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Shortland St. Wedding Blues (May 2013)

Everyone looks forward to a Shortland Street wedding but the latest set of nuptials on the Kiwi drama involved less spectacle than most.

Dr Brooke Freeman, played by Beth Allen, has finally managed to trick a man into marrying her and revealed to the wealthy Rolleston family that she has taken their son Boyd (Sam Bunkall) off the market.

Unfortunately for Allen, the ceremony took place off screen and she didn't get to wear the traditional white dress which often becomes the highlight of a TV wedding. Weddings and drama inevitably go hand in hand on Shortland Street and this shocking announcement will be no different.

Not only has Brooke angered Boyd's family, who had other plans for their son, but she has also married the boyfriend of nurse Nicole Miller (Sally Martin). That's sure to cause an uproar, but Allen says, in the scheme of things, it's not that bad.

"She's done worse," Allen says. "She doesn't think it's bad. Brooke sees that Boyd and Nicole were very on/off, they didn't spend much time together, that they're not very well suited... so it's just an inevitability in Brooke's eyes, I think*

"She doesn't really care about Nicole. Nicole's just a nurse. Brooke definitely sees the status of things."

Indeed she does. Known for being money driven Brooke only became interested in Boyd when she found out about his family's wealth, and Allen doesn't mind labelling her character superficial.

"Oh totally, she is a gold-digger," she says. "I think she does essentially want love and she wants to be accepted and loved but she also has had enough life experience to know that life is a lot easier and a lot more fun with money, so she's not really compromising on that one."

But is it all about money this time for Brooke? "I think she has a connection with Boyd," Allen says.

"She really admires that he's principled and probably can't quite believe her luck that he seems to be accepting of her. I think the money is just the cherry on the cake for that one."

Although Brooke married Boyd as a favour rather than for love, Allen thinks Brooke might have more than just a marriage of convenience on her mind. "I think she's playing the long game," she says. "I think she thinks that if she's got a whole bunch of time with him where he won't be able to see anyone else, she'll basically force him to love her."

Brooke is often painted the villain thanks to her ruthless attempts to get ahead in life, but Beth says she can still understand her motivations.

"She's a hapless villain," she says. "I do understand her. We all know people who have broken up marriages or done things at work to make things easy for themselves, and they're not terrible people, that's just what people do."

Brooke has definitely made her fair share of bad decisions, breaking up TK and Sarah's marriage and stealing a dead man's asthma research among them.

But Allen says where men are concerned Brooke has been chaste by Shortland Street standards.

"Actually she's not as slutty as everyone else," Allen says. "She doesn't have any one night stands and everyone else seems to. That's my one defence"

"She's a terrible person, but in terms of men, men stay right away from her.

"I personally think they write the men a lot more savvy than men actually are in real life."

After all Brooke's ups and downs, Allen says she loves her character, at both her good and bad moments.

"It's awesome," she says. "It's one of the most enjoyable characters I've ever played and I think one of the more enjoyable characters, to be brutally honest, on Shortland Street because you don't know where she's going to go.

"I mean, I'm probably biased. She can be funny and kind and she can also be a terrible villain and she can generally bugger everything up and have to start again."

Auckland Must Sees (September 2012)

We’ve said before that here at The Generalist we are born connectors. We know people who know about things that you might also like to know about, or at least, that people you know might like to know about. Got that?

So in the spirit of sharing a bit of this valuable information around, we plan to bring the odd guest post to The Generalist blog from people in the know.

The first cab off the rank is the lovely Beth Allen, star of Shortland Street and all round lovely gal. Here’s what she had to say…

Man, I love our city. At this time of year, when spring is springing and the days are getting warmer and longer, I count my lucky magnolias I don't live somewhere really cold. I'm not built for such nonsense.

In particular, a couple of Auckland establishments, and a few fab events, have really tickled my fancy of late. Here’s a roundup of my current top picks:

1. Parkside Café

Right around the corner from my home is Parkside Café, which has recently changed hands; and they now serve dinner three or four nights a week. The food is fantastic; fresh and spicy Vietnamese of the like I haven't had in Auckland before, in a lovely cafe-style setting.

Parkside Cafe, 775 New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland

2. Morita

I recently did the degustation at Morita; which describes itself as 'Japanese-French Fusion.' Sound weird? It's not. The food is outstanding and the chef / owner and the rest of the kitchen staff come out to farewell when you leave, which makes you feel a bit special.

Morita, Cnr Mills Lane and Swanson Street, Auckland -

3. Mumford and Sons

I'm extremely excited about getting my gig on in November when I will see English folk rock band, Mumford and Sons, play at Vector Arena. Keep an eye out for their upcoming album too. It’s called Babel and is set to be released later this month.


And to top off the excitement the spring blossoms are starting to appear which means summer is definitely on its way. Yay!


14th September 2012


Secrets to a happy marriage (April 2012)

The soap star’s hectic and life-changing year has involved a lot of give and take in her relationship.

It’s been  just over a year since Shortland Street star Beth Allen and her actor husband Charlie McDermott said „I do“ in a summer garden ceremony in Auckland. Surrounded by 100 of their closest family and friends, many of whom just happe to be the creme de la creme of New Zealand acting talent, the couple agree that getting Maried has made them „stronger than ever“.

But unlike many, this dynamic duo has chosen to walk a road less travelled. They juggle Bethõs role as Brooke Freeman on the hit TV2 soap and Charlie’s full-time gig as manager of Aukland’s Basement Theatre with running their own theatre company, Royale Productions.

Following in the footsteps of Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton, who have revived the Sydney Theatre Company, Beth, 27 and Charlie, 28, are responsible for keeping themselves and others in Auckland’s acting community in work and, like Cate and Andrew, they are also carving out a legacy. It’s a huge achievement, considering they met just three and a half years ago, but their shared passion has bonded them together like Super Glue.

“We’ve met, bought a house, got a dog and two cats and got married in less than four years,” smiles Beth, during her exclusive interview with Woman’s Day.

“We are always looking forward, and together we’re proud of how much we’ve achieved.”

“It’s true,” laughs Charlie. “We move at a rollocking pace! I’d never imagine being able to have achieved all this before we turned 30. I look at what we’ve done and I’m amazed – and humbled.”

That teamwork and learning how to “give and take” has become the cornerstone of this driven, young couple’s marriage. Both agree that staging productions together – such as the one-man-show “Frequently asked Questions” for Kiwi acting icon Michael Hurst – and learning how to walk that fine line between the blurring of professional and personal lives has ultimately created a closer bond.


“Getting married has changed things I didn’t think it would. It sharpens your focus. No-one really tells you that marriage will be hard at times. I don’t think we get prepared for it at all,” explains Beth.

“But we have come out of this first year of marriage stronger than ever. We’ve learnt a lot about our relationship and ourselves.”

Charlie had just helped establish the Basement Theatre when he met “the girl I knew I’ll marry”. Soon after falling in love, they embarked on their producing career together and Royale Productions was born. At first, it was a steep learning curve. But four years later, they are pure dynamite – forging new ground where others have failed.

Charlie is one of our most innovative, exciting producers and he was the brainchild behind the couple’s month-long arts programme, Basement Fest, last October. It’s rare to find two flamboyant creative who can love, live and work together with the ease that Charlie and Beth do. But both are quick to point out their understanding has grown with time, experience and their commitment to their marriage.

“We are a lot better at working together now than we were in the beginning,” admits Beth with a smile. “We’ve had to learn how to do it.”


The couple are strict about how they separate work and home life. Charlie has a studio downstairs and is adamant about their “no work” rule in the living areas of their house.

“We have to work quite hard to ensure we are dealing with each other kindly and constructively with our business,” explains Beth.

“Basically, it means no work early in the mornings and no work late at night,” chips in Charlie.

But now all that hard graft is paying off with Beth and Charlie creating incredible opportunities for themselves. They travelled to New York in December for a month and celebrated their first wedding anniversary during the International Arts Festival in Wellington.

“We were so happy to go to New York and soak up the atmosphere. It’s such an inspirational city and we got tons of great ideas,” says Beth.

When they do get time to relax, the couple potter around the garden at their renovated villa in Auckland’s inner west or head to the Coromandel. However, at the moment, Beth is too busy with filming for Shortland Street’s much-anticipated 20th anniversary episodes in May.

“With everything going on with the birthday, It’s a really exciting time to be part of the show,” she says.


Life is also too busy for babies just yet, although Beth has introduced Charlie to what she calls “the joy of pets”. They have two cats and a miniature pinscher poodle cross puppy called Ned.

“I was making a selfish decision about getting a dog because I didn’t want to be tied down. Now, I really love him,” smiles Charlie. “I’ve even started getting up at 7 am to walk him.”

Laughs Beth, “Charlie used to sleep in and stay up late. Ned has totally changed his circadian rhytm s and I love it. It’s a whole new phase in our marriage.”

Article by Kylie Bailey from Woman's Day Magazine

Beth on theatre and books (March 18th 2012)

BETH ALLEN stars on TV 2's Shortland Street and has worked in theatre - most notably Killer Joe in 2009 & The Vagina Monologues in 2010. Allen is an avid reader and here she shares with us her idea of happiness, what books she currently has on the go & some other interesting tidbits...

Which book caused you to love reading?

The first book I read on  my own; I can't remember which one it was, but I remember lying on a blanket on the living room floor as my mother made dinner and escaping into a quiet little world that was self-sufficient and felt grown-up. I was about 6 or 7. Then the book I read that really  moved me for the first time was Loving Ben by Elizabeth Laird, when I was about 9 or 10.

What are you currently reading & how did you come across the book?

Dog Sense by John Bradshaw, a reexamination of conventional wisdom about training dogs. We recently got our first dog and I got really interested in the information that is currently out there about training him. My father read about it in The Economist.

What is the book you have re-read the most?

As a rule, I don't reread anything! But I have read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything a couple of times, and I love love love Vice Magazine's Book of Dos and Don'ts; it's not literature, but it is hilarious.

Favourite book to movie adaptation?

Atonement. I liked the book but then the movie utterly destroyed me.

Who are your favourite poets?

  E.E Cummings.

Who or what impresses you most?

In general, circus performers. In reading and writing, anyone who can write anything and get it published, because I bet it's hard.

What books are next to your bed?

Three plays (Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and two others whose titles I've forgotten), In Cold Blood (my husband is reading it but it's so good and I snuck a bit of a reread) and Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, which is next on my list.

What's your idea of happiness?

A hot day by the beach with nothing to do and plans for the future.

Favourite literary quote?

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." - Oscar Wilde. It might not be my all-time favourite, but it's my favourite today.

Stars' Candid Confessions (18. July 2011) NZ Womans Weekly

They are some of New Zealand's sexiest actors, and they all star in the country's favourite soap, where drama and romantic crises tumble into every storyline. But while on screen the stars lives have taken a grim turn, with this week's explosive 90 minute episode ripping families apart and leaving some characters fighting for life, the cast are opening up for the first time about what really goes on when the camera goes off.

"One of the bonuses of being an actor is that you have done time between scenes, so we have the time to talk about personal problems and issues," says Beth Allen, who is a far cry from her unapproachable character Brooke. "It's not like that everywhere, but here at Shorty, the actors have it all out on the table. We share dressing rooms and chat happily, it's not like working in an office!"

Indeed, the relaxed banter as the team glam up for our exclusive Weekly shoot is more that of a bunch of stunning siblings than a sizzling love triangle, most of the time! "Isn't she hot?" teases Ben Mitchell as he laughingly poses and pouts next to Shavaughn Ruakere, who plays his tragic bride. "Seriously, we're always this glamorous. My dad reckons we should do a reality show with what goes on behind the scenes. It gets pretty interesting.

