Role of few words for Mike Avery

By ERIKA VENTER


Mike Avery has performed in numerous plays, most comedies. Stratford District Council's community and environmental services director Mike Avery is not normally lost for words.


But, cast as "the husband" in Hawera Repertoire's Plaster, opening in March, he relished the challenge to mostly let his expressions do the talking when confronted by an angry wife.

Mike's character is a ratbag of a husband who has been "hitting on the side" while he and his wife of long-standing co-exist talking past each other.

"It is a short play, only around 20 minutes, but it is quite a challenge, to get the character across with very limited dialogue. I have some dialogue, but the play is mostly based on my expressions and the reactions of my wife, who has most of the dialogue."

He has been cast in a number of plays since "tempted" into joining the repertoire when the family moved to Hawera eight years ago.

"My wife, Julie, and daughter, Sarah, got involved in a pantomime. I got tempted by Shakespeare - I have always love Shakespeare and still do."

He is the only one of his family still actively involved in the repertoire, but says though it can be extremely demanding and time consuming, he thoroughly enjoys it.

"There is something really neat about live performance theatre and especially shows in the Hawera repertoire room which is very intimate, setting a close connection between the players and the audience."

He says he relishes contributing to the overall cultural identity of the community and to be part of a group which is "extremely active and almost without fail presents highly professional shows".

Plaster is one of three one-act plays by Richard Harris performed by the Hawera Repertoire in Harrisment, March 2-9 in the Repertory House, in Hawera.

Albert is an off-beat comedy concerning a Finn, an Italian and an Englishman - none of whom speaks a word of each other's language, while Keeping Mum is about a worn, harassed, middle-aged daughter sitting at the hospital bedside of what appears to be her terminally-ill mother, mulling over the past few months.

Tickets are $20 and available from the Hawera i-Site, or phone (06) 278 8599 for more information.

- Stratford Press

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