Hitchcock's 'North by Northwest' Is Coming to the Auckland Stage and Starring a Bevvy of Local Celebs
'Westside's' Antonia Prebble and 'Shortland Street's' Ryan O'Kane are taking the titular roles in the new production — with the cast list reading like a who's who of local talent.
August 25, 2022
Following successful Australian runs in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, a New Zealand stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic suspense film North By Northwest is coming to the local stage from the Auckland Theatre Company this October.
Originally mounted by Melbourne Theatre Company and also staged in Toronto and the UK, this theatre version of the famous movie is written by MTC's Carolyn Burns and will feature an all-local lineup of talent. It's helmed by director and co-creator Simon Phillips (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding) who is returning home to Aotearoa to direct the new ASB Waterfront Theatre production — which is set to look as visually stunning as the original movie.
For those who need a recap, protagonist Roger O' Thornhill is a savvy advertising exec who is kidnapped by gangsters who believe he's a man called George Kaplan. When Thornhill denies such allegations, the thugs relentlessly chase him across the country — and he meets a beautiful and mysterious blonde along the way.
Some noteworthy names are taking point in the lead roles, including Westside and Outrageous Fortune star Antonia Prebble, best known for starring as both Loretta West and her grandmother Rita in the WCU (West Cinematic Universe). She's making a return to the stage as Eve Kendall, nine years after last appearing in The Glass Menagerie in 2013. Taking the role made famous by movie star Cary Grant in Hitchcock's original film is award-winning Kiwi actor Ryan O'Kane (A Streetcar Named Desire) who is making his Auckland Theatre Company debut as leading man-on-the-run, Thornhill. He's starred in some big international productions and flicks — but Kiwi audiences will no doubt know him from the small screen thanks to his iconic dual role as twins Dylan and Daniel Reinhart on Shortland Street.
An absolute bevvy of Aotearoa's finest will also be taking the stage, including Brokenwood Mysteries' Nicola Kawana, The Breaker Upperers' Andy Grainger, Outrageous Fortune's Wesley Dowdell and Shortland Street's Jonathan Martin, Haanz Fa'avae-Jackson and Jessie Lawrence — among others.
The stage version of North By Northwest will deliver all of the thrills and spills of the classic film, with heightened suspense played out in live theatre — and the delight of seeing local talent tread the boards. Yes, in true Hitchcock style, you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat.
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