"Ben's definitely the stud on set, he's a good looking boy and he knows it!" laughs Shavaughn who at (33), is the same age as Ben, who she describes as "a really cool guy" and fellow co star Kiel McNaughton. "And he's a lot more fun in real life." "I'm feeling good at the moment, I feel like I'm coming into my own," admits Ben, who recently became a father of two and has one of the best bodies in the business. I've always believed that men don't think properly until they are about 29, it was true for me anyway! I finally know where to spend my energy and I'm in harmony with myself."

"Ben's always on the go, he's the dark horse," reveals Kiel, the quietest one of the bunch. "I'm the boring one.' Despite being the pin up poster guys and girls for thousands of Kiwis, the Shorty team are realistic when it comes to how they look. "Wearing a gorgeous dress like this makes me feel sexy. Something as simple as putting on bright red lipstick, as soon as you put it on, you feel amazing," says Virginie Le Brun (31), who spends most of her working day in purple scrubs. "They aren't sexy though, wearing the scrubs is like coming to work in your jammies!" It's a theory the new girl of the hospital, Brooke Williams (27), who plays Virginie's on screen sister Lana Jacobs, totally agrees with. "Sexiness is about being passionate," she says. " If I'm having an awesome time or have achieved something, I feel empowered. I don't look at myself as 'sexy' but I do have a sense of fire, that makes me feel sexy."

But although the cast insist looking this hot is purely genetics, most admit there's an art to it too, and each actor has their own secret, even if some are quite bizarre! "Yes I wear tights under the pants!" laughs Ido Drent (25), quickly adding that the unusual legwear is for practical reasons, he is training to run from Auckland to Wellington for charity. "It helps keep the blood flow going." In fact Ido is surprisingly nonchalant about his looks, insisting it's what matters. "To me, being truly sexy is about confidence," he says. "I don't look in a mirror and think, 'Wow, I'm sexy right now.' When I'm in a good place, I feel good and that shows through." He still can't resist joking around though. "But hey, look at that Ben. Now he makes me go grrrr!" While most of the cast get on well, like any family, there are times when the sparks fly, but they say, that's only to be expected from a team that spends so much time together. "Actors are naturally a bit crazy," says Ido. "Put any group of flamboyant personalities together and there will be clashes sometimes! But at the same time, we can have some pretty hilarious moments too." Kissing your mates on screen, for example. " You get used to it, but it never stops being a but strange," laughs Virginie, who sayd her fiance tries not to look when she has to kiss her co stars! My first screen kiss was with Will Hall (who played Kip Denton). I was terrible! I've done quite a few since then and it has got easier, but still one minute you're in a passionate clinch, the next it's 'how's the wife, how about that rugby?'" Just as the characters on the show have clearly defined roles, so do the actors who play them. "Kiel's the big brother, he's the one I can always go to. He keeps everyone balanced," says Amelia Reid (27), who like Virginie, is about to get married in real life. "Ben and Ido are the jokers, as is Robbie Magasiva." And the off set clowning around has recently doubled with the news that Robbie's brother Pua, is about to join the cast. "He's hilarious!" laughs Amelia.

But while there are clearly moments of comedy when the cameras stop rolling, there's a more serious side too. "Because we work so closely together, we know everything about each other's lives," says Amelia. "It's made us a pretty tight group." Tight enough for any off camera romances? "Not so far," laughs Shavaughn. "But you never know!"

What the stars say:
On staying fit and trim.

Beth: I'm a size 10, big by acting standards. I'm not skinny and I'm not going to be.

Shavaughn: A friend of mine recently went through breast cancer so I eat cancer fighting foods like avocados and drink aloe vera juice.

Brooke: I don't like dieting! But I do love nature, so I walk up a mountain three times a week.

Kiel: I tried the gym, but I got lazy. Now all I'm doing is growing a beard and a belly.

Ben: I'm a black belt in martial arts, I've done boxing for 10 years and I go to the gym. I guess I'm quite fit.

On Botox and surgery:

Beth: I think it's odd watching actors trying to convey feelings and emotions when they can't move their face. I watch Desperate Housewives, and sit there thinking, 'Something's just weird.' I'll never say never, but Kiwis are different. For us, Robyn Malcolm is the sexiest woman in New Zealand and she's got lines and wrinkles.

Kiel: Pectoral implants? Joking! I like wrinkles on faces, it tells a story.

Ben: Botox is a quick fix for people who should be out there with a personal trainer. Don't focus on the face, get out there and get physical.

Virginie: I've taken to sleeping on my back to stop my face wrinkling! I'd be hopeless at Botox, I'm needle phobic.

Top skincare tips:

Shavaughn: Good makeup, hair and lighting are everything! I have very oily skin, I can get a shine on like Exxon Valdez, but I'm looking after myself more as I get older.

Beth: Aqueous cream. It's all I use.

Top secret vice:

Brooke: Kettle chips! I'll rug up at 10pm and got to the service station to get them.

Kiel: Chocolate and beer. And junk food Oh dear.

Amelia: Dark chocolate. Okay, dark's not the worst, but I don't think I'm supposed to have the whole packet!

Win Roimata's wedding dress:
As Roimata, Shavaughn Ruakere says wearing the gorgeous wedding dress made for her dramatic wedding scenes was one of the best parts of her job, and now that dress can be yours! The long strapless fitted sheer silk dress with short flowing train is size 8-10, and was hand made by the Shortland Street design team. It features a silver pearl and sequin Chantilly lace waist. The bodice is constructed over a corset fully gathered over the bust and laced up the back with silk chiffon that ties in a bow, draping down the length of the gown.

Ton win this spectacular dress, tell us in less than 200 words why you should win the gown for your or someone close to you's special day. To enter: Go to

Mail: Write your name and address on the back of an envelope. Send to Shortland Street Giveaway, NZ Woman's Weekly, PO Box 90267, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142 by August 5.

Tips on Titirangi (11.July 2011)

Beth Allen is from Titirangi, West Auckland:

What was your favourite thing about growing up there? Knowing all the neighbours and awesome little schools.

What's your favourite place to visit in your hometown?
Mum and Dad's house (they're still there).

Any local tips?
The Hardware Cafe has great coffee and the bread at A Tavola is delicious.
Say hi to Lynda at the Fairy Flower Shop from me; she did the flowers for my wedding.
On the last Sunday of every month, the markets are really worth checking out, and there's a great second-hand bookstore in the village, too.

Plus Piha is only 20 minutes away. Drop into The Refreshment Room on the way home for a great bite to eat.


OUR INTIMATE WEDDING (New Idea 07. march 2011)

By Hayley McLarin

The laid-back couple celebrated their wedding day by sharing a picnic in the garden. Champagne! When asked what they wanted at their wedding, actress Beth Allen and her groom Charlie McDermott answered almost in unison - bubbles were a must. "Champagne - and conversation and friends," says Beth, who is still euphoric days after her garden nuptials.
"We always knew we wanted to involve our friends in the day; and that we woud have it at home. And it was everything I wanted it to be."
 Unlike her drama-queen character, stressed out Dr. Brooke Freeman, 26-year-old Beth was relaxed on her big day. She arrived in the family car and left the reception in the guest buss, which dropped the happy couple off at the end of their street and they walked home in their finery.

 Charlie, 28, says the knew he was going to cry when he saw his bride on her dad Jolyon´s arm. Walking up the aisle to Nick Cave´s "Into My Arms", Beth appeared just as the lyrics "I don´t believe in the existence of angels, but seeing you I wonder if that´s true," played out. "It was really fitting," Charlie says, gazing at his new bride. "When I saw how stunning you looked, and the reverence of it all, thinking about how I imagined it, you surpassed it by an eternity."
More than 100 of their friends and family gathered in Beth´s parents´ private backyard, lush gardens shaping it like a natural amphitheatre, to witness the couple promising to be each other´s "complice in mischief" and "ally in conflict". And it was an intimate day filled with moments of serendipity and synchronicity. They were married by Alan Spence, the father of one of Beth´s friends (Victoria Spence). Alan was also the last manager of the Mercury Theatre - Charlie will appear in Carnival of Souls during the Auckland Festival, which will be the venue´s opening premiere after being closed for 21 years.

Also in attendance were Charlie´s dear friends Michael Hurst and his wife, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, who worked for many years as actors and directors at the Auckland theatre. Michael mentored Charlie through his early drama years, and Beth worked with Jennifer on a film set when she was 11.

"I met Charlie when he was doing the Three Penny Opera with Amanda Billing (Sarah Potts in Shortland Street) and Jennifer," the bubbly blonde says. "Amanda and Jennifer played The Front Lawn´s "Walk Around The House" for us during the ceremony. It was the song played by John McGlashan at Jennifer and Michael´s wedding."

As a testament to how laid-back the pair is, their wedding day was more like an informal picnic. "We wanted it to be relaxed but organized," Beth says "I wanted people to feel like they could get up and walk around and chat to whoever they wanted, and dance if they wanted. But we still had structure.We had people sitting on the lawn on rugs under umbrellas and we served bowl food. We had a doughnut truck - I´ve never seen boys so happy about dessert!"

Kiel McNaughton (who plays Scotty on Shortland Street) filmed the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony, which was screened to the guests throughout the evening. „It was a funny feeling, having this amazing day after the Christchurch earthquake on the Tuesday,“ says Beth, noticeably more sombre. „We were so lucky that one of our dear friends who lives there was safe and able to come, and that everyone´s friends and family were OK. We were counting our blessings. One of our friends made a donaton to the Red Cross as a wedding present and we had a moment´s silence. It felt like a right thing to do."

The wedding had been 14 months in the planning after the devoted couple got engaged at New Chums Beach on the Coromandel in December 2009. „There were lists,“ Charlie says. „Beth was amazing, she did it all.I had been so full on with The Basement (the Auckland theatre he manages) and Beth got everything done with help from our friends. We had the best of the best. We are so blessed.“

Beth feels the hard work paid off. „For me the highlight was the ceremony itself. I thought I might be nervous and trip over any words but it all came out so easily. I loved being there with Charlie. You put your faith in someone. You feel good doing that. And my Mum was a highlight, too. She read a poem by E.E.Cummings „I Carry Your Heart With Me“ and when we practised it, she cried and cried, but when she read it on the day she did it with great poise.“ Charlie´s favourite moment was simply, „seeing Beth.“

Beth shed a few tears listening to bridesmaid Antonia Prebble´s speech. She met the Outrageous Fortune star on the set of The Tribe in Wellington at the age of 14. „She talked about how we first bonded over the fact that we both had terrible hairstyles – mine bleached blonde with the intentional 6ins of roots and hers a bright purple bob,“ she says.

The workaholic pair opted for a honeymoon weekend in Raglan. „It was such a massive year last year we decided this year we will do more planning,“ Beth says. „That includes more holidays with the man whose strength, clarity and passion makes him my `one`. He makes me feel that together, we can achieve anything.“

Mum´s the word (1. February 2011) New Idea Magazine

Shortie star wants good advice ahead of  her wedding.

Who can a young woman embarking one one of life´s most rewarding and ultimately tough journeys turn to for advice? In Shortland Street actress Beth Allen´s case, her mum. „Marriage is the hardest thing you´ll ever do,“ explains Laraine Allen, turning to look into her daughter´s big blue eyes.

„That’s not very comforting“ interrupts Beth, laughing.

