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Auckland Theatre Company Launches 2021 Season With TWO LADIES

The women behind the world's most powerful men take centre stage.

Auckland Theatre Company Launches 2021 Season With TWO LADIES

Three of New Zealand's most high profile and celebrated female actors will take centre stage in New Zealand's premiere of the MiNDFOOD season of Two Ladies by Nancy Harris in February 2021.

Fresh from its 2019 world premiere in London, this fiendishly fashionable tour de force stars 2020 New Zealander of the Year Jennifer Ward-Lealand (The Seagull, Six Degrees of Separation, Vermilion) as France's more mature first lady 'Hélène', and Anna Jullienne (Mean Mums, Rendered, Anne Boleyn) as Eastern European model turned America's First Lady 'Sophia'.

Resemblances to Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump are more than coincidental, but that is merely a starting point for this deliciously deceitful pressure-cooker drama. Award-winning actor Rena Owen (The Pohutukawa Tree, Haruru Mai, Once Were Warriors) joins the stellar cast in a rare live theatre performance, bringing humour and plenty of laughs to her gritty cameo.

Auckland Theatre Company Artistic Director Colin McColl ONZM says, "Nancy Harris's play demands a superb cast and to have Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Anna Jullienne pitted against each other in the lead roles promises hi-jinks, high fashion and fireworks. It's also a special treat to re-unite Auckland audiences with Rena Owen who has managed to take time out from her busy US career to play the pivotal role of Sandy, the US press secretary.

Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming revealed just how corralled and controlled public life can be for these women and why they'd want to kick against it. The twists and turns of the plot make for an entertaining and intriguing night of theatre."

In Two Ladies, by prize-winning Irish playwright Nancy Harris, the first ladies of France and the United States of America find themselves alone together in a side room of a conference centre while their husbands - the Presidents of the United States of America and France - cross diplomatic swords down the hall. The play is cleverly, and at times, thrillingly close to what we think we know about the women who stand beside the world's most powerful men.

Director Colin McColl is joined in the creative team by renowned New York stylist and costume designer Lucy Jane Senior (Six Degrees of Separation, Boys Will Be Boys, Other Desert Cities) bringing her impeccable style and glamour to the production. Set designer Rachael Walker (Black Lover, The Daylight Atheist/Joan, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), and lighting designer Sean Lynch (Black Lover, Winding Up, The Audience) complete the experienced creative team.

Bringing together New Zealand's finest female acting powerhouses, ATC proves yet again that some of the best international theatre can be found right here in Tāmaki Makaurau. With a reputation as producers of superb intellectual entertainment, Auckland Theatre Company is delighted to present their first show of 2021, the unmissable MiNDFOOD season of Two Ladies at the ASB Waterfront Theatre. Tickets are now on sale.

Following the New Zealand premiere in Auckland, the Auckland Theatre Company season of Two Ladies tours in March 2021 to Clarence St Theatre in Hamilton, Baycourt Community & Arts Centre in Tauranga, New Plymouth's TSB Showplace and Toitoi Hawke's Bay Arts and Events Centre in Hastings. Tickets for the North Island tour go on sale 11 December.

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