A spectacular week of Shortland Street
Familiar faces, spectacular stunts and life changing events are all on the menu this week as the nation's favourite serial drama, Shortland Street, celebrates its 20th anniversary next week.
With the birthday storylines held closely under wraps, viewers of Shortland Street are guaranteed to be on the edge of their seats as the anniversary week kicks off in style with a special 90 minute episode on Monday 21st May .
"This is without doubt the biggest single episode that Shortland Street has ever made," says the show's producer, Steven Zanoski. "Not only that, but it is most definitely the most exciting. Director Wayne Tourell and his team have worked across night shoots and double shifts to create what is the equivalent of a feature film in just over a week. This, alongside the incredible stunts and effects leave us confident viewers will be on the edge of their seats from beginning to end."
With a dramatic accident leaving a popular character's life in the balance, the sharp tongue of the truth leaving a family in tatters and a much loved icon delivering some devastating news, this episode is sure to live up to the expectations of even the most diehard Shorty fan.
Paying homage to the past, viewers will be pleased to welcome the return of the ever popular Jeffries family across the show's birthday celebrations. Stopping into visit old workmates at the hospital on their way up north, viewers will learn that its not long before the family are up to their old tricks again.
"When we began to look at who could return for the birthday week
we debated long and hard on who would work," says Zanoski. "But
when we found out that the Jeffries family were available we
instantly knew we had it."
Celebrating the show's actual birthday on Friday 25th May sees Shortland Street salute the past with the return of the original receptionist, Marjorie Brasch (Elizabeth McRae).
Arriving in Ferndale to lend her support to Rachel (Angela Bloomfield), Marj's no nonsense attitude shows no sign of diminishing with age when she quickly offers her successors Bella (Amelia Reid) and Yvonne (Alison Quigan) some home truths.
"With the return of Yvonne to the reception desk it was only a matter of course to have Marj back." says Zanoski. "The scenes between Rachel and Marj have proved to be the most heart wrenching we see over a week that is full of moving stories."
Wrapping up the birthday celebrations, Friday night sees the broadcast of Naughty Shorty: 20 Years Of Bloopers at 7.30pm. A rare inside look at the secret history of Shortland Street, the show takes a look at all the mistakes, pranks and inappropriate moments that until now have only ever been seen by the cast and crew at Christmas parties.
From sets that collapse around the characters to mortifying wardrobe malfunctions and hilariously tongue-tied actors, host Kimberley Crossman promises a rollicking hour of fun in which no-ones dignity will be spared least of all her own. She's joined by a parade of Shortland Street stars past and present who prove that the show's legacy of bloopers and blunders is a gift that keeps giving, 20 years and counting.
Celebrating 20 years of drama on Shortland Street