Jokes aside, Beth listens to the wise words from her mum, who has navigated nearly four decades with Beth´s dad Jolyon. Laraine, who prefers to be called Rainee, and Jolyon met on Auckland Anniversary weekend in 1971.

„I´d like to say they´ve been 37 years of marital bliss, but that would be a terrible lie,“ Rainee says. „Somebody told me: „There are times in marriage when only one of you is making it work.“ I think that´s good advice. There will be ups and downs and sometimes it´ll be one of you that´s putting in the effort, other times it´ll be the other one.“

Beth, who plays scheming dr. Brooke Freeman on NZ TV2`s hit soap „Shortland Street,“ will soon learn all about making marriage work, having accepted Charlie McDermott´s marriage proposal a year ago on the isolated coast of New Chums beach in the Coromandel.

The pair had been dating for 18 months when Charlie, 27, and actor and manager of Auckland´s The Basement Theatre, presented Beth with a stunning ring he´d designed.

You could be forgiven for thinking 26-year –old Beth, who´s at home in a feminine maxi dress and pink lipstick, has dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little girl. But that couldn´t be further from the truth. „I never had an idea about the wedding until I met Charlie – and then I knew,“  she explains. „It was a strange feeling, I thought I´d be in my 30s before I got married.“

Having found „the one“, Beth surprised herself by starting a bridal scrapbook full of ideas and inspirations. But with her best friend and bridesmaid, Outrageous Fortune star Antonia Prebble, in Christchurch and her other bridesmaid, older sister Dinah, in Sidney, she´s hired a wedding designer to help with the nitty-gritty.

„The theme has evolved. We threw some ideas around and worked out things I can do, because I´m not super creative, but I am very good at cutting things out and sticking things together,“ Beth says, laughing. The couple´s parents are also working tirelessly to help Charlie and Beth´s vision for their big day come to life. While planning has been exciting, Rainee and Beth have engaged in some mother—daughter head-butting.

„We´re pretty close,“ Beth says. „It´s tested us a little bit too. It´s probably the first big even that we´ve done in the family because my brother had a low-key wedding.“ Rainee agrees it´s a challenge for the pair. „I think what has helped has been some clarification about what this is all about. Who do we need to honour here?“ she says.

Beth´s Shortland Street´s family are aloso rallying around as the big day looms. „They´re really excited,“ Beth says, „I come into work and they say „How many sleeps?“ And I say: „Not many!“ Thankfully, Charlie and Beth fitted in a relaxing break over Christmas and New Year, aware the coming month would be dedicated to wedding madness.

„I am quite organized,“ Beth says. „I´ve got a massive list, and lists within lists and then spreadsheets to spport the lists. But I have to prepare myself that things might not go absolutely perfectly and that´s OK.“ There´s not an ounce of bridezilla in the petite blonde, but she is super efficient. She did her research and tried only four wedding dresses before finding her dream one.

Rainee says Beth knows her own mind and always has – and hasn´t found wedding inspiration from her mum´s 1972 nuptials. „We got married in a church, then went for Chinese,“ Rainee recalls. „We didn´t want attention on us, so we chose election night. Everybody was thinking about the election and not us. I look back and think „Why on earth don´t they do the same thing now?“

Beth likes her parents´ laid-back approach, but wants something a little grander herself, in the form of a garden wedding. „I love kicking up my heels and having a dance, and I want everyone to do that – drink champagne and have a fantastic time.“

Until then the couple is working off their Christmas treats to look the part. „We´ve some back from summer having had lots of ham sandwiches and beer,“ Beth admits. „I might take easy on the pastries!“

source with thanks for the scan to Emma.

Beth Allen’s Favourite Things (29.Oct.2010)

Chances are you may know Beth Allen as her onscreen persona, Shortland Street’s resident bitch Dr Brooke Freeman, but as you’ll find out when you read about some of her favourite things, there’s a lot more to her than that and a lot about her to like. This nzgirl’s got taste…

There’s another reason we heart Beth – she’s not afraid to talk about ‘down there’ and spread the message about the importance of looking after ourselves, particularly in relation to our gynaecological health. Over on the Street her character Brooke’s dealing with an ovarian cyst scare, while Beth is still fresh from a turn on the stage in the iconic play, The Vagina Monologues and she’s also recently signed on as an ambassador for the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.


  • I love Annabel Langbein‘s cookbooks. Her meals are simple and classy, plus I love a woman in a great outfit with gumboots.
  • Macarons from J’aime les macrons. This shop is in Christchurch, where two ladies handmake these delicious little treats. Buy ten online for a girlfriend as a special present, then make sure you’re there with the pot of tea and a helpful look on your face when she opens them and says “Oh wow! But how will I eat them all?”
  • Pyrenees French Deli in Mt Albert – see above. Cheese. Beetroot and feta slice. Awesome coffee. Pastries. French cookware. Heaven.


  • I bought this beautiful bag (left) from local label Zabbana for summer; you can take off the strap and use it as a clutch. Yay, I like me some multitasking.
  • Naveya & Sloane jewellery (right). Timeless, lovely, feminine.


  • Australian film Animal Kingdom (left); one of the best I have seen in a long time.
  • American series The Wire.
  • I just read Affluenza by Oliver James, which reminded me to worry less about getting, buying and having stuff.
  • Mojo by Jez Butterworth (right), a play that I’m producing with my fiancee, and he’s in it. Clever boy. On from October 28th at The Basement.


  • You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control your reaction to them.
  • Pay off your credit card every month.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Get a pap smear every year and look after your gynaecological health, check out
  • Just talk about it.
  • Use a combination of cottage cheese and grated tasty cheese instead of cheese sauce in lasagne so it doesn’t get gluggy.

PEOPLE (and other beings I like)

  • My fiancee
  • My cats Omar and Billie-Jean
  • Cate Blanchett, Frances McDormand, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep: actresses who aren’t afraid to be open, vulnerable, true, or to age gracefully.


  • New Chums in the Coromandel
  • My backyard with the sun above, putting the washing out: I love how fresh the sun makes washing feel. And putting it out makes me feel useful, and grounded. Plus the cat likes chatting to me as I do it.
  • On set, first thing in the morning, coffee in hand.

Two Drinks Max Campaign

By Hayden Donnell

The Government believes New Zealand drivers aren't ready to moderate their drinking. We know they are. So take responsibility for keeping our roads safe by signing up: Two Drinks Max.

- Sign up at here
- Sign up on Facebook here
- Use #2DrinksMax to show support on Twitter

More than 3000 New Zealanders have signed up to the New Zealand Herald's 'Two Drinks Max' campaign.

At 1pm, 1935 readers had committed to the campaign at, with a further 1117 signing up on the Herald's Facebook page.A Herald digipoll surveying people's personal approach to drinking and driving had received more than 22,000 votes.

An overwhelming majority supported 'Two Drinks Max', with 38 per cent saying they would not drive after drinking anything at all and 40 per cent saying they wouldn't get behind the wheel after more than two.That combined figure of 78 per cent is in line with a Herald on Sunday poll showing 76 per cent of people have a self imposed limit of two drinks.

Minister of Transport Stephen Joyce would not commit to the cause, saying it would be inappropriate. Many readers have revealed a depth of personal feeling about the campaign in their online feedback to 'Two Drinks Max'. Susan Worsfold told the Facebook group: "I fully support the zero alcohol rule if you are driving. I lost a friend to drink driving when he was only 17 with his whole life ahead of him."

Many others revealed regret at past convictions for being drunk behind the wheel.Brain Injury Northland favoured a zero limit as "even after two drinks your ability to drive is impaired".

The 'Two Drinks Max' campaign is aimed at convincing the Government to lower New Zealand's drink driving limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

That would allow one to two standard drinks before driving. Politicians in support include Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker. Prominent New Zealanders including Middlemore Hospital emergency department head Vanessa Thornton, mountaineer Mark Inglis, actress Beth Allen and model Kylie Bax have also signed up.

BETH ALLEN's pledge to the cause: 

This country's drink-driving limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - the same as Britain and the United States - but Australia and most of Europe use a limit of 50mg per 100ml, also referred to as a 0.05 limit.
Only Parliament can change the law. But we can help change attitudes. Our campaign will encourage people to regulate themselves, and to not drive if they've had more than two drinks.

Shortland Street star Beth Allen explains why she is supporting the Two Drinks Max campaign.

Do you support lowering the drink/drive limit to 50 mg - already in place in many countries and recommended by NZ police, MoT and Alcohol Healthwatch?

Yes. I'm personally confused about how much anyone can drink before they are over the limit or unsafe to drive. I think it could make a real difference to the safety of our roads.

Will you pledge your name to the Herald on Sunday's Two Drinks Max campaign? Sure!

Why is it important to get behind this campaign?
Where you guys are starting from is great. Two drinks max is a
simple, clear message that people can understand. It's something that a lot of people don't think about. The problem is that as you drink your confidence goes up, and you think you'll be fine.

Have you or your friends or family been involved in a drink driving crash, or been a victim of one? I've had friends who have lost their licenses, and one who caused an
accident when he was driving drunk. Luckily, he only harmed himself.
When I watch the news and see the injustice of a family losing their loved ones in drink drive crashes, it really is heartbreaking.


MOJO (21.10.2010)

Actors Beth Allen and Charlie McDermott's big dreams are on track as they make their mark on Auckland's theatre scene.The pair have set up Royale Productions and are in the midst of preparing for their next project, Mojo, a grimy rock and roll play set in 1950s' London."Mojo is a group of wannabe gangsters who struggle for power and survival," Mr McDermott says.

"It's got a kick-ass cast – we've got a great group of people together. It's boys pretending to be men, it's about pretending to be something your not."

Mojo, written by English playwright Jez Butterworth, tells the story of a power struggle in a gangster-operated club scene, where characters Sweets, Potts, Skinny, Mickey, and Baby battle for control over teen idol and money-maker Silver Johnny.

In addition to Mr McDermott, Mojo will feature an array of Auckland actors, including Dan Musgrove, Gareth Reeves, Go Girls actor David Van Horn, Ian Hughes and newcomer Dan Veint.

Mr McDermott and Ms Allen officially started the production company this year and operate mostly out of The Basement theatre in central Auckland. To date they have worked on the Reindeer Monologues, Christ Almighty, Vagina Monologues, Killer Joe and now Mojo, and say Royale Productions ended up being a fitting name – with their full names being Charles and Elizabeth.

"Our vision is to create high quality visceral works both nationally and internationally," he says. The pair opt for plays that have an edge to them and have been described by friends as the new power couple of theatre.

"All we are is people who have a lot of energy for it," Ms Allen says."We have quite complementary personalities. Charlie is good at driving things forward and I'm the more apprehensive one."

Mr McDermott agrees: "It's much easier to work with your partner. You just pull your sleeves up and do it. It's the doers who get things done. The goal is to take New Zealand work overseas, to produce films, TV shows, events and bring over rad artists and musicians."

Mojo runs from October 26 to November 6 at The Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Central Auckland. Performances start at 8pm and tickets range from $20 to $30. Book at or ring 361-1000.



Girls go all out for gynae (30. September 2010).

Gynaecological awareness month has wrapped up with with a splash of teal. Celebrities, Local MP's and over 100 supporters gathered at Sale St wearing teal coloured ribbons to end gynaecological cancer awareness month.

TV star, Beth Allen, hosted the "Share & Care" occasion to raise awareness and educate women about gynaecological cancers to reduce the statistic that one woman dies every day of a gynaecological cancer in New Zealand.

