When Tim Carlsen performed his solo show One Day Moko at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, his portrayal of a homeless man was so realistic he was "moved on" while promoting the show outside the theatre.

Carlsen, now starring in TV2's Dirty Laundry, was dressed as the homeless lead character Moko, who keeps his possessions in a supermarket trolley. He was outside the Gilded Ballroom handing out advertising flyers for the show when a staff member appeared and, not seeing the flyers, asked Carlsen to move.

The same thing happened on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, but he suspects that was because he didn't realise permits are needed if you want to hand out advertising material there.

"But I had a lot of people thinking I really was homeless."

He's swapped the solo show to play "the world's greatest lover" - among other roles - alongside four other spirited performers, Jack Buchanan, Susie Berry, Andrew Patterson and Comfrey Sanders. Carlsen agrees life is a lot less lonely when you're appearing in a show like Don Juan, one of the most popular in Auckland this year.


Herald theatre critic Janet McAllister described it as an "energetic, irrepressibly gleeful and good-natured evening out" as the cast use the Don Juan story as the basis for jokes and fast-paced theatre that include audience participation.

"From the start, the audience is part of the show and - thanks to the non-threatening joie de vivre and warm inclusivity - it works," McAllister wrote.

Carlsen says it's the kind of theatre he likes to make because it's bold, different and changes nightly depending on the willingness of an audience to join the high-jinx.

"It keeps the audience on the edge of their seats - and no one has to join if they don't want to - and us actors on our toes and that's how theatre should be."

Directed by Gene Leo Peters, Don Juan developed out of a desire to have fun with theatre. Peters, who directed Carlsen in early performances of One Day Moko, says the aim was to play with theatrical rules and conventions and to make it more like a party than a show.

The party continues, minus Carlsen, when Don Juan travels back to Wellington this month. After its Auckland season and performances at the Nelson Arts Festival, it returns to the capital where it will be performed in inner-city bars.

It could well be seen as an example of crowd-demanded theatre because those who want to see it have to book online (www.suchcrowd.co.nz/slightlyisolateddog) and performances are only confirmed when enough people purchase a ticket.

What: Don Juan
Where & when: Q Theatre, until Saturday; various Wellington CBD bars November, 16 - December, 4