Ray Henwood is of New Zealand’s leading actors, who we are lucky to have regularly on the stage here at Circa Theatre. He currently stars in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, and other memories of childhood; described by Ewen Coleman as the “most engaging and entertaining piece of theatre…” (read the full review in The Dominion Post).
Q. Performing these stories by Dylan Thomas, set in your home town, must be a nostalgic trip down memory lane for you?
Yes, I lived in Swansea where these stories are set.
Q. You came to New Zealand as a young man, but you weren’t an actor then. What was your career in those days?
I was a teacher with a science degree. The professional theatre started in 1965 and I was in the first play at the Downstage theatre restaurant.
Q. Performing a solo show must be exciting but also a bit scary?
They are demanding but I enjoy them.
Q. You have played many different roles in your career. Which is your favourite?
I usually say the one I am playing at the moment. But, truthfully, I have enjoyed and had a wonderful time playing them all.
Q. Your son Dai has made a name for himself as a performer. Could this be the beginning of the Henwood theatre Dynasty?
I am not sure about that but I do have a grandson now and my wife Carolyn took him to see Robin Hood: the Pantomime the other day. He is almost 3 and he loved it.
Q. In the New Year there is rumour that you are going to play one of the Shakespeare biggies? Are we allowed to know what this is?
It is to be announced any minute! Watch this space. I can say though that it will be a magnificent role for me to tackle and I am looking forward to it immensely. [editor’s note – look out for the 2016 programme announcement on 18 December)
Q. Finally – who do you barrack for when watching the rugby – the All Blacks or the Welsh?
Although my grandfather was a welsh international rugby player, after 53 years as a New Zealander I am now an All Black supporter.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales is on until 20 December. Book on the Circa website or call, ph. 04 801 7992.