"I feel personally motivated to change common attitudes to gynaecological health. Both my grandmothers died of gynaecological cancer, and I had high risk cervical cells surgically removed when I was at university," says Beth. Activities held in September, across the length and breadth of New Zealand, educated and informed women and their loved ones about the signs and symptoms of the main types of gynaecological cancers - ovarian, uterine cervical and vulval/vaginal.

New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes and local MPs Nikki Kaye and Jacinda Ardern turned up to show their support.

General manager of the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation Sarah Hutchings says she couldn't be more pleased with the event and the activities that were held across September.

"Share & Care events are all about getting women to talk about their personal experiences with gynaecological cancer in an informal and fun setting, whilst learning about the warning signs and symptoms along the way.

"This event, organised by AUT students, was a wonderful way to wrap up a successful month. The group have done a fabulous job in helping us to reach as many New Zealand women as possible."

As part of their final year public relations studies, AUT students run their own agency called Outside the Square. Working in teams of two to five, the students draw up and implement a communications strategy, plan a large event or fundraising activity, write reports, news releases or newsletters or even launch a product.

They work on a voluntary basis, and only with not-for-profit clients, or in partnership with a PR consultancy.
NZGCF is a registered charity for gynaecological cancers. The Foundation's mission is to educate all New Zealand women about gynaecological cancers and increase survival through early detection.

Fingers Crossed (15.September 2010)

Two of Shortland Street's most popular stars, Kimberley Crossman (Sophie McKay) and Beth Allen (Brooke Freeman), are in the running for the prestigious New Idea People's Choice Award at this year's Qantas Film and Television Awards.

Voted for by the public, the winner will be announced at the event held on September 18th.
In a category that celebrates New Zealand's favourite television stars, the pair are both delighted to have been considered.
"I was both surprised and honoured to be nominated for this award. I'm so excited to have even been considered in this category," says Crossman.

"I was completely surprised. A friend texted me on the morning the announcement was made congratulating me, but I'd been so flat-out that I thought I must have forgotten something really important," says Allen.
The yearly event provides the perfect opportunity for New Zealand's film and television industry to put on something special and walk the red carpet.

This year, Allen and Crossman both plan on wearing dresses by local designer Sera Lily.
"I'm so looking forward to the night, I just love getting dressed up!" says Crossman. "Hanging out with the cast outside of work is always a guaranteed good time too."

Up against the likes of Paul Henry (Breakfast), Robyn Malcolm (Outrageous Fortune) and Jason Gunn (Dancing with the Stars), Allen and Crossman are both flattered to be in the running.
"I think it's a great category and I'm against some amazing, and exceptionally talented people, who I really admire," says Crossman.

"I'm hopeful that for some reason all of us who are nominated will have to do dinner together, so I can sit next to Paul Henry and ask his opinion on some outrageous topics," says Allen. "I'd like to see if I can make him laugh enough to snort!"

Introducing a new ambassador: Beth Allen (September 2010)

We are delighted to announce that Beth Allen has joined the NZ Gynaecological Cancer Foundation as an ambassador to help us raise awareness of signs and symptoms of gynaecological cancers. 

Many of you will recognise Beth as Dr Brooke Freeman on Shortland Street, or as being a member of The Tribe and also as an active participant in theatre productions.  As an ambassador Beth is using the play  The Vagina Monologues as a chance to spread the message on gynaecological cancer.

"I've got a history of it in my family (both grandmothers were affected), I've had a few scares myself, and I do what I can to help [the foundation] out."

Beth also convinced the producer of Shortland Street to raise awareness of the disease through a storyline.

"Brooke's currently going through ovarian cysts. It's nice to be maybe making a teeny tiny bit of difference because it's one of those things that no-one talks about."

We will introduce you again to Beth in the very near future and keep you up to date with what she is doing.   Beth will supporting us during our awareness campaign in ASB banks during the last two weeks in September.

Gyn cancer Awareness

Gynaecological Cancer awareness month begins with an adaption of Eve Ensler's 'The Vagina Monologues,' which is playing in Auckland's Basement Theatre.The show features a revolving cast of 20 and features Beth Allen, Antonia Prebble, Fleur Saville, Anna Julienne, and Lisa Chappell and aims to entertain and educate women about being one with their vaginas.

The show's producer is Shortland Street's Beth Allen. "I feel personally motivated to change common attitudes to gynaecological health. Both my Grandmothers died of gynaecological cancer, and I had high risk cervical cells surgically removed when I was at University," said Beth.

Gynaecological Cancer awareness month will also enter the homes of many women around the country through 'Share & Care' events. Sarah Hutchings explains: "Share & Care events are all about getting women to talk about their personal experiences with gynaecological cancer in an informal and fun setting, whilst learning about the signs and symptoms along the way."Women from around the country register their events online and will receive information packs to assist them in hosting an event.

"It could be a book club meeting that is themed for the occasion, a morning tea at work with the girls, or an afternoon coffee with the other school mums," said Sarah.


Revamped show celebrates women (21.08.2010)

But the purpose of the piece was altered to become an act of political protest and has continued to be presented that way since its original performances in 1998. It has been performed in 120 countries and 4000 shows have been staged for V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Twelve years on, The Vagina Monologues remains one of the world's biggest theatre phenomenons. It now returns to Auckland eight years after it was staged by Auckland Theatre Company.

It is being revived by a group of actors led by Shortland Street's Sara Wiseman and Beth Allen who, like Ensler, want to use the piece to empower women while highlighting contemporary concerns. Not to mention having a raucous night out.

The play coincides with the launch of the Silver Ribbon Foundation's Awareness Month, which aims to highlight the prevalence of gynaecological cancers in New Zealand.

Beth Allen is an ambassador for the foundation - both her grandmothers died from ovarian cancer.

"A woman dies every day in New Zealand from a gynaecological cancer," says Allen. "This is an opportunity to get people talking about something they seldom discuss."

But Wiseman and Allen also see The Vagina Monologues as a way to keep some of Auckland's finest female actors working. Wiseman, in her debut role as a producer, says the idea was to give actors with young children the opportunity to return to the stage.

"Usually a professional theatre production with a full-time rehearsal schedule ... simply isn't possible for new mums but our revolving casts make it an achievable commitment for those actors. "We all benefit from keeping these women connected and vital in our industry."

To do so, the duo received permission from Ensler to introduce some new elements. Traditionally three actors have played the parts of various characters Ensler created after interviewing some 200 women about their views of sex, relationships and violence against women.

But in Auckland, a revolving cast of 20 works in four teams of five. Directors Caroline Bell-Booth, Rachel House, Sylvia Rand and Sam Shore work with one team each.

After 12 years, one would think the fuss about the word "vagina" in a title would have abated. But Allen says she has seen a few people sniggering at the billboard outside the Basement.

"Because we work in an industry where we can - and do - talk about what we want ... we can forget it's not like that for everyone. Some of the material remains incredibly personal and confronting."

By Dionne Christian

The Vagina Monologues & Tribe Fans (08.08.2010)

Beth Allen is a picture of togetherness. This is no mean feat considering her workload at the moment – she is shooting Shortland Street full-time, starring as resident bitch Dr Brooke Freeman, while co-producing The Vagina Monologues. Asked how many hours she is currently working, Allen says matter-of-factly: "Oh, probably 60 or something. It's just for a short period of time."

Allen, 26, has just finished a morning filming Shortland Street when we meet in the show's on-site cafe to discuss her other passion, theatre. She is producing The Vagina Monologues with friend and fellow actress Sara Wiseman, best known for her role in Mercy Peak. Made famous over a decade ago by actresses such as Glenn Close, the script for The Vagina Monologues was written by Eve Ensler from interviews with women.

"It's sort of women talking about their vaginas but it's about much deeper things than that. It's about women's places in the world, their identities, their battles and their humour and things that make us very individual – through the veil of them talking about their vaginas," said Allen, dressed in an apricot coat, with matching lipstick and steady, sparkling eyes. She fell in love with the The Vagina Monologues when it first hit New Zealand's stage in 2003, starring actresses such as Madeleine Sami and Danielle Cormack.

"I loved, loved, loved it and so I've always wanted to do pieces from it. For me it's an opportunity to play characters that are way outside what I would normally be cast as, so I get to play a black woman and I get to play a much older woman." As an ambassador for The Silver Ribbon Foundation, Allen is also using The Vagina Monologues as a chance to spread the message on gynaecological cancer. "I've got a history of it in my family (both grandmothers were affected), I've had a few scares myself, and I do what I can to help [the foundation] out." Allen also convinced the producer of Shortland Street to raise awareness of the disease through a storyline. "Brooke's currently going through ovarian cysts. It's nice to be maybe making a teeny tiny bit of difference because it's one of those things that no-one talks about."

Asked what she is most proud of in her career, Allen said it is her staying power. "I am pretty determined. I will create work for myself if I don't get work. I'll stick around. I don't think you'll be able to get rid of me very easily." Allen has already produced some theatre, including Reindeer Monologues, Christ Almighty and Killer Joe. "I'm really proud of the theatre productions I've done. I'm really proud that we've done them with people we really like and respect and we've kind of made that a priority that we do things that we really enjoy and we don't make it a chore."

Allen is no stranger to hard work. She's been acting since she was 10, after attending a course with her cousin and falling in love with the craft. "I don't remember ever wanting to do anything else, so I just said to Mum: `I'd quite like to do this and I think I should go get an agent.' I squirreled my way in and started to get some TV work. I was not all that easy to dissuade." Her teens were spent in speech and drama lessons, playing hockey and being a school prefect. From age 14, her school holidays were spent in Wellington filming a TV series called The Tribe, a soap based around 11 children living in a post-apocalyptic world where all adults have been wiped out.

"It did really well. It's inexplicable to me because to me it was fine but it wasn't an Emmy award-winning drama but it seemed to have found a little niche in its audiences and internationally it's still huge." A decade later, Shortland Street publicist Rachael Keereweer still gets emails from fan clubs overseas. Type The Tribe into google and you'll find blogs following the original cast's careers.  "I don't know how they figure it out but the minute anyone from the tribe turns up on Shortland Street they'll email and ask for pictures," said Keereweer.

Said Allen: "They are the most dedicated fans. And it went on for years, we shot the first series and I thought, `well, that's that' and we shot it for another four years." The Tribe gave Allen plenty of time in front of the cameras, setting the foundations for her career. "Shortland Street is kind of second nature to me in a way because we shot really fast in The Tribe, we shoot even faster in Shortland Street, but that sort of line learning and doing and doing and doing."

That doing will continue. The interview finishes, Allen has time only for a quick handshake and a dazzling smile before dashing off to print posters for The Vagina Monologues.

The Vagina Monologues plays at The Basement Theatre, Auckland, August 25-September 11. Adults: $28, Concessions: $24, Actors Equity/ Students: $20.


Facing Cancer (20.July 2010)

Dominion Post: Screen Test (29. June 2010)

Beth Allen plays resident bitch Dr Brooke Freeman on Shortland Street. When not on the small screen, she resides in the leafy Auckland suburb of Mt Albert with her husband-to-be and cute but dim cat, Billie Jean. Beth's hobbies include making enthusiastic attempts at cooking and baking, reading books, putting on plays, drinking tea and sleeping in.

Last night I watched/listened to:  The Simpsons, Shortland Street, Bob Marley and The Wailers' Legend, which was the first album I ever owned but I've only recently found again, Florence and the Machine and National Radio.

