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Play: The Orderly Highlights Hospice Appeal Week


Play: The Orderly Highlights Hospice Appeal Week

By Natasha Burling

Last year Radiohead asked fans to pay what they wanted for their new album, this year a theatre director is asking audience members to do the same with his play. Director Anders Falstie-Jenson says he is interested to see how much people will pay after seeing his play The Orderly, which opens Monday May 12 at the Herald Theatre.

Half of the play’s proceeds will be donated to Northshore Hospice and Mercy Hospice Auckland.


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

The solo performance coincides with Hospice Appeal week, a fact that Falstie-Jenson says is completely coincidental but “must have been fate” as they were planning to support Hospice anyway.

Carol Herbert, development office co-ordinator for Northshore Hospice, says not setting a price for tickets is a novel idea: “I think it’s quite exciting they’re not charging for tickets. I’d be quite keen to see how it goes.”

The Orderly, which debuted 2006, was written by Michael Downey about his friend Peter, who he worked with at Northshore hospital.

Peter, who passed away in 2003, was an orderly during the week but a Viking warrior at weekends.

“Peter was a medieval reenactor who put on his armour and used a sword at the weekend even though he was fighting a losing battle against his own body,” says Falstie-Jenson.

The Viking battles in the play draw parallels with the battle for his life that seriously ill Peter faced before he died, he says.

“The play is about how you live your life and how you die.”

However, the play is not meant to be depressing but is “a celebration of his (Peter’s) passion for life,” says Falstie-Jenson.

He says he chose to support Hospice because he was impressed with the work it does when he had a tour of North Shore Hospice.

“They just did some amazing stuff.

“It was an eye-opener for me. I thought it would be just older people but there was a woman my age there.”

He says Hospice made it possible for that young woman to marry her partner and their wedding took place on nearby Takapuna beach, even though the woman was on a drip. The woman passed away three days later.

Herbert, who is organising Hospice Appeal week, says that this is the first time she is aware someone has supported Hospice by donating half the proceeds of a play.

She says The Orderly appeals to a different audience that Hospice doesn’t usually reach: “It’s fantastic that people do other things that capture another audience. We normally wouldn’t have access to that audience.”

To find out about how you can support Northshore Hospice this week go towww.nshospice.org.nz.

The Orderly, which has now been commissioned by Radio New Zealand to become into a radio play, will run from the May 12 to 16 at the Herald Theatre.

  • Email anders@therebelalliance.co.nz to book.
  • ENDS

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