Flora's racy tale portrayed on stage

A drama based on a true story, Famous Flora tells the story of Flora Mackenzie whose famous frock shop became the front for an infamous "knock shop" during World War 2.

Growing up in Mangere, the child of wealthy landed gentry, Flora could never have guessed her sheltered life would turn out the way that it did. She quickly discovered fashion was her passion and became the proprietor of "the finest dress salon in the Pacific", Ninette Gowns. Flora's role in the war effort was entertaining the visiting American troops. Once money changed hands a business was born: a new business for Flora, but the oldest one in the book. The beautiful models at Ninette easily made the transition from mannequins to madams.

Flora saw no harm in her new career, she was simply giving people what they wanted and she dearly wished the society people who embraced her fashion would be as accommodating of her racier new venture. But the times, the people and ultimately the police were not prepared to be so kind.

Famous Flora was written by Elisabeth Easther, who has worked in radio, as a tour guide in Turkey, as a magazine editor, a script adviser, a lifeguard and, occasionally still, an actress in programmes such as Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, Power Rangers and Legend of the Seeker.

Currently she is on screen playing Nicky Coleman in a series of commercials for Countdown supermarkets and continuing to work as a feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

The play runs from April 13-27. For more information visit www.playbox.org.nz or to book tickets visit www.iticket.co.nz.

To be in to win a double pass, email your name, address and daytime telephone number to danielle.nicholson@apn.co.nz. Entries close 4pm, April 9.

- Hamilton News

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