Fortune Theatre proudly presents HEROS - 15th Aug 2012

Fortune Theatre proudly presents HEROS MEDIA RELEASE

Written by Gérald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard
2006 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
Directed by Lara Macgregor
Heroes is Tom Stoppard’s award-winning adaptation of Gérald Sibleyras’ enchanting and delightfully whimsical comedy Le Vent des Peupliers, that took Paris by storm.
Set in central France in 1959, this is the story of three cantankerous World War I veterans who are residents of a French Military Hospital.
Young and mischievous at heart and still with an eye for the ladies, Gustave, Philippe and Henri meet every morning on their quiet terrace, spending their days looking over to the poplars trees on the horizon beyond and dreaming of escape. Will today be the day they finally make it to Indochina - or perhaps only as far as the top of the hill?

STARRING: Peter Hayden, Geoffrey Heath and Simon O’Connor

These three veteran actors come together for the first time in Tom Stoppard’s translation that has been described as “at once funny and poignant, clever and whimsical.”

Director Lara Macgregor says “It is hard not to fall in love with this story, with these three forgotten gents that once served their country through one of the harshest wars. Tom Stoppard is such a clever wordsmith. He has made this play incredibly accessible to an English speaking audience.”

A prolific playwright, Stoppard is known for writing serious comedies. He is also known for his many play adaptations. Heroes premiered in 2005 at London’s Wyndham Theatre and continues Stoppard’s trademark style with a gentle observation of old age, memory and future hope told rather comically through the story of three aging veterans.

“Stoppard’s brilliant translation makes heroes a must – this kind of quality never gets old.” The Times
“Laughter galore plus a tear or two in 90 minutes of sheer class.” Sun
“Theatrical hit, a boulevard comedy bull’s-eye… achieves a seductive fusion of the comic, sad and absurd.” The Evening Standard


Peter Hayden - Peter Hayden’s long storytelling career spans fact, fiction, feather and fur. Hayden has worked extensively behind the scenes on a run of nature documentaries, made with company NHNZ. His acting career includes roles in classics such as Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Illustrious Energy and The Fire-Raiser. He was last seen at Fortune Theatre in Roger Hall’s A Shortcut to Happiness.

Geoffrey Heath – is a distinguished veteran Court Theatre actor. He has appeared in such productions as; The Elephant Man, Duet For One, Angels In America, Single Spies, The Wind In The Willows, Travels With My Aunt, Tons Of Money, Three Sisters, Hay Fever, The Diary Of Anne Frank, My Fair Lady, Noises Off, Great Expectations And King Lear. He has performed in many of the country’s professional theatres and his television and film credits include At The Risk Of Our Lives, Shark in the Park, Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, Duggan and William Shatner’s mystery television series, A Twist in the Tale. Geoffrey recently starred in a television documentary on Sir Earnest Rutherford and was honoured to be made an Associate of The Court Theatre at the end of 2011. In 2012 he performed at the new Court Theatre in Addington in the hit production of Calendar Girls.

Simon O’Connor – Simon's acting credits at the Fortune include Iago in Othello and Claudius in Hamlet (William Shakespeare), Ken in Home Land (Gary Henderson), Edwin in Who Wants To Be 100? and Harry in Four Flat Whites In Italy (Roger Hall). He was a researcher, deviser and performer for Hush (a verbatim theatre production about family violence) and he co-devised and acted in RBS Production's play One Day for Otago Festival of the Arts 2010. Simon is also a playwright and a past recipient of The Dominion Sunday Times Bruce Mason Award for Playwriting. He has taught playwriting for several years in the Theatre Studies programme at Otago University. He has a special interest in theatre collaborations, including community theatre and devised theatre, and is a co-founder of both Talking House (a community arts collective) and RBS Productions (a company devoted to making devised theatre works).

Gérald Sibleyras – acclaimed playwright, known for his most notable work, Heroes, or Le Vent des Peupliers. Other celebrated plays include Le Béret de la Torture, which he co-wrote with Jean Dell, along with Un Petit Jeu sans Conséquence, which received five Molière awards in 2003. Une Huere et Demie de Retard (again co-written with Dell), premiered at Théâtre des Mathurins, La Danse de l'Albatros premiered in Paris 2006. It was the hit of the season starring Pierre Arditi and other productions followed in Belgium, Canada and Italy. Une Heure et Demie de Retard adapted by Mel Smith, was produced in England and toured for several months. In 2003 Un Petit Jeu Sans Consequence was awarded 5 Molière Awards.

Tom Stoppard – is a world renowned author, playwright, translator and screenwriter. His first produced play was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1968. His subsequent plays include The Real Inspector Hound, After Magritte, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia and Rock ‘N’ Roll. Stoppard directed and wrote the screenplay for the film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which won the Prix d’Or at the Venice Film Festival 1990 for Best Film. He also wrote the screenplay adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s Poodle Springs for HBO and Shakespeare in Love for Universal, which won him an Academy Award for best original screenplay, a Golden Globe, and the Broadcast Film Critics and American Guild Awards for Best Screenplay 1998.

Interview with Tom Stoppard and Gérald Sibleyras

Set Designer Matt Best Costume Designer Maryanne Wright-Smyth
Lighting Designer Peter King Sound Designer Lindsay Gordon
Writer Gérald Sibleyras


Saucy Readings / Thursday 16 August meet at 12.15pm in the Dunedin Public Library. Reading will commence at 12.30pm followed by afternoon tea. This is a FREE event.

Opening Night / Saturday 25 August, 7.30pm

Member’s Briefing / Sunday 26 August join Fortune Theatre Artistic Director Lara Macgregor for a lively informal chat about the making of Heroes.

Forum / Tuesday 28 August Q & A session with the cast and crew post 6pm show. This is a FREE event.

Fortune Sociable Club / Wednesday 29 August meet in the bar at 6.30pm and meet like-minded individuals and get connected.

Father’s Day / 2 September Spoil Dad by taking him to dinner with one of Fortune Theatre’s Great Night Out Partners then attend Heroes. Contact Larissa Dyke in Marketing for more information.

Audio Described Performance / Sunday 9 September an audio described performance offered in collaboration with Experience Access for visually impaired patrons and friends. Audio Described Touch Tour at 2.30pm before 4pm matinee. Bookings essential.

Signed Performance / Tuesday 11 September a special 6pm signed performance for hearing impaired patrons.

Written by Gérald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard

Production Dates 25 August – 15 September

Venue Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016

Directed by Lara Macgregor

Cast Peter Hayden, Geoffrey Heath and Simon O’Connor

Performances Tuesday, 6pm / Wednesday - Saturday, 7.30pm / Sunday, 4pm
(no show Monday)

Tickets Gala (first 5 shows) $32, Adults $40, Senior Citizens $32, Members $30,
Tertiary Students $20, High School Students $15, Group discount (10 +) $32

Bookings Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart Street, Dunedin; (03) 477 8323

For further information, imagery or interview/photo opportunities please contact

Larissa Dyke
Marketing & Communications Manager
T: (03) 477 1292 ex 2
M: 027 256 9543

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