Actor also writer

The Press 30 Oct 1984

Simon O'Connor appears in tonight's episode (#10) of "Inside Straight (1984)' as a guest actor. but he is now busy' working on the new TVNZ drama series "Roche (1985)" - as a writer.

Produced by the "Inside Straight" producer, Peter Muxlow, "Roche" is about the stresses and strains on a modem-day city family. There are three writers involved, each responsible for three episodes.

Before be began work on "Roche" at the beginning of the year, O'Connor had written one full-length stage play - "The Song of Johnny Muscle" - a few shorter pieces in collaboration with others, and also spent eight months writing for the Television New Zealand serial, "Close to Home (1975-83)."

He now has an idea for another full-length play and: with the aid of the $2000 Bruce Mason Award for Playwrights that he recently collected, he plans to work on this next year when he has finished his work for "Roche. "

O'Connor, aged 35, has worked in theatre since the age of 18, initially as an actor, but later moving into writing and directing as well. He says he drifted into acting, more by default than anything else, because nothing else "grabbed" him His portrayal of a former Japanese prisoner of war in an episode. of "Country GP (1984-85)" was highly praised.

He says that writing is likely to be the dominant thing in his life from now on, but this does not mean be will not be doing any more acting or directing. '

O'Connor has lived in the Wairarapa country town of Featherston for the last two years. He says he likes to spend his spare time going. for long walks. on country roads.

"Inside Straight" will be replaced next week by a new British series called "Give Us A Break."