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Mark Hadlow is counting his lucky stars after forty years of work

He has graced our screens, large and small, and trod the boards on stages across the country. On Sunday, Mark Hadlow will give back to the theater company that offered him his first professional acting gig 39 years ago.

Hadlow will stage a one-off show, Mark Hadlow Unleashed, at Christchurch’s Court Theatre. It is a fundraising campaign for the theater company, which will move to a new purpose-built building currently under construction in the city center in 2025.

“It’s going to be amazing,” Hadlow exclaimed during a tour of the site. “It will be a home for professional actors for the next hundred years.”

Hadlow was currently appearing at the Court Theater in Heathcote Valley Road’s Mr & Mrs MacBeth.

Actor Mark Hadlow and Seven Sharp reporter Jendy Harper.

He arrived for his Seven Sharp interview at the Christchurch gondola attraction dressed in his Macbeth costume, much to the bewilderment of tourists and the delight of the gondola crew, who quickly secured selfies with the famous actor.

Hadlow said Sunday’s one-off fundraising show was his way of giving back to a theater company that played a key role in his professional life for four decades.

“It will be facts and misconceptions, lies, laughter and all kinds of anecdotes from the last forty years of Court Theatre,” enthuses Hadlow.

‘My daughter is coming. She’s going to talk about what it’s like to be a daughter to someone who is always away.’

Hadlow would be joined on stage by fellow actors and admitted it had the potential to be “a bit of a roast”.

With such an extensive personal history with the company, there were sure to be many stories shared with and about the mercurial actor.

Tim Bain, the Court’s artistic director, had such a story from the time Hadlow “skipped” 32 pages of lines while performing his one-man show MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra).

Christchurch Court Theater Associate Artistic Director, Tim Bain.

“So I picked up the script, walked out in front of a packed house and effectively swore at Mark and said, ‘I’ve got the script, these are the lines, and you’re going to do it the way it’s meant to be done.’ to do it,’ and walked away,” Bain recalled.

Hadlow said it took 10 minutes to get that night’s crowd under control.

Hadlow earned a new legion of fans worldwide when he was cast as the hobbit, Dori, in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, having previously been cast by Jackson in Meet the Feebles.

Hadlow described Jackson as “very funny, very quick, very witty and with a very dry sense of humor, and I like that”.

“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for Peter on several projects, and that’s been fun.”

Hadlow revealed the name Jackson gave to the hobbits – “little bastards” – and that he has a T-shirt with the “endearment”.

The actor’s latest and favorite film outing was the arthouse thriller Blue Moon.

“The film was shot entirely on an iPhone in Motueka, in a gas station,” he said. “It was fantastic, the movie is great.”

Hadlow’s enthusiasm for his craft has not diminished over time, although he worries about future opportunities for emerging actors.

Mark Hadlow on stage with Mr & Mrs MacBeth from Heathcote Valley Road.

During a performance in Christchurch, Hadlow is billeted by friends, as is often the case across the country.

“They are very supportive of the arts in their own way,” he explained. “My thanks to all the people who came to the fore and appointed colleagues. Without them I don’t know what I would do. Well, actually I couldn’t do it.”

His ability to entertain audiences for forty years was a testament to his talent and tenacity.

“Every time I count my lucky stars, I was able to do it.”