The Auckland Theatre Company is keeping tight on details of its 2002 season, to be launched at the Civic's Wintergarden Theatre on Wednesday night, but the internet is their enemy.

Xena star Lucy Lawless is tipped to take a role next February in an ATC production of American playwright Eve Ensler's controversial The Vagina Monologues, according to a report in Entertainment News Daily.

ATC won't yet confirm this casting coup, which is bound to pack houses and possibly boost international tourism numbers. But let's not forget the Monologues has been a sell-out all over the world and de rigueur for actors as diverse as Edie Falco, Jerry Hall, Dannii Minogue, Sophie Dahl, Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett and Whoopi Goldberg. Oh, and, of course, Elle Macpherson in an upcoming Sydney production. It'll be a leap on to the stage from the crusading Xena - but then some critics have described TVMs as adopting a "missionary" position.