by David Wood A Heart Melting Drama Directed by Nathan Hey 28 Sep–13 Oct
Based on one of the most uplifting stories ever written, the play is set during the build-up to World War Two. We follow sad, young William Beech as he is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside where he builds a remarkable and moving friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley. All seems perfect until William is devastatingly summoned back to London by his mother.
AS TOM OAKLEY Having just appeared in An Inspector Calls as Arthur Birling, Paul now has a second appearance this year at Dolphin. “It’s been a fascinating switch from a static period drama to an episodic piece, built around a constantly changing set teeming with characters. Converting the north country dialect of Brumley into a Dorset burr has been just one of the many enjoyable challenges.
DIRECTOR This is Nathan’s first direction at Dolphin Theatre. He has directed 4000 Miles at Howick Little Theatre (2014), The Perfect Murder (2016 play of the year), and Cruise Control (2018). In 2017, he wrote The Operative, which was performed in HLT’s studio and is being adapted for film. Over the last eight years, he’s been involved in directing, set design/construction and prop-making, as well as short film, including his own, Breach and Clear, and art director for Death Walks into a Bar.
AS WILLIAM BEECH Matt has learnt so much and loved every minute working on this play. This is his second time at Dolphin Theatre, having also appeared in Oliver Twist. He has acted in High School Musical, TheCohort Hotel and How the Kiwi got its Wings. He wishes to thank Nathan for casting him (and for being the one to teach him how to swing a hammer when he was about five years old!).
AS ANNIE HARTRIDGE AND MRS BEECH As a parent, what could be more satisfying than sharing something you love with your child, so I am delighted to be sharing the stage once more with my boy Matt. We also performed here together in Oliver Twist in 2016. Equally satisfying is being part of this remarkable team, sharing in the telling of this harrowing, but ultimately beautiful story. Other recent appearances for me at Dolphin have been Curtain Up, Spirit Level and Looking.
AS SAMMY AND GEORGE This is Harry’s first show in Auckland. In Christchurch, he has performed in musicals such as Pippin and Tomorrow’s Too Late, and over five shows with The Court Theatre, including one piece he wrote himself. He also recently finished filming his first series pilot for TVNZ. His passion for acting continues to grow, so keep an eye out for this theatrical colossus in the future.
AS BILLETING OFFICER AND MISS THORNE Ireland’s greatest export, Joanne Hennessy, is back! After a minor hiatus from the theatre stage, she is extremely proud to be amongst the creative crew of Dolphin Theatre for her New Zealand debut. With a mixed background in theatre, improv and exercise instruction, she hasn’t been completely away from the stage light, teaching group fitness classes and managing CityFitness in Queen Street as her nine to five.
AS MRS MILLER AND TICKET COLLECTOR This is Carleen's second appearance on the Dolphin stage this year after playing Ruby in Hidden in this Picture, part of the One-Act Play Festival. She has also been in Oliver Twist, One Man, Two Guvnors and That Woman. Working with theatre enthusiasts makes a change from her usual work companion – Harold the giraffe.
AS CHARLIE RUDDLES, DAVID HARTRIDGE, VICTOR, MR STELTON AND POLICEMAN Arthur was last on stage at Dolphin only recently in An Inspector Calls. Not wanting to have any free time that might lead to mischief, he is back for more. Playing multiple roles is always a great challenge, and one Arthur did for Oliver Twist at Dolphin in 2016.
Marika Van der Voorn
AS MISS MILLER This is Marika’s first time as an actor at Dolphin, and she’s really excited to be part of this whole production. She’s been in a few other performances, such as at TAPAC with the National Youth Theatre Company, but it’s nice to do a production outside of teen-theatre. She is looking forward to taking part in more productions at Dolphin in the future.
AS ZACH George was last seen on the Dolphin stage seven years ago, when he played Jay in Lost in Yonkers.
He has recently co-founded Blakbox Drama, and several of its students are part of the cast. George is thrilled to be playing Zach and working with such a wonderful cast and crew on this production of Goodnight Mister Tom.
AS DR LITTLE AND ARP WARDEN Mark has done most of his acting in the context of youth work in South Auckland and nationally. He often does comedy routines lampooning various people, or sketches with quirky characters. He has trained and toured teams of young people around New Zealand and Pacific schools with musical and drama presentations. He writes scripts for faith-based settings and has taught intermediate school drama. His last two theatre performances were in The Vicar of Dibley (Titirangi Theatre) and Roger Hall’s Bookends at Howick Little Theatre. Mark is currently teaching English as a second language.
AS GINNIE AND NURSE Jess is 15 and very passionate about drama and theatre. She has previously participated in Dolphin’s productions, featuring as Lockup Lottie in Oliver Twist and Edna from An Inspector Calls, and has helped backstage with a couple of shows. Jess is excited to be participating in bringing this heart-warming children’s classic to stage, while exploring the character of Ginnie.
AS MRS FLETCHER, GLAD AND SOCIAL WORKER This is Viktoria’s first appearance at the Dolphin, and she is looking forward to the challenge of mastering the different personalities and accents she will need to play Mrs Fletcher, Glad and a social worker. Previous shows include the musicals Bonnie and Clyde, Bad Girls and Oliver! all at the Harlequin Theatre. She would like to extend her thanks to family and friends for the support they have given to her.
AS CARRIE AND SISTER Abbie has completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts and a Master of Teaching and Learning from Otago University. She’s a Performing Arts teacher at Onehunga High School. Abbie enjoys getting involved in dance and theatre shows, as well as gigging with her guitar at local bars and cafés. Her most recent roles were as Felicity Cunningham in The Real Inspector Hound and as the inmate Kira in the original musical Behind Bars.