Up Close & Personal with Tim Bray, QSM (Artistic Director)

Kia ora, I’m Tim Bray, QSM and I was born in Kaikōura but moved to Tāmaki Makaurau when I was two. I’m the Artistic Director of New Zealand’s largest and oldest theatre company for children – Tim Bray Theatre Company.

Tim Bray, QSM (Artistic Director)

How did you get into theatre?
Very early on, my late parents created a puppet stage with Mum making papier mâché hand puppets for my younger brother and I. They then enrolled me into Mary Amoore’s Auckland Youth Theatre when I was 13 and continued with drama classes through my teenage years.

How are things going right now?
With a very large professional theatre company under my wing and having got through three years of a global pandemic, and now, even with sell-out shows, things are proving to be more challenging now in many other ways. We’re a charity and we currently have a Theatre for All appeal seeking donations or for people to become patrons so we can continue to do what we do so well.

Who is your partner? What do they do?

My partner is Bryce. We met at Hero in 2000 when I was performing and he was a volunteer usher. He is a very good massage therapist.

Do you have any pets?
Yes our SPCA rescue cat, George. Originally called Vann but we couldn’t imagine calling ‘Vann, Vann, Vann’ from the back door.

Your best friend would say of you…
Gosh you keep busy.

Your mother would say of you…

My late mother told me often how much she loved me and how special I was to her and Dad. Oh, “and you don’t need to bring me flowers each time”.

You’ve got a day off – how do you spend it?
If summer time – a swim! But otherwise, catching up with family, treat of a meal out, good walk somewhere, sweep the blimmin’ street tree leaves from the courtyard. And there’s always theatre work to be done.

Loyal, honest, big hearted, wear my heart openly.

Chocolate. My one man show, Me and My Vice, finished with me teasing the audience with a King Size bar of chocolate and provocatively unwrapping it, and beginning to eat it.

Who’s your ultimate rock icon?
Kate Bush

Favourite Actor?
We contract so many great actors in our shows it would be very unwise for me to choose just one of them.

Secret passion?
Interior design and architecture, particularly the art deco period.

What’s your secret talent?
Am a whizz at making a pavlova but to be fair it’s a very good fail-safe Annabelle Langbein recipe.

Where do you spend your holidays?
For many years, my sister and her husband owned land at Opoutere so that was our annual camping holiday with the whole extended family. Now we keep trying somewhere new.

What’s your perfect Sunday?
So, so many ways to enjoy a perfect Sunday but not working is high on the list.

What were you going to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be the next Jacques Cousteau so studied science at school and gained a Bachelor of Science. But my first job out of uni was for Mary Amoore performing in schools and that’s where the ongoing adventure began.

Favourite local cafe?
Honey (opposite Leys Institute).

Favourite local restaurant?
When we want the Ponsonby hubbub, Prego, but otherwise at the moment we quite like Romulus & Remus.

Your best kept Ponsonby/Grey Lynn secret?
When SafeSwim shows they are green, the wee beaches in Herne Bay – sometimes we are the only ones there!

Your desert island distractions?
Yum – desserts. Oh sorry misread that. A series of good books. I’m a fast reader so can plough through a book a day when I’m at the beach.

The house is on fire and your family is safe – what do you save?
George the cat, and if time, a Graham Kirk painting (complete with Wonder Woman in front), of the outside of the theatre where we started in 1991 – now home to the Basement Theatre.

I’d be lost without my…
Glasses or contact lenses.

One thing you have learned about life is…
It goes really fast! I remember my Mum turning a significant age and she said how she still felt like the 20 year old she had been. I was quite dismissive of it but now as I get older I realise what she was saying.

If you would like to help Tim Bray Theatre Company continue their charitable work for current and future generations, head to: https://timbray.org.nz/theatre-for-all-appeal/.

* Tim appears in the April 2024 issue of Ponsonby News. Article published with permission from the publisher. To read the full April 2024 issue, check it out here: https://issuu.com/ponsonbynews/docs/ponsonby_news_april_2024_website

Translate »