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The Orderly

The Orderly

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The Rebel Alliance presents
The Orderly
Hospitals are battlefields

Media Release – For Immediate Release, Jan 19

The Orderly written and performed by Mike Downey
Bats Theatre
March 2 -10 @ 8pm (no show Mon and Tue)
Full $18 Concession $12 Addict $10
BATS (04) 802 4175 or

Enter the fringe world of medieval re-enactment and meet Peter. Orderly during the week. Ferocious warrior at the weekends. As he prepares for the weekend’s big battle against the notorious Vikings a friend in need changes his life. Time flickers, empty hospital wards turn into long forgotten battlefields, everybody fights for their lives. ‘A small and surprising gem’ (Natasha Hay, theatre reviewer for The Listener)

The Orderly is based on the life of the now deceased Peter Russell, who writer and performer, Michael Downey, met when he worked as an orderly at Auckland’s North Shore Hospital. Peter, a small and frail man, was an orderly during the week and fought as a Viking in the weekends as the member of the historical re-enactment group, the Auckland Norse. "...The Orderly brilliantly succeeds in demonstrating how dreams of heroes serve to illuminate the banality of our everyday lives" (Craccum)

In The Orderly’s mix of the world of the hospital with that of an ancient battlefield, Mike takes on all the parts of the play; ranging from the gorgeous nurse Donna to a semi nude Viking berserker high on mushrooms and lusting for blood.

Peter and Mike met in one of life’s random encounters and shows that no matter how insignificant your job may seem there is no way of knowing whether a play will be written about you. Look behind you, an upcoming playwright might be there, as you read these words, seeing the basis of his future play take shape.

The Rebel Alliance is a new theatre company formed by actor and playwright, Mike Downey, and director and producer Anders Falstie. Anders is currently working for Indian Ink as a producer and is involved with their upcoming production The Dentist’s Chair and Mike has worked as a full time actor since 2005. “Michael Downey is one of the most promising young actors to emerge from the University of Auckland in several years. Anders Falstie is a huge asset to the New Zealand arts scene…” (Lauren Hughes, Theatre Programming Associate at THE EDGE®)

2006 was the year where The Rebel Alliance burst onto NZ theatre scene with two plays that were impossible to ignore. Making their debut with The Orderly in March 2006 the season received great reviews and following that was commissioned by Auckland Museum to be part of its Viking Exhibition – the result was a sell out season. The Orderly was followed up by A Night of French Mayhem. Featuring an unknown cast, and unknown director and produced by a company that is here to stay, the season was an unprecedented success that scored rave reviews and was seen by more than 1000 people. “The Rebel Alliance is establishing itself as a company to watch.” (NZ Herald)


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