Todd Emerson

Last year a play debuted at Q Theatre that everyone lost their minds over, Daffodils. It’s not so much a play as a piece of Kiwi caberet, and prolific talent Todd Emerson is its star, alongside the wonderful Colleen Davis. It’s a love story that will make you feel all the feels, and it’s making a short and triumphant return to Q next week. Don’t miss it!

I’m a terrible player of sports. I can’t catch, throw, hit, bounce or dribble a ball but I’m also a pretty good Kubb player.

My day usually begins with the sound of small children playing in the Kindergarten over our back fence. My mother owned a Kindergarten under the house I grew up in, so it seems some things never change. It ends with the sound of me snoring (I never thought I’d be a snorer, how has this happened? I don’t feel like a snorer?)

Name your three favourite places in Auckland to eat, drink and play
Eat at Chef Rasa Sayang in Birkenhead. It’s the best Malaysian I’ve had in New Zealand, and well worth the drive over the Shore. Drink at the Q Theatre bar. Or the Basement bar. Boring for an actor to say, I know, but it’s nice to go somewhere everyone knows your name right? And play… at Bethells Lake! I look forward to summer every year just so I can get a bunch of friends together, drive out to Bethells and then make the pilgrimage over the big sand dune to the big lake. Heaven.

Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
When I was 18 I very stupidly (and drunkenly) got into a car with a drunk driver who then drove us straight into a tree. I broke my back, and the lap belt I was wearing cut into my abdomen and severed my appendix. I’m very lucky to be alive (and not so stupid anymore).

Pick a book and a park you’d like to read it in, anywhere in the world
I have two books! The first is very short and the second is very long. ‘We The Animals’ by Justin Torres is the most perfectly formed 125 pages I’ve ever read. ’The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’ by Michael Chabon is much more dense but so worth it. And right at this very moment, there is no place in the world I would rather be reading than in my very own backyard in Grey Lynn under the fruit trees, even if it is a quarantine zone!

Tell us a little bit about Daffodils
Daffodils is the debut show from a very exciting new theatre company called Bullet Heart Club. It’s a real life romance based on Rochelle’s (the writer) parents who met each other as teenagers late one night in a Daffodil patch. It features songs that you know and places you have been and it’s a beautiful piece of theatre.

It’s clear from the success of its debut season that this play strikes a chord with New Zealanders, what do you think that is?
I think nostalgia plays a big part in it. The fact that it’s full of these kiwi songs that we know all the words to, that are piped into your phone every time you are put on hold, and we inject new meaning into them, so it’s like you’re hearing them for the first time. Also the characters are SO kiwi, everyone can identify a bit of themselves with Eric or Rose, or see an Uncle or Mother in them. But ultimately I think the story is just so good and real and Rochelle is such a great writer so it’s not only New Zealanders who have their chords struck!

What other projects have you got in the works this year?
It’s a pretty big year for me! I’ve just gotten home from a month long tour of Massive Company’s ‘The Brave’ in Wellington and Hawaii (right???). Daffodils is touring to Hamilton, Wanaka and the Bay of Islands. Then I’m back in Auckland for Bullet Heart Club’s next show ’The Deliberate Disappearance of my Friend, Jack Hartnett’. After that we’re back on tour with Daffodils (venues and dates to be announced) and I’m rounding off the year in Silo’s ‘Hudson & Halls Live!’ which I’ve co-created with my fiancee Kip Chapman. Also at some point, Westside, the Outrageous Fortune prequel that I’m in will be airing on TV3. Phew, i’m exhausted already.

The Deliberate Disappearance of my Friend, Jack Hartnett from Bullet Heart Club on Vimeo.

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?

Because, why not?

Daffodils is playing at Q from the 8th to 12th of April. Get tickets here, and hurry, it’s sure to be a sell out.