Max Gillies, Benita Collins, John Wood and Geoff Harvey ham it up for Senior Moments.
Max Gillies, Benita Collins, John Wood and Geoff Harvey ham it up for Senior Moments.

Humorous Seniors Moments on stage

AUSTRALIAN'S don't value their older actors as much as other countries according to veteran stage and screen performer John Wood.

Wood, one of the best-known faces in Australia, is currently touring Australia with the stage review Senior Moments. Everywhere he goes the Gold Logie winner said he is still recognized for his iconic character Sgt Tom Croydon 16 years after the drama Blue Heelers ended.

However, despite being on the cusp of turning 73 this year don't think that John has retired - though he does think his chances of breaking into Hollywood are behind him even in a climate where there are more and more movies being made for the over 60s in the US and UK

Does Wood think it's a trend that will extend here and doesn't see himself heading overseas any time soon?

"It's always been the case in the UK," he said explaining that he didn't think movies and stage plays for older audiences was a new thing.

"The British seem to have a great deal of respect for their older actors like Dame Judy Dench and Dame Maggie Smith. But that doesn't happen here, we're just old fogeys."

However, he is impressed to see the careers of actresses including Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and particularly his frequent former co-star Jackie Weaver burgeoning on the big screen.

"She moved to Hollywood when she was 64 - I was working with her in Brisbane when Animal Kingdom (the movie that finally broke her internationally) came out. Good on, she has produced such a large body of work in this country. I've known since the early 70s and worked with her since then."

However, when asked if he would consider Hollywood or working overseas, he is quick to laugh and explain that this ship has sailed.

"I sort of toyed with the idea at the beginning of the 1970s," he said.

"But I thought if I have got anything to say its in Australia to Australians. I saw actors go to the UK and come back with an English accent but I'm an Australian Working-Class Boy."

So, he stayed and over the past 50 years has carved out an enviable career - which he puts down to "luck and being in the right place" as much as talent. He is best-known for his four-year run as Stipendiary Magistrate Michael Rafferty in Rafferty's Rules and Sgt Croydon in Blue Heelers as well as numerous mini series from Power Without Glory to Underbelly and stints in Offspring, Neighbours and most recently the Doctor Blake Mysteries as well as many many theatre performances. At that moment that's the focus for Wood.

After sell-out shows in the past year, John is back treading the boards at venues all around Australia in the revue Seniors Moments and despite being a septuagenarian he's not slowing down, heck he isn't even the oldest in the cast which includes Max Gillies and Playschool legend Benita Collings, Kim Lewis and Russell Newman with Midday Show band leader, 83 year old Geoff Harvey on piano. Wood said he's having fun on the road with a lot of old friends and colleagues.

"Yeah I always enjoy working and having a job," he quipped.

Senior Moments is a comedy revue about old people and the young people they must deal with, with sketches and songs and performers who are old enough to know better, all making wicked fun of the trials and tribulations of growing old disgracefully.

Wood said everyone has senior moments and the show was fun, funny and something that audiences, especially older ones would relate to.

For more information on Senior Moments, go to seniormomentsshow.com.au.