Our Marty’s directorial debut

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Long-time local thespian Marty Newell has gone from stage to directing for The Sound of Music

Newell (right) debuts as assistant director under the tutelage of veteran director Bryan Aitken for Showbiz Queenstown’s latest production, which opens tonight. 

After time off from acting – Newell’s last big role was in 2009 as Thenardier in Les Miserables – he decided to broaden his theatre knowledge and move off-stage. 

“One of the reasons I wanted to do it is because having a director like Bryan to be able to study off is amazing,” Newell says. 

“He’s got a wealth of knowledge. If I come away with just a wee bit of it, that’ll be fantastic.” 

Newell’s enjoyed taking a big-picture perspective: “You’ve got to consider the whole stage area rather than just worrying about what you’re doing as an actor. 

“It’s been a really good experience. Just seeing people evolve in their characters and seeing how far they’ve come in their auditions to this point has been amazing.” 

Aitken says, like himself, Newell’s an “instinctive” director – working actors from the inside out, instead of the other way round. 

“He’s amalgamated his own acting experience with this form of directing, and he’s achieved it very well,” Aitken says.