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Svargo and Jan Paton will act in the lead roles of Dolly and Molly. Photo: SUPPLIED

Actress sits in directors chair for show

A Thames woman who has flexed her acting muscles on stage will now display her might behind the scenes.
Hilary Rodley, who has been a member of Thames Music and Drama for roughly five years, will earn her playwright and director credentials with her new show ‘Number Five Birdwell Road’, running from June 16-24.
“I’ve surprised myself by how enjoyable I’ve found the process. Even when I thought I’d finished [writing the play], I saw a movie that made me think of one of my characters – and I had to go and change a line,” she told The Profile.
“It’s quite interesting how the characters live in your mind.”
Hilary describes ‘Number Five Birdwell Road’ as being a mash-up of comedy and poignance. The main theme is one of friendship, explored through the eyes of different people within the play. It’s also based in Yorkshire, northern England, she said, and so the cast have been practising their accents.
“Although it’s helpful that a lot of them are actually from Yorkshire, bizarrely, so that’s really serendipitous.”

Actress Hilary Rodley will see her first play come to life on stage. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Playing the lead of Dolly is Thames MAD newcomer Svargo, wife of Thames-Coromandel Mayor Len Salt.
Joining her in the role of Molly is Jan Paton.
The play – which has a cast of 13 – will be Hilary’s first time directing adults, and she said it has been a “big process” getting her work to the stage.
“It was certainly amazing, even in the auditions, to hear words that I’ve written being spoken by actors,” she said.
“When we did our first read-through, one of the cast members just burst into tears because she was so affected by the ending. There are lots of laughs [in the show], but it has those moments that catch you, too.”
As a first-time director and playwright, Hilary said she’s felt “really supported” by Thames MAD and other directors.
“I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing, but I have always enjoyed writing, and I find writing dialogue a lot easier than writing whole stories,” she said.
“So, this plays on that enjoyment.”
DETAILS: Thames Music and Drama’s latest production ‘Number Five Birdwell Road”, directed by Hilary Rodley, will be running from June 16-24. Tickets available now from