Real Housewife Louise Wallace debuts The Pink Hammer

By Dionne Christian

Louise Wallace joins (from left) Paul Glover, Lisa Chappell, Annie Whittle and Darien Takle in The Pink Hammer.
Louise Wallace joins (from left) Paul Glover, Lisa Chappell, Annie Whittle and Darien Takle in The Pink Hammer.

A heritage church hall in Ponsonby isn't exactly the sort of glamorous location you expect to find one of the Real Housewives of Auckland, but Louise Wallace is quite at home.

Rather than turning to the church to help cope with the demands of the reality TV series, Wallace finds her salvation in theatre and is rehearsing for the latest production from her company, Tadpole. Called The Pink Hammer, there are similarities with RHOAKL.

For starters, it's about a group of women from very different backgrounds who find themselves thrust together and each has her own agenda. In local writer Michele Amas' play, they're not appearing on a reality TV series; rather, they've joined a woman's DIY class and get more than they bargained for when the tutor shoots through leaving her stunned husband to run the classes in that most scared of places, his shed.

Wallace, along with co-stars Annie Whittle, Lisa Chappell, Darien Takle and Paul Glover, say not only is there great potential for humour and drama in a play, but also for a future business.

"I think classes for women who want to learn basic home maintenance skills would go very well," she says.

"I think it would be fantastic to be able to fix and repair things."

Wallace started rehearsals just as filming wrapped on RHOAKL, so Wednesdays start with a re-cap of the behind-the-scenes action from the previous night's show. Then, sometimes using a bell to get her stars to focus, director Janice Finn calls them to attention and rehearsals begin.

Now in its fourth year, Wallace helped start Tadpole to bring professional theatre to the North Shore. The company specialises in "feel good theatre", but she admits keeping a theatre company up and running can be tough.

"We don't have the finances to do a play with any more than six in the cast and we simply can't take a risk on plays that aren't well known. Sometimes we make a small loss; most often we break even or make a small profit, but theatre is very definitely something you do for love and not money.

"The huge advantage I have at the moment is being able to piggyback off Housewives, which is one of the reasons I did it in the first place."

Two weeks ago, viewers watched as Wallace learned she'd missed out on a TV role after doing what she thought was an excellent audition.

What: The Pink Hammer
Where & when: PumpHouse Theatre, October 13 - 23

- Herald on Sunday

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