Dance Troupe Supreme. Some of that research was provided by her ' />
Morgana O'Reilly has put a lifetime of research into her role in Dance Troupe Supreme. Some of that research was provided by her mother.
Morgana is the daughter of Mary Jane O'Reilly, whose work with the Limbs dance company in the 1980s won it a reputation for edgy thrills. "Growing up, I sat in on dance rehearsals most of my sick days, watching New Zealand's best."
The Ponsonby actress says she's relishing playing Amber, Supreme's hard partier and sweetheart.
Dance Troupe Supreme is a black comedy about the, mostly offstage goings-on of a group of dancers. Written, directed and featuring Thomas Sainsbury, it demands strenuous input from artistes we often see on the box: Jaquie Brown in the role of innocent Charlotte, and Madeleine Sami as the troupe's self-styled leader, Kellyanna.
Sainsbury reckons O'Reilly is one of his favourite actresses to work with. "She's a dream to rehearse with because she's a very intelligent actress." And O'Reilly returns the compliment. "Although we're all friends, he's very good at keeping us working and reeling us back when we've gone too far."
With  such exposure to dance one wonders why O'Reilly opted for drama. "I always knew I couldn't be a dancer because I like talking too much. So it's great to be able to act as a dancer." However, the physicality of this piece has a price. She's had to "rearticulate" her body. "And believe me, it's been really hard work reintroducing myself to all my limbs."
Dance Troupe Supreme, Maidment Theatre's Musgrove Studio, 8 Alfred St, Mar 19-20, 24-27.  Tickets: ph 308 2383 or see www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz