Rep Talk with Nadine Rayner: Mr Badger and Little Fox Cub

Rep Talk with Nadine Rayner: Mr Badger and Little Fox Cub

Whanganui Repertory Theatre is in rehearsal for its upcoming production of Fantastic Mr Fox.

“When I saw it in the paper I thought I’d love to go and see it ’cause I really like Roald Dahl stories, then I thought I’d like to come and audition and be a part of it. I made Dad come with me to the auditions and he got a part too,” says 9-year-old Elizabeth Morton.

Elizabeth plays the part of one of the Fox cubs.

“Dad”, aka Mark Morton, chuckles. “Yes, I brought Elizabeth along and got up on stage to support her. I didn’t think I’d get a part. I thought I might get a job shifting scenery or props, something like that, but instead I got the part of Mr Badger.” Mr Badger is the narrator so is on stage for most of the play.

When he’s not on stage, Mark works in real estate. He lives on a small farm, but insists that he’s not a farmer. “Mum and I are the farmers,” Elizabeth chimes in. When I asked what livestock they had, Elizabeth listed a range of farm animals but her favourites are her chestnut Appaloosa pony named Sam, who is 23, and her new bigger pony, Star. Sam’s obviously very special. Mark showed me photos of him wearing all his winner’s ribbons. “He’s a winner,” he says.

“It’s great spending this time together with Elizabeth. It’s quality time and we’re really enjoying it. It’s great fun — we laugh a lot.” Would they come back next year to tread the boards at Rep?

“Absolutely!” said Mark, with a laugh.

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