Alongside co-starring in classic office comedy Gliding On, Susan Wilson has acted in drama series Pioneer Women and a host of stage roles. This Funny As interview sees her touching on several subjects, including: Still being recognised for her Gliding On role as straight-talking office worker Beryl — which she played for five seasons Feeling lucky she got to play an early feminist role model on-screen — "Beryl usually solved the dilemma of the episode in some way, while all the men just couldn't cope" Lamenting the lack of diverse roles for women in the 1970s: "the girlfriend in the background, or the silly typist with the nail varnish on the desk" Working with playwright Roger Hall at Wellington's Circa Theatre: "He's always been able to capture whatever it is that's important that's going on around us" The "amazing, genius comedy" of John Clarke, witnessed while acting with him onstage in Wellington
A Week of It co-creator David McPhail is a verifiable Kiwi comedy legend.
Richard Harman is a seasoned journalist, TV reporter and television producer who began his career in newspapers before joining TVNZ News in the 1970s. As a political reporter on Eyewitness and later Eyewitness News, he covered the 1984 general election as well as the Springbok Tour and the Rainbow Warrior bombing. In 1999 Harman set up his own production company which launched the current affairs shows Agenda and The Nation.
Janice Finn is a television writer/producer who has also spent time in front of the camera. Her acting roles have included parts in Close to Home and The Strip. Finn produced the high camp 80s soap Gloss and 90s drama Marlin Bay, and has written extensively for Shortland Street. She has also produced reality series such as Changing Rooms for Touchdown Productions. Lately Finn has been producing documentaries for Natural History New Zealand.
Actor, writer, and director Madeleine Sami has been honing her skills in theatre, television and film since she was a teen. She talks in this Funny As interview about Kiwi humour, performing, and other subjects, including: Coming from a large, close extended family, where "everyone's got a good singing voice and everyone's a comedian" Travelling around the world to perform in Toa Fraser plays Bare and No. 2, soon after leaving high school Learning to write on drama/comedy TV series Super City, and playing all five lead characters in the first season Worries over whether Americans would get the humour in her and Jackie van Beek's film The Breaker Upperers Feeling excited that New Zealand comedy is respected overseas — "It feels really nice, it feels like we can be ourselves and laugh at ourselves and the rest of the world get it" Wanting to try stand-up comedy next
Comedy legend David McPhail began making New Zealanders laugh in pioneering 1970s sketch show A Week of It, then he and Jon Gadsby moved on to McPhail and Gadsby. The two comedians also had big parts to play in sitcom Letter to Blanchy. Later McPhail starred as the appallingly politically incorrect teacher in Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby.
Outrageous Fortune ran for six seasons, and lodged itself in New Zealand pop culture forever. The series tells the story of Cheryl West and her attempts to turn her Westie family away from a life of crime. A ratings hit for TV3, Outrageous Fortune proved that New Zealand television drama could hold its own against overseas productions.
Katherine Kennard left drama school and immediately landed a role on Xena: Warrior Princess. Her big break came playing lawyer Joni Collins over four seasons of Street Legal. Since then Kennard has appeared in a range of TV dramas including Orange Roughies, This is Not My Life, Underbelly and Spartacus. She was also part of the cast of the comedy-drama Nothing Trivial.
Peter Salmon is a Kiwi drama director with a trans-Tasman career. He began with a series of well-received short films: Playing Possum, Letters About the Weather, and Fog. Since then Salmon has directed a number of TV dramas in both New Zealand (Being Eve, Outrageous Fortune, This is Not My Life, Nothing Trivial); and Australia (Mr and Mrs Murder, Secrets and Lies, Offspring).
Irene Wood has played Katherine Mansfield, a nymphomaniac pensioner, and a gin-toting grandma to a Go Girl. Her screen career first got busy in the early days of NZ TV, as an actor, TV presenter, and musical performer. Years later she would snare what is probably her best-known role: as a hard-drinking grandma over five seasons of hit show Go Girls. Wood has also appeared on Shortland Street and in movies Rest for the Wicked and The Shirt.