Comedian Jeremy Elwood is taking to the stage at The Court Theatre in the world première of new play THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN. Elwood trades a microphone for a handgun in an Irish comedy "as black as a pint of Guinness".
"In 'the industry', stand-up comedians aren't the same as actors," says Elwood, a regular panellist on TV show 7 DAYS. "Fair enough. Just ask Robin Williams, Billy Connolly, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, Dawn French..."
Elwood trained as an actor at Otago University and has performed in several productions in Dunedin and Auckland, as well as touring New Zealand in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF William Shakespeare (ABRIDGED). Elwood calls THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN "one of the best scripts I've ever worked from."
"I'd heard about Jeremy's acting chops from his reputation at Otago," says director Ross Gumbley. "He's fearless, has a great chemistry with the other actors - it's been a delight to work with him."
In between performances of THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN, Elwood will also perform a stand-up comedy show with Michele A'Court (NZ Comedy Guild's "Female Comedian of The Decade" and columnist) on September 27 during the show's run.
THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN is the brainchild of Irish writer Mark Power, who befriended Philip Aldridge whilst writer-in-residence at The Liverpool Playhouse in the 1980s. In 2008 Power and Aldridge (now The Court Theatre’s Chief Executive) resumed contact, and Power outlined the basic premise of THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN: a retired Gardai who recruits his grandson to kill the criminals that were never brought to justice. Gumbley "loved the idea" and asked Power to write his first full-length work in twenty years.
"SLAPDASH has been a long time coming," says Gumbley - "we've been working towards this production for almost four years. Mark is a beautiful writer with a gift for dialogue who's mixed great ideas with pitch-black comedy."
"I'm immensely grateful to The Court," says Power, "not just for commissioning the play, but in the case of Philip Aldridge and Ross Gumbley, for initiating the work, and encouraging me to persist with it. "
THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN, written by Mark Power and directed by Ross Gumbley, runs at The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington from September 15th to October 6th, 2012. Show times are 6:30pm Monday and Thursday and 7:30 for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (2pm matinee Sat 25 August.) Tickets Prices are Adults $48, Seniors $41, Groups (20+) $39, Under 25 $29, and Children $19. For bookings call 03 963 0870 or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz
THE SLAPDASH ASSASSIN cast is comprised of Damien Avery, John Bach, Jeremy Elwood, Kim Garrett, Michael Keir-Morrissey and David Weatherley. The Production team - Set design: Mark McEntyre, Lighting Design: Geoff Nunn, Sound Design: Sean Hawkins, Stage Manager: Cally Castell, Props Manager: Anneke Bester, Costume Design: Annie Graham, Set Construction: Nigel Kerr, Richard Daem, Henri Herr, Maurice Kidd, Richard van den Berg, Wardrobe: Emily Thomas, Bronwyn Corbet, and Production Manager: Mandy Perry.