When I was a kid, the best thing on television was:  Playschool and Sesame Street, and Sale of the Century, because Steve Parr's slide-in at the start was pretty intriguing.

I stay in on a Saturday night for:  A good bottle of red, Whittaker's almond slabs and Arrested Development.

My momentary style obsession is:  Skull earrings that I bought in Mexico and Huffer fingerless gloves. Also, complaining about how cold Auckland is..

And food fetish?  No-one should offer me ginger crunch if they ever want to see it alive again.

Party central?  The living room of my new house, because now that I've got a mortgage, we are never leaving the house again. Also, Neighbourhood Bar in Kingsland and The Basement in Auckland City.

I took part in the Sovereign Swim Series because:  I had a temporary moment of insanity and I succumbed to peer pressure. Also, because I needed a challenge and to move past my irrational fear of being eaten by sharks. It was an awesome challenge and a great achievement, but I still spent the entirety of the swims in fear of being eaten by sharks.

Actors should never: Give up!

Viewers don't get to see it, but usually after we've wrapped a scene:  Today, Matt Minto, who plays Isaac Worthington, told me how much he needed a wee while I was taking off my high heels, because they were digging into me. Often we discuss what we're having for lunch. It's scintillating, I assure you.

With apologies to Rove, I'd turn gay for:  Cate Blanchett. The skin! The legs! The talent! The connections!


Our Proposal Adventure

The sparkle of excitement in Beth Allen's blue eyes is matched only by the glint of breathtaking diamonds on her ring finger. But while the Shortland Street beauty glows from her engagement to Charlie McDermott, the pair admits their fairytale proposal teetered on the edge of being a complete washout. As they hit the road for a weekend at Beth's family bach in the Coromandel, driving rain almost forced them to turn back. "When we got there, water was inches away from the door and we wondered if we should evacuate." says Beth, who plays Dr. Brooke Freeman on the hit TV 2 soap. The 25-year-old's night took another turn when Charlie, 27, sat Beth down for a serious talk. "He said, "I know we've talked about getting engaged, but let's just leave it for now,"" she recalls.
Slightly crestfallen, Beth took the news on the chin and settled in to enjoy a relaxing weekend with her partner of 18 months, away from the hustle and bustle of inner city Auckland. But Sunday, the rain cleared and Charlie, an accomplised theatre actor and owner of The Basement theatre in Auckland - suggested a tramp to the pristine and secluded shoreline of New Chums beach. "To get there, you need to walk across a little river," Beth explains. "Because of the rain it was flooded and we would've been chest-deep in water. I went "Oh well, let's just go home," but Charlie suggested we find a kayak." Paddling over didn't keep them as dry as they hoped, and Beth stripped off her waterlogged layers as they made their way over to the tree they had sat under on their first trip together. "I was sitting there in my soggy undies, trying to dry out, Charlie appeared next to me and said "So, I haven't been totally honest with you about the engagement thing," Beth says, "I just looked at him going "I totally know what you're about to do!"
As Charlie bent to one knee, he knew this was the perfect time to pop the question he'd been planning to ask for the past six months. "I'd had a few beers on the way over to calm the nerves. I had the ring in my pocket but was wondering if this would be the right moment," he admits. He needn't have worried. Beth was so empathic in accepting his proposal she threw her arms around him and knocked the ring out of his hand, sparking a short, paniced search in the sand. While Charlie was leading Beth astray with claims he wasn't ready to get married, he was busy telling all their nearest and dearest about his intention,designing the ring right under her nose.

For about six months,“ Charlie reveals.
„We’d chosen the perfect main diamond and he was laying it out on the bed for my best mate and I to have a look at, when Beth unexpectedly arrived home early from work. We managed to sweep the diamonds away just in time.“
Beth chimes in: „He was nearly busted a lot! I walked into the room when he was showing my brother the ring and he had to hide it behind his back. But I was completely oblivious.“
Charlie admits he’s the world’s worst secret-keeper and is surprised he wasn’t found out.
„There was even one point when we were kayaking where I said „Ooh, maybe we’ll find some buried treasure“ he says with a sheepish chuckle.
Beth adds: „My brain went, „What’s going on?“ but the side of me that loves surprised said „I’m not going to investigate that.“
As Beth proudly shows off her engagement ring during the couple’s exclusive interview with New Idea, it’s clear the platinum band inlaid with a gorgeous rock and delicate shoulder diamonds couldn’t be more suited to her.
„Andre and I designed it in Elizabethan style – because her name is Elizabeth, I’ve always had a connection to Shakespeare, and for our combined love of the stage,“ Charlie says. „And I designed it to be that flat becuase Beth always said she didn’t want a raised diamond.
Beth smiles at her fiancee and adds: „He got it perfectly right. I didn’t want something in a claw setting because it would catch on my clothes. I absolutely love it.“
Charlie also went with tradition when it came to proposal. „He went to see my parents on Friday, before we went to the Bach, and said: „I’d like to ask for Beth’s handi n marriage,“ Beth tells. „Mum cried, Dal clapped his hands once and said „Good! Ha!““
While asking for parental permission was daunting, nothing would stop Charlie from making Beth – who he met while working at Silo Theatre – his wife.

Three weeks after meeting her I sat down with my friend and said „I’m going to marry that woman,“ he reveals. „I think she’s so amazingly beautiful and talented – what more could you ask for?“ You need similar tastes and that special chemistry to just function together. WE had al of that, so it was a no-brainer,“ he adds.
Beth was similarly convinced that she’d found her soulmate. „A calm feeling kind of came over me. I feel like a part of my life is completely sorted,“ she says.
„As actors, our jobs can be so uncertain. I’m really relieved I’ve found a partner who will be there for me to fall back on now  and he can fall back on me.“

Perfect match
Charlie says the fact that they have their profession in common is what makes them more solid. „If you’re an actor and your partner doesn’t understand it,  it can be destructive to a relationship,“ he says. „We have weird and varied jobs. But as actors, we leave those things at the door. We fully appreciate that acting is a profession and our personal life is completely separate to that.

Beth usually juggles theatre roles with her part on Shortland Street, but she’s planning to cool down her schedule to concentrate on plans for her 2011 nuptials which, according to the efficient star, are very much under control.
„I have a few things on the boil, but I’m actually quite keen to enjoy Shortie while planning the wedding,“ she says.
„I’m super-organized – we were travelling around America and Mexico at the start of the uyear and w ehad lots of long bus journeys. Charlie would sit there reading and I’d be writing lists, going „What about this?“ all the time. He’d just say „Yes, dear,“ then we’d laugh. When we got home, Charlie suggested we hire a wedding planner. Then we took the plan to my parents and I had a guest list, budget, spreadsheets and quotes. Charlie didn’t think we needed a wedding planner anymore.“
With  logistics sorted, Beth’s revelling in the most thrilling chore of all – dress shopping.
„I’m looking for something classic – it will be reasonably simple“ she hints. „I have started looking, but it’s a little daunting. I’m holding off on trying anything on until I have more of an idea.“
Every bride-to-be needs an enthusiastic shopping-partner, and in Beth’s case it’s one of her bridesmaids, Outrageous Fortune star Antonia Prebble.
„She’s my best friend. She’s so excited. I call her up to suggest maybe going bridal shopping and she’s like „Yeah!““

But what’s more important to the couple than the dress and decor is the guest list. „We’ve planned for around 100 people, which is about right for us, isn’t it darling?“ Beth says as she looks to Charlie.
He responds, „We’re lucky to have that many people who’ve had an influence on our lives- We may not see some of them as much now, but or wedding will b as much of a reflection of them as it is of us. They’ve brought us to this monumental point in our lives – they should be celebrated as much as we are.“
Even while concentrating on the plans for their big celebrations, Beth always has the bigger picture in the forefront of her mind. „I can see our whole future together,“ Beth says. „I’m really certain about it. I’ve found my partner in crime.“

Glamour Girl - Beth Allen

Another wonderful article from New Idea magazine.
Beth Allen (Brooke), along with many on-screen rivals from Shortland Street left their characters far behind, as they played dress-ups for the day celebrating summer with a 1950s outdoor theme!

What did you enjoy most about getting dressed up in "50s-style clothing and accessories?
The hair! It was great to be dressing up for an era where big hair was big.

What is your favourite era? Why?
I love the glamour and the femininity of the '50s, and into the early '60s with Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn.

What's the craziest dress-up costume you've ever worn?
I wore some pretty crazy stuff when I was on The Tribe as a teenager....calfskin suits, huge combat boots and lots of feathers.

Without giving it all away, what's your character's role in the Christmas cliffhanger?
One word - sneaking. I do a lot of sneaking.

What's the best present you've ever received? Why?
For my 21st birthday my best friends did an extreme makeover on my bedroom, making it into a princess bedroom.

What are you most looking forward about summer?
This year my partner and I are going to Mexico, and when we get beck we've got the AC/DC cooncert to look forward to.

What is your favourite item of summer clothing in your wardrobe and why?
Maxi dresses - I always feel so feminine and so relaxed in them.

What defines New Zealand Christmas for you?
Barbecues, Christmas shopping when it's all muggy and raining in Auckland (and being driven slightly insane by it), fresh fish for breakfast and drinking champagne in the sun.

What do you think is your character's most memorable moment of 2009?
I think some of the best stuff is in the lead up to Christmas cliffhanger.

On a personal level - what is your most memorable moment of the past year?
Producing and acting in a play called "Killer Joe" in Auckland in September. We had a blast.

I've found my perfect leading man.


Summer to New Zealand (October 2009)

What are some of your favourite things about summer?
Swimming in the ocean; glasses of rose' in the sun; seafood; long dusky evenings; reading entire books in one sitting.

Can you tell us about one of your stand-out summer memories?
Standing on the sand dunes overlooking the beach at sunrise at Whangapoua on January 1st, 2000.
Stripping down to our undies, about to take off the rest for a new-millennium skinny-dip...and looking down the beach and realising that several hundred other holiday-makers were also all up at 6am to see the sunrise. Undies stayed on, swim still had, as the storm rolled out. Awesome.

Any advice for getting ready for summer?
Smile. We all do so much more of it as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer and everyone seems so much more beautiful and happy.


Beth talks about her role as Dottie in "Killer Joe"

Soap stunner's naked ambition (06.09.09)

Shortland Street actress Beth Allen is swapping nursing scenes for nude scenes on the stage in a black comedy opening in Auckland.

The 25-year-old, who plays GP sex siren Brooke Freeman in the Kiwi soap, is to bare all in Killing Joe, starring alongside real-life love interest Charlie McDermott. At first Allen, who on screen has bedded many of Shortland Street's leading men, thought she could act her way out of getting undressed.

"I just thought `oh no, I'll just find a way to get around that,' but as we've worked though it, it has become obvious I don't need to find a way through it because the script is good enough and protects you enough that you don't need to worry about it ... it's not going to look gratuitous," she said."It is confronting. I wouldn't do it unless it was really necessary. Most people probably say that, but the piece kind of requires it. It's essential to the character's development and it saves having to write 15 pages of explanation really."

But it's clear from Allen's nervous grin she's apprehensive about three weeks of nude scenes. "I'm completely nude. Not quite full frontal... you're not going to see everything," she said. "It's taken me quite a while to get to the point of being fine with it."

Like every actress, Allen knew that sooner or later a script would force her to decide whether she was prepared to disrobe for a role."I totally accept whatever any actress decides to do," she said. "You see it on the screen all the time, women have obviously said, `No, I'm not going to have a bare chest,' then Anna Paquin is in True Blood getting her tits out and you think `good on ya, girl'."

