Ray Henwood, ONZM — father of Dai — arrived here from Wales just in time for the birth of professional theatre downunder. Best known to TV viewers for five seasons as Hugh on hit office comedy Gliding On, Henwood’s screen roles include villains (The Legend of William Tell) surgeons (Shortland Street), and experts in hydrothermia (Such a Stupid Way to Die). Which is not to mention an epic theatre career which has seen him play Stalin, Einstein and Richard Burton, and star in early plays at Downstage and Circa. In this ScreenTalk interview, Henwood talks about:
- Falling in love with New Zealand after arriving here on a gap year in the 60s, to work as a teacher
- How his long Kiwi acting career began after impressing theatre legend Nola Millar playing an abbreviated Henry V, at a British Drama League festival
- How in the days before the birth of the drama school, Kiwi actors often trained overseas, and never returned
- Balancing a famous Moro bar commercial with his other job as a forensic toxicologist
- The breakthrough success of Roger Hall play Glide Time
- His annoyance at the first, 1978, TV adaptation of Glide Time
- Warm memories of doing Gliding On with a live audience at Avalon’s Studio 8, and how few times things sent wrong on set
- Surviving a runaway horse while playing second villain to actor Andrew Robertt, on the Wellington set of The Legend of William Tell
- Being proud Dad to comedian Dai Henwood
Many thanks to Sarah Gaitanos (author of biography Nola Millar - A Theatrical Life) for her help with this interview.
This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.
Direction and Interview - Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing - Alex Backhouse.