• Andy Grainger and Lisa Chappel.

Tadpole celebrates 10 years with world premiere

The Campervan, at The PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna, September 8th to 18th

A full year after it was originally intended to open, the world premiere of Kathryn Burnett’s new play, The Campervan, directed by Simon Prast, will finally begin its Covid delayed season at the PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna. The limited season, from September 8th-18th, celebrates ten years since the 2012 production of The Lion In Winter launched Tadpole Productions. Sixteen plays and two play readings later the company has garnered a wide audience, with acclaimed shows including Driving Miss Daisy, Social Climbers, Two, The Book Club and Shirley Valentine. Veteran north shore actors Lisa Chappell and Andrew Grainger will be teaming up on stage, alongside Milo Cawthorne, Greg Johnson (from Torbay) and Catriona Toop, to premiere The Campervan.

North Shore born and bred Lisa is an actress, singer and writer, best known for her Logie winning role as Claire Mcleod in Mcleod’s Daughters, as Chelsea in the iconic kiwi series Gloss and most recently on Shortland Street. A regular with Tadpole and Auckland Theatre Company Lisa is thrilled to be back with her Tadpole family, working on her second hilarious Kathryn Burnett play and being directed by Simon Prast again.

Andrew’s career as an actor began in the 1980s, on London’s West End, as well as in TV dramas and feature films, also working alongside Robert Redford in Spy Game. Since emigrating to New Zealand and now living in Campbells Bay, Andrew has rapidly built up an impressive collection of screen credits including The Brokenwood Mysteries, Shortland Street and Outrageous Fortune as well as many stage performances, including the acclaimed Nightsong production of Te Po at the Bruce Mason Centre.

Growing up in Devonport and Bayswater, Kathryn Burnett is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Her name can be found on many successful TV series including the TVNZ award-winning tele-feature The Tender Trap, black comedy Fresh Eggs, Black Hands, The Strip and children’s sci-fi  drama series The Cul de Sac. Her most recent TV work includes My Life is Murder starring Lucy Lawless, and rom-com Under The Vines starring Rebecca Gibney.

Simon Prast is a director and actor who was the founder of Auckland Theatre Company in 1992 and director of the first Auckland Festival AK03. From Gloss to The Gulf, from 12 Angry Men to To Kill A Mockingbird, Simon is a familiar face to many. He starred in the world premiere season of Shane Bosher's play Everything After, in the new political satire Talkback and recently took on the role of Roger Hall himself in the play reading of Roger’s retrospective new work Whine and Cheese for Tadpole.

The script of The Campervan is cleverly relatable to so many life events…. Forget the mid-life crisis – welcome to the full blown 60th birthday meltdown! A comedy about the absolute havoc that can be caused by good intentions, combined with the realisation that time is catching up with what we might want to achieve in life. Successful businessman Hugh and his younger second wife Tamsin live a life of luxury. But when Hugh decides something is missing and he wants to give away his millions as a legacy to a good cause and live in a campervan, the family wheels are bound to fall off…

Be sure to book early for this premiere production, which will be on stage for a limited season only at The PumpHouse Theatre, 2 Manurere Ave. Takapuna. Bookings www.pumphouse.co.nz or phone (09) 489-8360. Early Bird booking discounts close 25 August.