The Greats Escape
The Greats Escape: George Henare, Ray Henwood and Ken Blackburn Reunite for Auckland Theatre Company's Heroes
Doyens of New Zealand theatre join forces for Tom Stoppard's unfading comedy about friendship and mortality
A heart-warming, mischievous and insightful comedy by Britain's greatest living playwright, Heroes, will open at Auckland's Maidment Theatre on 3 September.
Tom Stoppard's Heroes reunites the "knights" of New Zealand theatre, George Henare CNZM (Anne Boleyn, Who Wants to be 100?, Awatea), Ray Henwood ONZM (The Crucible, Who Wants to be 100?, Gliding On) and Ken Blackburn ONZM (Anne Boleyn, Hillary) for the show they performed at Circa Theatre in Wellington 10 years ago. Now, despite a few years under their belts, the trio will bring their ever-youthful energy to the charming characters.
On the terrace of an old soldiers' home, three World War One veterans wile away the day, chatting, reminiscing...and plotting their escape.
Gustave suffers from crippling agoraphobia, Henri has a gammy leg and Philippe periodically passes out due to a piece of shrapnel lodged in his brain. But nothing can dull their spirits or quell their desire to mount a heroic escape. Except perhaps the young nurses.
For these three friends, the taste of freedom is too tempting. Their querulous and cantankerous camaraderie is tested when Gustave conceives an improbable escape plan that will take them to a distant poplar-lined hill and, perhaps, freedom.
Stoppard brings his magnificent wit and dazzling command of the English language to this moving and mirthful show that stirs the mind and touches the soul.
Under the watch of masterful Director Alison Quigan (The Polly Hood series, A Shortcut to Happiness, Calendar Girls), this is bravura theatre at its best.
Heroes runs from 3 to 26 September at the Maidment Theatre. Father's Day in New Zealand falls on Sunday 6 September.