Legal eagle’s dramatic encore

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Queenstown lawyer Nic Soper’s exchanging the courtroom for the stage next week.

He’s playing diverse roles in Remarkable Theatre’s Arrowtown production of award-winning Australian play, Away

Soper confesses it’s nearly 33 years since he last trod the boards as Shakespeare’s Richard III during his university days.

But he says “there was some pressure brought to bear by a number of people who suggested that since I’d been acting most of my life, anyway, I may as well do it on the stage”.

He was assigned his roles by visiting director, distinguished former Otago University Associate Professor of Drama, Lisa Warrington.

In one role he’s Colin – “a quite arrogant, full-of-himself camper” – and in the other he’s the hilarious end-of-year camp concert MC “in a hula skirt, Hawaiian shirt and add-ons”.

Soper says the play, set in Australia in the late ’60s, “mixes a bit of Shakespeare, a bit of real drama and a lot of comedy”.

“I think most people will find parts of it they can get some traction on, and the overall effect of it is a really enjoyable night out.”

He’s been working hard on cultivating an Aussie twang, but says “I apologise to everybody in advance for my singing and dancing”.

Asked whether he’ll continue his acting renaissance, he says: “I’ll have to wait for the reviews – they’ll dictate whether this is a one-off or whether there’s going to be a history of it.”

Away is being performed next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and September 20, 21 and 22 at the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall; tickets from Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.

scoop@scene.co.nz