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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Meet the directors - take 2

Oliver Driver directs Shorty - Shortland Street on TV2

Ian Hughes - Shortland Street on TV2

Kiel McNaughton goes behind the camera - Shortland Street on TV2

Shortland Street Director Geoff Cawthorn

Shortland Street Director Kathy McRae

Shortland Street Director Richard Barr

There’s been some movement in the directors department at Shortland Street. Wayne Tourell, one of our longest serving directors has finally decided to take a break from the long hours and high pressure and is leaving the show.

Because of that, we’ve had to add a few new faces to the directors mix. But this time, they are a few faces that you might recognise!

For some strange reason, a significant number of the directors working on Shortland Street at the moment are former actors from the show.

Today we take a look at some of the people who have gone from in front of the camera and moved behind the scenes to direct the show.


Oliver Driver

Actor/presenter Oliver Driver's career has seen him fronting arts programmes and breakfast show Sunrise, facing attack by mutant sheep, playing a sensitive sperm donor (in Magik and Rose) and a rebellious Shortland Street nurse (he played Mike Galloway from 1997 – 1999.

The ex-Auckland Theatre Company artistic director has also spent time as co-owner of music station Alt TV, and played the villainous Mr Wilberforce in the 2009 movie remake of Under the Mountain. Driver joined the Shortland Street directing team in 2011.

Kiel McNaughton

Kiel McNaughton has always held a love for film and television making, both acting in front of the camera and producing behind it.

After leaving Shortland Street in 2011 after four and a half years playing nursing manager, James ‘Scotty’ Scott, Kiel decided to take a break from acting and started developing some of the projects that he and his wife Kerry had always talked about.

His wife Kerry is also an actress as well as a writer and the two are constantly making and thinking of ideas for film projects, with an ultimate goal of producing their own work and making the sort of programming that Kiel quotes, "we would like to watch."

What came from these ideas was the hilarious, award-winning web series Auckland Daze, which the pair co-created with Millen Baird. Kiel directed the series and Kerry took on the role of producer and also stars in it. The hit comedy was such a success, it was later screened on TV One and a second series is schedule to screen later this year.

Having wrapped up series two of Auckland Daze, Kiel has decided to learn the ropes of directing for Shortland Street and rejoined the team at the beginning of 2013. Kiel is currently co-directing the spectacular 90 minute episode which can be seen later this year.


Kathy McRae

Katherine McRae has been a professional actress since graduating from the New Zealand Drama School in 1985.

Prior to Shortland Street her most notable television role was as one of the The Marching Girls and her largest film role was co-starring in Send a Gorilla.  In 1995 she won the best female award for her portrayal of Thomasina in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia.

Katherine is also a freelance theatre director. In 2003 her production of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People won six Chapman Tripp awards including Director and Production of the Year.

Katherine is also involved in script development, teaching, voice-overs and occasionally script writing. She was a script writer for Shortland Street for two years in 1996 and 1997 before becoming a member of the cast in early 2006, playing Brenda Holloway.

After her character Brenda was killed on Shortland Street as part of the Joey Henderson serial killer storyline, Katherine began training as a director for the show and has worked as part of the directors' rotation ever since. Last year she took leave from Shortland Street to go and direct on the hit TV2 series Go Girls. After wrapping up that series, she returned to Shorty where she is now training a new addition to the directors rotation, Ian Hughes.

Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes is a well-known actor who has starred in many New Zealand TV shows and films.

He played Martin ‘sticky’ Stickwell on Shortland Street from 2003 – 2005 and can currently be seen on the TV2 series Go Girls starring as Malcolm.

Ian is currently training as a Shortland Street director under the tutelage of Kathy McRae.

Richard Barr

Richard spent 12 years as a 1st Assistant Director on a vast number of shows including Xena: Warrior Princess, Power Rangers, Mataku and The Market, before making the leap into directing.

He has directed several episodes of Outrageous Fortune and is now currently working fulltime on Shortland Street.


Geoff Cawthorn

Auckland-based Geoffrey Cawthorn has been directing drama and documentary for over 15 years, both in Australia and his native New Zealand.
His first television gig was working in the documentary department of TVNZ. There he worked on Crimewatch, and learnt about everything from shooting and film editing to multi-camera techniques.

In 1989 Cawthorn relocated to Sydney where he worked at SBS as a director and editor on The Movie Show, and Front Up which became one of the network’s longest running series. Cawthorn then crossed over into drama, directing Australian staples like Home and Away and All Saints, Stingers. His work on ABC/BBC children’s series Eugenie Sandler P.I. brought an AFI nomination.

Cawthorn continued to return to work in New Zealand throughout this period.  His black comedy Philosophy won the Best Short Film award at the 1999 NZ Film Awards, and screened in a number of international festivals. Cawthorn helmed the third Lawless tele-movie Beyond Justice , and directed the pilot episodes of Rude Awakenings and Mercy Peak. He was nominated for best drama director for the later. 

Cawthorn was also heavily involved in The Market, filmed on location in urban Otara and focusing on a Māori and Polynesian family at war. Cawthorn continues to have an ongoing connection with long-running soap Shortland Street , for which he has directed many episodes. He has shown his skills in fantasy by directing for Margaret Mahy series Maddigan’s Quest , The Amazing Extraordinary Friends , and Xena follow-up Legend of the Seeker. He is currently co-directing the Shortland Street 90 minute episode which can be seen later this year.

Shortland Street, weeknights 7pm