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The Star: March 23, 2017

18 Thursday

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The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 23 2017 19 Theatre/Arts Actor gets married, takes on drag queen role CENTRE STAGE: Tom Worthington as Adam Whitely (left), Isaac Pawson as Anthony ‘Tick’ Belrose and Cameron Douglas as Bernadette Bassenger in Showbiz Christchurch’s production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding THE FIRST time Isaac Pawson was transformed into a drag queen he thought he would feel quite self-conscious and uncomfortable. But the moment he stepped into what were “very steep heels”, caked on the make-up and dressed in bright attire, he felt himself come out of his shell. “I kind of got this feeling of what it could be like and why people do it . . . you are not quite yourself. You can put on a bit of character and add some new attributes,” he said. Naturally an introvert, Pawson, 22 has found pursuing an acting career and playing particularly flamboyant roles has helped push him out of his comfort zone. The Cashmere resident will feature in one of the leading roles in Showbiz Christchurch’s latest production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Playing Anthony ‘Tick’ Belrose – whose drag name is Isaac Pawson ‘Mitzi Mitosis’ – it will be his first major role in a large-scale show since graduating from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art last year. The musical tells the story of two Sydney drag queens and a male transgender who are contracted to travel to Alice Springs to put on a drag show. As part of a journey of self-discovery for the three friends, Tick finally gets to meet his son after coming out as gay. Pawson said while the show will be a “feast of the eyes” and filled with quick, fiery one-liners and sass, it carries a strong message of acceptance and not judging people for the way they appear to be. “We want to represent the real people who experience this lifestyle of drag and obviously have quirks about them but are still genuine real people that aren’t just characters,” he said. Pawson got married to his best friend of more than 10 years, Beth Alexander, just last month. “We are not ones to stick to tradition a lot of the time just for the sake of it and we knew we wanted to be together forever so we thought why not make that official now,” he said. But it has not been easy for the couple who have barely seen each other since their marriage. While Pawson has been busy with Priscilla Queen of the Desert, his Aucklandbased wife has been shooting a television feature on the famous New Zealand thoroughbred racehorse, Kiwi. “It has been really tough and is not something I would recommend to anyone, but it comes with the territory of being in this industry,” Pawson said. He is planning to move up to Auckland to be with his wife shortly after the show finishes. •Priscilla Queen of the Desert will run at the Isaac Theatre Royal from March 24 to April 8. To book tickets, go to http:// isaactheatreroyal.co.nz •More theatre/arts, page 20 Roger Hall’s Comedies ArE hEAdING TO ChrISTChurCh ThIS yEAr Taking Off opens on 20 April and will provide our audiences with an in depth (and not so) look at four women as they embark on their big OEs. The four tell us about their experiences while abroad, by writing a novel, mobile phone, video diary and of course email. So as the clichés state… Come on board or catch a flight with us or grab a seat etc with us for TAKING OFF. Book now to ensure your seat, online at www.casnova.co.nz. We have special deals and packages and remember you get to select your own seat when you book with us. “YOU CAN’T BEAT KIWI CREATIVE TALENT.” - Craig Hutchison, Director and Producer CAS’n’OVA PRODUCTIONS on their latest production. BOOK ONLINE NOW www.casnova.co.nz or www.takeme2.co.nz