Returning to the stage

Actor Mick Innes.
A quick word with actor Mick Innes who returns to the very stage where he had his heart attack three years ago.


Actor Mick Innes (Housebound, Home and Away) returns to The Basement with the follow up to his beloved solo show Zen Dog… three years later, after surviving a heart attack and two major strokes. He will perform on the very stage where he had his heart attack – an opportunity for the audiences to hear firsthand, with his usual charisma and sense of humor, how it all went down. And how his near death gave him a new life. After a long recovery process, Mick is back on the stage doing what he loves.

With a career spanning three decades, both in Australia and NZ. His credits include classic Australian films like Bootmen, Praise and Two Hands (alongside Heath Ledger) and most recently Son of a Gun, starring Ewan McGregor. On TV he appeared in Home and Away, All Saints and Echo Point – where he played Martin Henderson’s father. Back in NZ Mick has appeared in a range of roles in TV and film: Housebound, Netherwood, Amazing Extraordinary Friends, Super City, Sunny Skies as well as the lead in TV3’s Hounds

Zen Dog: Satori is a completely new show, focused on family and some ghosts from his past. This is a fundraising season for a documentary (currently in production) about his life. Renee Liang asks Mick a few questions.

What keeps you acting?

The mystery, the poetry and the storytelling.

Why do theatre?

Why not? Theatre goes as far back as the cavemen on the rock.

Did your heart attack and strokes change your attitude to performance?

Maybe. I'm not as fit as I was. I realize now that life is definitely too short.

So you're returning to the same stage where you nearly died... how does this affect your performance?

That's really exciting. I love The Basement. So, maybe it will improve. Anyway, I hope it's not the last time I'm there.

Theatre as catharsis: why do you choose to face your ghosts so publicly?

Antonin Artaud, the french actor/director/ writer explored this area. He eventually, in Ireland, was dragged off the stage in a straitjacket. His book The Theatre and its Double influenced me. He is a hero.

What are your favourite moments in this show, and why?

At the end. I've taken myself through a range of emotions.... I'm thinking about straitjackets.

Tell us about the documentary - why now?

Roberto Nascimento, my collaborator and director, would know the answer to that question.

What are you working on next?

The documentary (hopefully). Otherwise, I have no idea.

Written by

Renee Liang

31 Oct 2016

Renee is a writer who is exploring many ways of telling stories, including plays, short stories, poetry (which she also performs), and cross-genre collaborations with composers, musicians, sculptors and filmmakers.

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