Two of New Zealand’s most successful Aussie exports will hit the stage next month for some kinky action in The Auckland Theatre company’s Venus in Fur at the Herald Theatre.
Former Neighbours star Morgana O’Reilly will star as Vanda, who comes for an audition that turns into a battle of wits with her director Thomas, played by Kiwi actor Craig Hall — also a star of Aussie drama A Place to Call Home — in the Tony Award-winning David Ives play.
O’Reilly, who is back in New Zealand with her family, explained the play:
"Think 50 Shades of Grey with dialogue that is actually clever, a female character that demands intrigue, a few jaunts into 1870 and a Hail Aphrodite!" she said.
"There will be lace-up six-inch boots. There will be lace. There will be bikini lines groomed, possibly."
That O’Reilly and Hall are great friends in real life which should help break down any stage fright.
"Some members of the audience at the Sydney season of the play came in full S&M gear," Hall said.
"It’s got great dialogue that is sexually charged and witty. It will be a fun night out that’s bound to raise lots of conversation … and eyebrows."
"My character assumes complete control by stepping in as director. He’s a control freak and a perfectionist. It’s interesting how sometimes we think we want control and security but when we achieve it, we find what we actually want is the opposite — spontaneity, impulsiveness and a chance to be submissive."
O’Reilly describes her character as "a sassy actress struggling to get work in New York".
"At first she may come off as a little scattered and stupid but perhaps that’s just a front for her wicked intellect, her wicked talent or just her wicked-ness," she said.
Meanwhile, Hall said he was looking forward to his time back in New Zealand.
"I love being home with my families, our families. There’s something about coming home and the sense that there’s a familiarity and love that goes deeper there than anywhere else. I’m looking forward to checking Auckland out again — it’s been a while."