Harcourt going out in fine style

By kelli.hooks@age.co.nz, Kelli Hooks

Actor and broadcaster Dame Kate Harcourt will take to the stage, one last time, to share the story of her life at Masterton's Harlequin Theatre on February 16.

The three-man show Virtues from the Past will tell the stories of Harcourt's ancestors, her family and her life.

Harcourt will be assisted by Kapiti genealogy deputy convenor Clive Palmer and genealogy researcher Sue Greene.

Harcourt said she was looking forward to the opportunity to share her past with people of a similar background.

"I've got Scottish and English heritage and most of New Zealand's population share the same genetic background," she said.

She will also be sharing her Australian background and will be telling the tale of her great-great-great uncle, a convict who landed in Hobart.

"He wouldn't marry because he didn't want any child to have the stigma of having a convict for a father," she said.

Harcourt started acting at school.

She had initially trained as a singer but found herself to be a better actor.

Her acting career has included theatre, radio and screen roles, and she was named a Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in 1996, for her contribution to theatre.

One of her favourite stage experiences has been Flowers from my Mother's Garden, which she performed in with her daughter Miranda.

The show was reproduced last year at Wellington's Downstage Theatre with great success.

The Harlequin Theatre staging of Virtues from the Past will be the fourth and final, and Harcourt, who is in her mid 80s, said it will be her last acting role.

The shows start at 3pm and 7.30pm and is about an hour and a half long.

The Harlequin Theatre is on Dixon St.

Tickets are $25 from www.dashtickets.co.nz or the i-Sites in Masterton, Carterton and Martinborough.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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