"Killer Joe", which opens on Friday, tells the story of a Texan trailer park family who try to solve a cash crisis by hiring a bent cop to kill their mother so they can collect her life insurance.

"I think there's lots to like about it. There are lots of exciting things going on, on stage. It's really funny and it's really black as well ... it might make you squirm quite a bit."

Allen plays Dottie, a shy and dreamy young girl who has a somewhat "inappropriate" relationship with her brother Chris, played by McDermott. Colin Moy, who starred as Dr Brett Valentine in Shortland Street, plays the hired assassin.

"It's part of the killer ingratiating himself in the family. He gets involved with Dottie so there's a scene between him and her where he kind of takes control of the situation, not in a forceful way.

"It's just nudity, the sexual stuff lies underneath. But the nudity is drawn out." The play, written by Pulitzer prize and Tony award-winning writer Tracy Letts, also stars Outrageous Fortune bad boy Craig Hall (Nicky Greegan) and Sara Wiseman who was in Xena and Street Legal. Despite Killing Joe's publicists making a point of mentioning Allen's relationship with McDermott, 26, it's not up for discussion. "I'd rather not have this. Charlie and I come into it really. It's really great to work with him but we're keeping our relationship separate to the play," Allen said.

Due to her Shortland Street schedule it's "hard to squeeze in" more than one play a year. Last year she produced and starred in the sell-out season of The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. She hopes to do the same with Christ Almighty.

"I love going to the theatre and as an actor it tends to be the thing you do for your craft and your satisfaction ... you definitely don't do it for the money," she said.

By Steve Hopkins, Sunday News

Shortland Street stars support Paw Justice

It's time to put a stop to animal cruelty! Paw Justice has launched in New Zealand, and they have several Shortland Street stars on board to help out.

Paw Justice is a non-profit organisation that represents pet owners and animal lovers who want to put a stop to animal abuse, by increasing the sentence that people receive for committing acts of violence against pets.  

Faye Smythe (Tania Jeffries), Beth Allen (Brooke Freeman), Ido Drent (Daniel Potts) and Anna Jullienne (Maia Jeffries) are just a few members of the Shortland Street cast who are supporting this campaign, encouraging one million New Zealander's to sign a petition.

"I've always resented people who get pets and don't look after them properly," says Faye Smythe. "So I'm glad I can finally be a part of something to try to put an end to such unnecessary negligence and cruelty."
Paw Justice want to send a very clear message. If you hurt an animal - you will go to prison.

"You go to jail if you hurt another human being, so there's no reason why you shouldn't go to jail for hurting an animal," says Smythe. "People who hurt and neglect animals are cowards. I don't know how anyone can look at themselves without feeling weak and pathetic for making the conscious effort to the cruel to an animal."
It will also strongly discourage offenders who may commit these crimes, not to do so, or to think twice about committing an act of cruelty against an animal. Ultimately, the organizers hope that this will help stop animals being mistreated, tortured or violently killed.

"The SPCA cannot be a catch-up for all of New Zealand's animals. They should be tending to animals, not being forced to use their limited resources on trying to bring those who commit violence to animals to justice," says Beth Allen. "At present, our legal system doesn't take such acts seriously."
"I have two kittens from the SPCA. The thought of doing anything to intentionally hurt them upsets me greatly," continues Allen. "Those who do must be viewed as serious offenders by on our justice system. "


My fabulous friends (14.August 2009)

Five sets of fabulous female friends tell Nicky Dewe about the great mates they wouldn’t be without. Outrageous Fortune star Antonia Prebble and Shortland Street actress Beth Allen became buddies at the age of 14, when they were both cast in the futuristic teenage TV drama series The Tribe.

Beth: I grew up in Auckland while Toni was raised in Wellington but we’ve always made a big effort to see each other.

Antonia: We’re both Geminis, which means we’re contrary and can’t make decisions, but Beth’s more assertive than I am. I’m quite sensitive and Beth’s a bit more robust. She’s also more sensible. I’m trying to buy a house at the moment and I get Beth to come too because I’ll walk in and go, “Oh, my God, the vibe’s amazing.” Then Beth will say, “There’s no storage and the floor’s on an angle.” She provides really good balance in my life.

Beth: I get more stroppy about things and Antonia will say to me, “Well, you know, you could try looking at it from another point of view.” I think we both sometimes over-analyse things, but we always help to bring each other back down to earth. We make each other feel a little less crazy. I struggled for a while in my early twenties, when

I was doing less interesting jobs and not much acting, and Antonia would tell me, “It will definitely happen for you.” She never questioned it. That was tremendously comforting.

Antonia: And I wasn’t just saying that. I knew it. It’s easier from the outside looking in, because you can see when someone’s gifted. Beth is very insightful and incredibly loyal. Her love for me is utterly reliable. She makes a real effort to maintain friendships. Plus she’s got a great sense of humour – and an excellent collection of dirty jokes!

Elephant Story (June 2009)

Scrubbing down an enormous elephant isn't your every-day activity, but it was all part of the job for several Shortland Street actors recently.
Relishing the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these two gentle giants, this was definitely an experience to remember!

As part of the Auckland Zoo's'Adopt an Animal' programme, Shortland Street has chosen to support their two beautiful Asian elephants.

Weighing over three tones, the elephants towered over Beth Allen, Amanda Billing, Ido Drent and Kimberley Crossman - but they quickly learnt that there is more than meets the eye with these gigantic creatures. 

Kashin and Burma are good friends, but they have very different personalities and it wasn't long until these individual traits began shining through.
"It was hilarious! Kashin was happy to lie there being washed by everyone (and being fed), while Burma was a bit more impatient," says Beth. "She kept trying to wander away and attempting to bribe me for more bananas."
Offering numerous behind-the-scene tours, the Auckland Zoo gives people the opportunity to have an intimate experience, with some amazing animals, without having to travel across the world.
"The experience for me was one I will always remember," says Kimberley. "Being able to get so close to the elephants, and to learn so much about them was really unbelievable." 
"I would highly recommend a Zoom Encounter to anyone," agrees Beth. "I felt absolutely elated, with a huge amount of respect and admiration for these beautiful animals and the dedicated team who take care of them."


My Family's Plunket Pride

It's as Kiwi as hokey pokey and jandals, and Plunket has played a bigger role in  Beth Allen's life than it has in most people's.

The 25-year-old, who plays Brooke Freeman on the popular TV2 soap Shortland Street, is the great-great niece of Sir Frederick Truby King. The Dunedin man founded the children's welfare society in 1907, and this year Plunket celebrates 102 years of providing support to newborns and their families.Having an integral part of New Zealand history in her heritage is something the star is extremely proud of and it has prompted her to delve into her family's past to learn more about her famous relative.

‘I've discovered he did a lot of work with psychiatric patients, brightening up their environments in the belief that a sound body and healthy surroundings made for a sound mind,' Beth says. 'As a result of working in the garden and with animals, he then developed a ground-breaking formula for humanised cows' milk.

He and his wife [Lady Isabella King] were unable to have kids of their own, so they adopted a little girl called Mary,' Beth explains. ‘She was really sickly, which led to Truby creating this instant formula.

Soon after, he set up the first Karitane nurse and taught the local mothers how to mix the formula so they could feed their babies. Essentially, 12 years later, the formula had halved the infant mortality rate in New Zealand.'

Dedicated to children

Beth laughs when she talks about the type of bloke Frederick was.‘He was eccentric, forgetful and disorganised,' she says. ‘But extremely dedicated. I found out that he decided that lactose was better to put into his formula, and because the local grocers had a monopoly on it, he imported about a tonne. He paid for a nurse to be trained, and for her salary. It was all out of his own pocket.'

Despite being reviled by the feminist movement for insisting women should stay at home with their babies, and for enforcing strict schedules, Beth says his research was pivotal for the children of the time.Frederick tested his theories on his own nieces and nephews, including Beth's grandfather.

‘He told my great grandmother she had to feed the baby every four hours and then put him to sleep. One time he just wouldn't stop screaming and she wanted to go in and comfort him but Truby said, "No, you have to stick to the schedule, just leave him." After about 15 minutes of this, she went in to check on him and discovered she'd actually stuck a pin in him when changing his nappy!'

While Frederick's legacy lives on in the Plunket Society, many of his original teachings don't. It's something Beth says is a reflection of the times.

‘I think it's great how much it's evolved in the hundred years since it started. Theories about childbearing do change.'

She doesn't have children of her own, but Beth shares a close bond with her eight-month-old niece Olive, and says her brother Oscar and sister-in-law Kim are involved with their local Plunket.

‘Olive belongs to the same one I used to go to,' she says.

‘I've had no direct experience with Plunket but I know there's so much information out there for mums, from support groups to the internet. From what I can gather, many of them come back to Plunket for the basic things and use it as a great way to meet other mums,' Beth adds.

‘It undoubtedly still plays an important role in the lives of New Zealand babies.'

By Sarah Mason


Cosy up...preparing for the colder months ahead in New Zealand (18.03.2009)

Beth Allen gives some tips.

- I get into a good exercise routine - trying to get into one when it's cold is near impossible for me. I like my warm bed too much!
- Stock up on fish oil to keep me feeling bright during the grey days.
- Dig out the winter recipes and slow-cooker from the cupboard
- Sadly put my summer clothes in storage.

25. January 2009

Beth Foot Forward

When Shortland Street bosses told Beth Allen she would have to portray a person in the throes of a meltdown she leapt at the challenge. The 24-year-old actress – who plays troubled GP Brooke Freeman – has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like when someone starts to lose the plot – having helped mates through it in the past.

‘‘I had friends when we were growing up – those teen years can be really hard, it’s a really stressful time,’’ she told ‘‘I had friends who were going through a really emotional time and they would get really upset and you’d have to talk them out of the bathroom. ‘‘I think most of the audience could relate to that.’’

This week Brooke finds out just how evil and deadly the love of her life Ethan Pierce (Owen Black) really was – blowing all her beliefs out of the water. It sparks her to lose her mind – even walking into oncoming traffic in an apparent suicide attempt. Beth admits that in real life, she too has been betrayed by people close to her – causing her to question her own judgment.

‘‘I’ve felt really wobbly and let down by friends,’’ Beth said. ‘‘I can sympathise with that feeling – feeling like you know a person and not really knowing them very much at all. ‘‘I don’t want to elaborate too much but it’s just these situations when you trust someone and they let you down. It makes you question your judgment a bit and that’s what’s happening with Brooke. She’s questioning her whole view on the world.’’ While the closest Beth has ever come to a cat-fight is watching a group of girls fight in a bus stop, Brooke gets into her second cat-fight with enemy Alice Piper (Toni Potter) this week. ‘‘It’s in the cafeteria and it’s one of those ones which is pretty impromptu and embarrassing for both girls,’’ she said.

‘‘There is a lot of hair-pulling and slapping and food flung everywhere as well, that was fun.’’ It was Beth’s first chance to hit a girl – as the ‘‘completely non-confrontational wuss’’ was turned off fighting after a scarring teenage experience.‘‘I remember when I was about 13 witnessing a fight between some girls in a bus stop in New Lynn. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen, that was enough,’’ she laughed.

Written by Ellen Irvine @ Sunday news

10. December 2008

Power Rangers, Xena heroes, Outrageous Westies and Shortland Street sirens are uniting in a star-studded Christmas cracker of a play.

Fleur Saville, Anna Jullienne, Dean O'Gorman and Michael Hurst are among the stars of stage and screen taking part in dark comedy The Eight: Reindeer Monologues.

