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Back to back . . . The Oamaru Repertory Theatre's next production features (from left) Peter Sadler directing Andrew King and Glenda Hagenson, and Tracy Griffith and David Blair directed by Bob Avis. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Two short plays with some similarities but many differences are being staged back to back in the Itchen St theatre.

The Oamaru Repertory Society has two directors each with a cast of two actors. There are four performances on March 28 to 31, when the audience can choose to see either play or both. There is a half-hour interval between them.

First up is Carol & Nev, by New Zealand playwright Phil Ormsby. Director Bob Avis has cast David Blair as a Kiwi bloke driving his VW Kombi van to his daughter’s wedding. Along the way he acquires an unusual passenger, played by Tracy Griffith.

The second play is by Harold Pinter, a British playwright, screenwriter director and actor who won the Nobel prize for literature in 2005. The Loverdates back to 1962.

Its Oamaru incarnation features Glenda Hagenson and Andrew King directed by Peter Sadler. It contains adult themes, with the actors each playing two parts: wife and mistress, and husband and lover.

Amid the complications and dramas, there are also “lighter moments”, Sadler said.

He and Avis are dovetailing their rehearsals on the Itchen St theatre stage, which will be decorated with simple sets that are easily switched in the interval.

The plays are being performed on March 28-29 – Carol & Nev at 7pm, then The Lover at 8.30pm, and on March 30-31 – Carol & Nev at 4pm and The Lover at 5.30pm.

Tickets cost $10 for each play. Sadler said the combined outlay of $20 for both would be expected for a full-length play with an intermission.