying theatre experiences have been Bertolt Brecht's works. This reinterpretation will showcase the talents of a vastly multicultural cast of actors, singers and musicians lead by the brilliant Robyn Malcolm in virtuoso lead roles," McColl says.

German-born playwright Bertolt Brecht is the father of modern Epic Theatre. His portfolio includes classics such as The Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and her Children, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Threepenny Opera.

In The Good Soul of Szechuan , Brecht has a created a dark and dazzling parable that explores the place of love and goodness in a daunting and complex world.

Packed with glorious characters, music and song, and showcasing audacious costumes by Elizabeth Whiting (Anne Boleyn, The Glass Menagerie), the Audi Season of The Good Soul of Szechuan promises to be a carnival of theatrical delight.

Shen Te - Robyn Malcolm
Mrs Shin/Ensemble - Goretti Chadwick
Ensemble - Cameron Rhodes
Ensemble - Yuri Kinogawa
Ensemble - Andrew Grainger
Yang Sun/Ensemble - Edwin Wright
Ensemble - Bronwyn Bradley
Ensemble - Katlyn Wong
Ensemble - Simon Prast
Ensemble - Byron Coll
Ensemble - Phodiso Dentwe
Wang the Waterseller - Shimpal Lelisi

Musicians - Brett Adams and Steve Thomas

Direction - Colin McColl
Musical Director/Sound Design - John Gibson
Set Design - John Parker
Costume Design - Elizabeth Whiting
Lighting Design - Phillip Dexter MSc


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