The idea of uniting New Zealand's best actors in one festive package of fun came from Beth Allen, actor Charlie McDermott and producer John Moffett who are putting the show together.

"We just had a big brainstorming session and went through our cellphone lists and thought about who would be around," said Beth,
"I talked to a whole bunch of people at Shortie and we just basically chucked all these people in together. It's actually a lot of fun.
We've got this big colour-coded spreadsheet and we try to organise it around everyone's schedule.
It's not as dramatic as I thought it was going to be, although it has at some points been a colourful mess!"

The opposite of a pantomime, the play is aimed at adults only and explores what happens when one of Santa's eight reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment.
Far from Rudolph's only problem being his red nose, the show relates the trials and tribulations of working with Father Christmas, who one character describes as "a walking, talking, holly-jolly sex crime waiting to happen".

Performed at The Basement Theatre in Auckland over 14 nights, each show involves a cast of eight, so the 40 actors involved rotate the parts meaning audiences never quite know who they're going to see on stage.

"If you're a theatre-goer in Auckland you'll recognise a lot of people," said Beth, who along with boyfriend and co-producer Charlie is also acting in the show.
If not, you'll recognise a few familiar faces each time you go along. Each set of actors will lend their own slant to it. It's just a bit different from the usual Christmas fare.
It might even come at a good time because the economy's a bit dire and maybe it'll reflect the slightly darker edge to everyone's mood at the moment!" she added.


Eight Reindeer Monologues [November 2008]

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is coarse, witty, vulgar and crude and therefore intended for mature audiences only.
Sex. Lies. Santa.

We've got six double passes up for grabs to see The Eight: Reindeer Monologues in Auckland. PLEASE NOTE: The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is intended for mature audiences only.

To enter this competition CLICK RIGHT HERE.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is a dark, dark Christmas comedy. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa's eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment.
Written by Jeff Goode and a sell-out success around the world, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is not the usual sugar-coated Christmas fare.

Instead, audiences are invited to The Basement for some in-your-face seasonal merriment as this dark Christmas comedy sheds new light on Santa and his eight reindeer.
Scandal in the North Pole erupts as one of Santa's eight reindeer accuses him of decidedly un-Christmas like behaviour. Forget happy elves and cute smiling reindeer; think instead of Dasher as a rugby jock; Cupid as a gay toy boy and Vixen as a doe with a tale to tell.
You won't know who you are going to see perform. And you'll never look at Santa the same way again!

40 actors are involved in the show. On the night of each performance the audience won't know who they are going to see perform; much like a Christmas cracker! But rest assured, there will definitely be a recognizable face on each night!

The actors include stars Beth Allen, Fleur Saville, Bonnie Soper, Anna Jullienne, Harry McNaughton, Nisha Madhan and Sarah Thomson, plus Oliver Driver, Michael Hurst, Sarah Wiseman, Dean O'Gorman, Antonia Prebble, Claire Chitham, Morgana O'Reilly, Charlie McDermott and Shane Bosher.

Stolen Love

Odds are that Beth Allen and the character she plays on Shortland Street, Dr Brooke Freeman, wouldn't be best buddies in real life. For a start they're streets apart style-wise: ultra-fashion-conscious Brooke is usually decked out in clingy silky blouses, high-waisted skirts and high heels; but Beth usually gets around in jeans and a T-shirt. Brooke's hair is painstakingly straightened and her make-up is always at hand; Beth prefers the bare-faced look and lets her natural curls run riot. Brooke watches her calorie intake carefully; but Beth doesn't deny herself sweet treats.

Chatting between bites of chocolate slice at a cafe just down the road from her Grey Lynn, Auckland flat, the down-to-earth 24-year-old looks much younger and prettier minus the heavy make-up. But as she's come straight from the set, she still sports that "Brooke leftover" - straight hair.
Each morning hair and make-up artists slave for an hour and-a-quarter to perfect the Brooke look - and that's before the costume department gets its hands on her.
"Today I was wearing pants on set rather than the usual skirt and I was like, 'Wow, look what I can do with my legs'."

Certainly Shortland Street's latest vixen has been putting those pins to good use. Since she strutted onscreen in July, the enigmatic, eye-catching locum has been doctor-hunting, playing off Chris and Kip while having a secret affair with the equally mysterious Dr Ethan Pierce. Brooke, an intriguing mass of contradictions, is assertive yet vulnerable, kind-hearted yet manipulative, gregarious yet aloof - so while we haven't much warmed to her, we don't hate her yet either.

In real life, Allen sports curly hair, jeans and a hoodie. She's still able to slip under the radar when doing her weekly grocery shop. "It's funny watching myself on screen and realising she's not actually very nice, because I understand her back story and think she's all right, until I see her on TV."

Allen is a born and bred Aucklander, so knows about manipulative, high-maintenance girls of which Brooke is a prime example.

"People like to see things get stirred up a bit and it's part of life isn't it? That classic using her sexuality to get what she wants. Brooke comes across as bad, but she's actually quite messed up. There's an awful lot of stuff in her background that she's running away from and she gets into the wrong situations or has friends who don't serve what she really wants."

Every bad girl, of course, has an excuse for their behaviour, from a horrible childhood to never quite getting over being daddy's girl. But Allen says that's not compulsory.

"I don't think bad girls need to be redeemed. Every character needs to have something that makes them identifiable, but you don't need to be likable. You just need to be able to look at them and believe that can be a real person."

So does Allen enjoy being wholesome, or evil?  "As long as the character's got depth, and they've got that underlying nugget of intention that makes them interesting, then I don't mind being either. But Brooke is in no way settling down anytime soon!"

Recently we've learned that, despite Brooke's pricey clothes, she's certainly not rolling in dosh: she is concealing her tiny, grungy digs from her colleagues. And she has a touch of kleptomania, stealing cutlery and glassware from flash restaurants.
Chris discovered that Brooke changed her surname, because her father is Grant Marsden, a business tycoon who skipped the country after insider-trading accusations. Brooke has never recovered from the humiliation of going from Little Miss Rich to penniless when Daddy lost the lot. More mysteries will be revealed soon.
As a young teen, when Allen had a "huge crush" on Dr Johnny Marinovich (Stelios Yiakmis), the avid Shortland Street fan never imagined she'd one day end up as the resident player, vying for the attentions of "Dr Love". But a part on our stalwart soap was always on the cards for Titirangi-born-and-bred Allen, who at 14 came close to getting the Shortland Street part of Erin Kingston.
Instead, she took on the role of Amber on the international-hit TV show The Tribe.

Post-Tribe came a film-and-history BA at Auckland University and occasional acting parts, including guest roles on TV series Power Rangers, Xena and Outrageous Fortune. "I mainly played models and Power Ranger girlfriends who tended to have the depth of a puddle," says Allen. "Brooke's got a bit more to her, definitely."

Written with Allen in mind, the part appealed partly because of the character's complexity, and partly because of the challenge of playing someone so different to herself. She's starting to get recognised when out and about. "I thought I was going to get away with it with my curly hair but I was in Lynn Mall yesterday and people were looking sideways a little bit, mainly middle-aged men." Suddenly realising how that sounds, she blushes.
Puppydog doctors aside, her character of Brooke has also had to spurn the attentions of lesbian nurse Maia Jeffries, played by former schoolmate Anna Julienne, who used to regularly beat Allen in speech and drama competitions.

"I finally got to get my own back," Allen says. "I'm kidding - we laughed a lot in that scene."
And Allen hopes Brooke will be batting those eyelashes for a while to come. "She has enough depth that she does have room to move as a character, though I still don't know if I'd be her best friend."

Bad girl rating: 7/10 (she's a sneaky little minx, but we're a sucker for a pretty face).

source: NZ Herald

Beth Allen - On Shortland Street

When Beth Allen was cast as Shortland Street's newest sex siren Dr Brooke Freeman, she didn't bargain on having to get up close and personal with some of New Zealand's most adored characters. "When you audition for a role on Shortland Street you are given a good idea of the type of character you may be cast as, but it can change," explains Allen. "I knew that I could end up playing the girl about the office, but I didn't anticipate that I was going to be playing such a vixen! It's hilarious that I'm vying for the affections of Dr Chris Warner. Who would have thought I'd get my chance with Doctor Love?"

At just 24, Beth has an impressive list of credits under her belt including a core cast role as 'Amber' on internationally acclaimed children's series The Tribe, roles on Power Rangers and Outrageous Fortune. Taking on a role in Shortland Street seems like the natural step for this Auckland-born actor.

"Shortland Street is a national icon," says Allen. "It's a show I've always wanted to work on, and when the character of Brooke came along it felt like the right opportunity for me. Brooke is an ideal role in that she is sassy and sophisticated. I've featured in a lot of teenage dramas playing young characters. It's great to be able to play an adult - and not just any adult - a real femme fatale."

This week on air it becomes clear that despite her outward appearance of being cool, calm and collected, there's more to Brooke than meets the eye.

"Cracks in Brooke's exterior start to show," says Allen of her character. "If things aren't going her way, or people start to doubt her, she struggles to maintain her composure. Brooke likes to keep her work and private life very separate. It's only natural though, everyone has their little secrets."

24 July 2008 Source: Throng

 Beth Allen, who plays Brooke, offers us an insight into what it's like being the newbie on Shortland Street.

How did you get your role on SS?

I have done a number of auditions over the years so I guess my face has been seen around the office a bit, and when the Brooke part came up they kindly thought of me for the role.  

How long have you been acting and how did you get your first big break?
I've been acting since I was 11. My first role was in a Whitcoulls ad - I seem to recall I looked pretty frozen and terrified throughout!
Name three similarities between you and your onscreen character.
We both like shoes, going out for dinner and lipgloss.

What has been your best experience/scene on the show to date?
Getting through the first day without falling over or breaking anything. And I always end up giggling whenever I do a scene with Fleur or Anna.
Which other character would you like to be and why?
I think Gerald is brilliant, but I would never be able to make his remarkable shirts look as good as Harry does.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of SS?
Hanging with friends and family. Going to see lots of theatre and movies. Music. Curling up on the couch with a book. And I've recently discovered the joys of cooking, much to my mum's astonishment.

What do you do in your down time during the day when you're not shooting?
Read, learn lines, go to the gym, plot the next recipe I'm going to test on my flatmates.

What is your favourite destination in NZ and overseas?
In NZ - my parents' place in the Coromandel. Overseas - New York or Spain.
Are you single or attached?
Happily single.

How many brothers and sisters do you have, are they older or younger?
My sister is 30, my brother is 33. And I am about to become an aunt for the first time!
What is your date of birth and what star sign are you?
28 May 1984 - I'm a Gemini.

Do you have any pets?
A pet seems to have me - a little black cat that has appeared out of nowhere so we're feeding him treats and telling him he's remarkable in an effort to have him stay.

Who is the actor or actress that you look up to or admire the most?
Cate Blanchett, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack and Patricia Clarkson.

What is the thing you enjoy most about going to work everyday?
The people, it's always different, and the chance to tell a good story.

What has been your favorite scene to film in your time at Shortland Street?
There's a scene where Kip and Brooke go out on a date to a flash restaurant - so Will and I happily gorged ourselves on the food the restaurant had kindly made us especially for the scene.

Do you watch Shortland Street at home? If yes, is it strange seeing yourself on television or are you used to it?
I'm definitely watching it more now! But I'm yet to see myself on screen - something I am trying to avoid thinking about.

What is your favourite food?
Japanese and anything that Mum makes.

