Greg McGEE has experienced Rugby at the
highest level. A two-time trialist for the All Black No. 8
position, McGEE believes leaving him out of the All Blacks was a
brilliant decision by the selectors.
“I got close enough to the dream to
realise that it wasn’t what I thought it was. At that time the
Rugby world was ultra-conservative and a
long-haired student would not have fitted
Instead, McGEE became one of the first New
Zealanders to play rugby in Italy. It was there that his
enduring work Foreskins Lament
was first conceived, then
written and refined during playing and coaching stints in London
and Washington DC. By the time he returned to New Zealand
in 1979, the play was all but finished.
McGEE is quick to point out that Skin And Bone is not the
film version of the play. It is neither an
update nor an adaptation. Instead he refers to asset-stripping
the original. “I wanted to take
certain elements and characters and put them in the era of
professional rugby. I wanted to look at them through that prism
and see how it worked.”
Another reason for not merely adapting the
play was the sheer number of times he'd seen it since it's debut
He believes that Skin and Bone will
be a highlight of his career. right up there with the first time
was workshopped at Victoria University.
“People actually stood and
clapped after the reading. It was unheard of. And it was at that
moment that I thought “I’m a writer”
Another highlight was his award-winning
drama Erebus: The Aftermath.
“It was so brave of TVNZ to put
that to air. The research nearly killed me but everything that’s
come to light since has borne out the conclusions we reached”.