What is your favourite television programme and/or film of all time?
Blackadder. Too many movies to name!

Are you from Auckland or did you move her to film Shortland Street? Where did you grow up?
Born and bred in West Auckland - the studios are just down the road from my first flat!

Which other actors/actresses do you like working with the most and why?
Ooooh, I don't play favourites...

Have you made any good friends amongst the cast and crew?
I've only been here a few weeks, so it's still early days, but I know some of them already from work in the past. Sarah Thomson and I share a dressing room and haven't had a punch up over whose going to nap in the little bed in there first, so that's a good sign.

What's the best experience you've had with a fan/fans?
None as yet... I'm looking forward to it!

Can you remember your first day on Shortland Street - what was it like?
A lot of coffee, encouraging words and attempts on my part not to look terrified.


Space View [March 2005]

What do you do at the moment?

I have an additional job and Uni will start again in February.


What are your plans for the future?

 I’m gonna graduate from University in June 2005 and I’d like to work and attend a drama school. In addition, I want to sleep a lot and try out every chocolate bar that exists.


Would you be willing to play in a new season of The Tribe?

One should never say never.


Do you remember a particularly funny moment on set?

One day, when it was very boring, Mikey and James bet on who could drink the most water. Mikey already had quite watery eyes and I think both of them had to throw up.


Did you read a good book recently?

“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy. And “The Da Vinci Code”, I was encorselled. A great amusement!


Did you like your tribal outfit?

Leather is a good thing in winter, but it really annoyed me in the summer.


What do you wear in everyday life?

Jeans and tank tops. It really depends on my mood. I love beautiful party dresses.


What kind of music do you listen to?

At the moment I like John Butler Trio, Kings of Leon, the Rolling Stones, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and the Dave Matthews Band.


Tribe life

 An interview with Beth while she was filming season 3 of The Tribe.


Vital Statistics

Date of Birth28 May 1984

Star Sign:  Gemini

Country of Birth: New Zealand

Natural Hair Colour: Brown

Height: 5' 4"

Shoe size? Seven

Glasses or contacts? Nope

Where do you live? Auckland

Do you drive?  Everywhere!

Have you ever broken any bones? Nope!

Up close and personal (June 2002)

What word best describes you?

What is your all-time favourite line of your character?
"Boys and sticks...."

 If you could play any other character on telelvision, who would it be?
Rachel on Friends (I do get her real life as well though, right?)

 If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fly 

Define the perfect day
Beth. - Sun, no wind, a beach, great food (and drink), great friends, great laughs and great music. 

What quality in yourself would you like to improve?
Stringing sentences together.

 What book or movie title best describes your life so far?
Dazed and Confused

 If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 What is your favourite movie of all time?
Romeo and Juliet

 What's your biggest complaint in life?
Nothing really....that I don't have a pony?

 Who are your favourite actors?
Edward Norton, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush

 Name your greatest achievement
Living in a house with Tori, messing up things in her room and still living to tell the tale!

 What do you like most about acting?
Dressing up and playing pretend all day.

 What do you deplore most about acting?
When you're going too fast to really work at a scene.

 If you weren't in show business, you would be?

What's something in the world you'd like to see outlawed?
Small mindedness, thoughtlessness

 What do you like most about the holidays?
Maximum sleep, minimum activity.

Oh, Island in the sun....(November 2001)

If you were stuck on a desert island with 3 other people what is the first thing that you would do?
Assess how good their physical form is in case I had to eat them.

If you could choose the 3 people you'd want to be stuck with, who would they be and what are your reasons for choosing them?
Tori, Toni and a cow. They'd keep me entertained and you could imagine where I'm going with the cow.

 If you could take 3 items with you, what would they be?
A never ending supply of food and water and books to read.

Where would you build a shelter (eg on a hill, on the beach, etc.) and why?
I'd probably build it in the most illogical place to start off with, then learn my lesson and build it in a cave...

Do you know how to make fire without matches or a lighter?
I have a fair idea but I wouldn' want to have to try.

What would you eat?
Now you see why the cow's there!!!

Would you eat rats if you had to?

Know any good desert island recipes?
Aside from cow?

Would you be more Tom Hanks 'Castaway' quiet and reflective or 'Swiss Family Robinson' styles, building elaborate treehouses and making the most of things?
If Toni and Tori were there we'd probably do as little as possible and probably end up starving from our own lack of practicality.

What are the 3 things you would miss the most if you were stuck on an island?
Contact with the outside world. My friends and family and hot showers.

 What would be your greatest offering that would help you and the other 3 get by on the island without going insane? (eg good humour, storytelling abilities, first aid knowledge, survivor instincts, etc.)
The ability to hunt, kill, cook, chop, construct and be a general outdoor-type whilst still retaining goddessness. A palate that never gets tired of coconut. Mosquito-proof skin.

How would you make your escape from the island?
A daring rescue by three qorgeous men (one each for Tori, Toni and I) and a particularly charming bull (for the cow - if she made it) in the latest Lear Jet after a tireless search to find the lost beauties that had left the world in such darkness. Safely on the jet, we would be wined and dined with U2 playing soulful ballads composed especially for us in the background.


What is the first thing that you would do upon arriving safely home again?
Have a shower.

Head to Head (February 2001)

So here we make the comparison and see if there are any similarities as Amber and Beth Allen go HEAD TO HEAD...

Favourite Colour?
Beth Allen: Silver
AMBER -  Black? Amber normally wears black clothes

Best subjects at school?
Beth Allen: History
AMBER  - Amber always enjoys reading so she may have been good at English. And perhaps politics?

Worst subjects at school?
Beth Allen: Latin - aaggh!
AMBER -  Amber doesn't seem to be bad at anything in particular.

Hobbies and interests in time-off?
Beth Allen: Hanging out with friends, music, movies, hockey, sleeping, chatting on the phone
AMBER - Reading, nature and the environment (Amber loves the beach), chatting with friends

Favourite quote, phrase or motto?
Beth Allen: "Yesterday is history - tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift - that's why it is called the present..."
AMBER - Hard to pin down to just one quote but Amber's motto/belief is clearly to build a peaceful new world.

Left or right-handed?
Beth Allen: "I'm an uncoordinated lefty!"
AMBER - Amber appears to be right-handed.

What would you call your Tribe if you were leader?
Beth Allen: "The Uncoordinated Tribe!"
AMBER - Amber did not give a name to the Tribe that became the Mall Rats (Lex's idea) but she was happy to stick with the name "Mall Rats" for her Tribe.

Favourite food?
Beth Allen: Chocolate, chocolates, chocolate. Oh, and chocolate!
AMBER - Amber appears to enjoy most types of food. We cannot recall her mentioning a favourite food in the Tribe (yet!)...

Heroes or heroines?
Beth Allen: I admire anyone who goes out and achieves what they want to achieve.
AMBER - Amber admires Bray, Dal, Sasha (for a time), her parents (she wore a ring which her Dad gave to her) and anyone who believes in a peaceful new world...

Christmas 2000

What does christmas mean to you and your family ?
Well christmas down in NewZealand sort of means a pretty hot summer to come. So to me thats what it means, just a pretty hot summer days and lazy days on the beach just hanging out with my family and friends really.  

What about on christmas day how does the day pan out ?
Recently its been pretty low key. I've got my brother and my sister and my parents, me hang out at our beachhouse and we open presents and we just have a really nice lunch and lie in the sun and go for a swim generally just have a very lazy day.
Have you got a favourite christmas food that you hang out for on christmas day ?
Christmas mince pies have gotta be pretty top of the list. Pretty delicious.

Have you made any plans for new years eve ?
Not really. I'm just going with the flow. I can't really be bothered making huge plans. I just sorta see what happens on the night 'n go with it.

 Have you got any goals for next year ?
Goals for next year, I just wanna do well at school, i just wanna grab every opportunity that comes my way. Its my last year at school 'n I just wanna go and enjoy it and try and make the most of all the people that are gonna be there that maybe are gonna be my future. Yeah and stay in contact with people that arn't always around me and have a really good time.

Have you ever been given a christmas gift that has just been just right- the ultimate gift ?
I remember when I was 9 years old and I was given this huge doll house that I had wanted since I could remember and I opened it up and nearly passed out. I was so exited I couldn't move for about 5 minutes and spent the rest of the day building this playhouse and none could take me away from it. It was the best present ever. I was so exited.  

What about have you ever had to go on any missions to get the ultimate christmas present for someone ?
Um probably I can't remember. I really like giving presents. Its really fun and most of the time when I try to give good presents but I'm so unorganized and I never get anything in time so its always just a mad rush to get anything for anyone in the end. But I usually just try to make an effort to give someone something nice but its a bit hard sometimes.  

Have you got a favourite christmas movie ?
Not really I don't because where I am before christmas we don't actually have a T.V so I don't actually see the christmas movies when they get shown so no I can't really think on one.

How about a christmas song or christmas carol ?
Um I like Away in a Manger. Sort of says it really its quite nice. And there was a really nice song I heard called a New Zealand christmas where which instead of talking about snow and bells of holly which we don't have over here, talked about the houdicower trees, one of our native trees and how we all have a summer christmas and I thought it was really Apt.

Thanks for joining us today Beth! Hope you have a wonderful christmas.
Thank you !

A day with Beth (August 2000)

What time do you get up? Depends, sometimes horrifically early like 5am, (I'm not good at getting up early) and sometimes when they’re nice I get to get up at about 10.00am.

How do you get to Cloud 9? Our drivers pick us up.

How long do you spend in makeup and wardrobbe? They have to put up with me for an hour, and I get fidgety.

When do you learn your lines? Usually the night before with the other girls at the cast house.

How many lines do you have to learn? Amber is quite opinionated so usually quite a few.

Do you prefer being in the studio or out on location and why? As long as I’m warm I don’t mind. Sometimes its quite nice just to be tucked away inside the studio.

What do you like to have for dinner ? Can’t go past my Mums roasts. Yummm

What do you have for breakfast ? Whatever is put in front of me... I always seem to be hungry!!!

What do you do after a day at work ? Usually I get home, have dinner listen to some music, expel some energy, and crash.

What do you do between scenes ? Talk to cast members, listen to music, play with the Brady baby and fight with Michael.


What is your first memory? 2 years old. Falling in a spa pool

What was your favourite toy as a child? My dollhouse

Any childhood illnesses or injuries? Only the usuals

Any scars from childhood accidents? Nope

Favourite birthday party? At McDonalds!

Favourite birthday cake? A shark-shaped one.

Favourite holiday as a child? America - Disneyland!

Favourite game as a child? Dress ups.

Do you remember your first day at school? Yes - it was horrible!

Did you have many childhood parties? All the time.

What did you like most about school? Paper mache and storytime.

What was your favourite piece of clothing as a child? Something horrible, like bikeshorts.

Who was your first crush? A boy at school.

What was your favourite subject at school? English and Drama.

At what age did you learn to swim? Three.

Were you interested in sports? Yes.

What did the tooth fairy leave you? $2.00

Any embarassing childhood photos? Plenty of naked ones!

What pocket money did you used to get and what did you used to have to do to get it? $2.00 - smile sweetly.

What was your first job? A tv series  - 11 year old.

Favourite children's tv show? Sesame Street.

Favourite children's story? Winnie the Pooh.

What was the first record or CD you bought? Bob Marley.

Favourite cartoons or movies? Wizard of Oz.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Everything - a fireman, a teacher, a policeman

The craziest thing you ever did as a child? Wandered off at various points!
Who was your idol as a child? My sister.