Alice Piper’s (Toni Potter) suspicions are aroused this week when Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing) races back from her honeymoon to be at the beck and call of Alice’s boyfriend Craig Valentine (Renato Bartolomei).
Craig has been couch bound since his heart attack at TK (Benjamin Mitchell) and Sarah’s wedding reception, and Sarah’s excuse that someone has to run E.D while it’s two doctors down just doesn’t add up in Alice’s eyes.
“Alice is annoyed when she discovers Sarah is back in town because she pretty much guesses straight away it’s because of Craig,” says actress Toni Potter. “She is good friends with TK but at the same time she is concerned about her own relationship with Craig because Sarah is interfering and she knows that they still have feelings for each other.” Playing the role of caregiver for her weakened boyfriend never rested easily with Alice, but now that Sarah has returned from her honeymoon to be by her ex lover’s side, Alice feels that she now must mark her territory.
“Sarah’s presence is very annoying for Alice,” says Potter. “Sarah pulls Alice up and tells her how she should be looking after Craig, when Alice already knows how she should. Alice thinks Sarah should be concentrating on her marriage at this time, especially as she is doing perfectly well looking after him. There is no need for Sarah to be there.” Potter admits that her character is concerned the two may hook up again, and thinking this way is very justified. “Alice has realised all along that Sarah still has feelings for Craig and vice versa. It would be fair to say Alice is slightly paranoid the two may hook up again.”
Potter is happy to acknowledge that the rivalry between the two ladies happens on a far wider scale that just vying for the attentions of Doctor Valentine. “There is definitely a rivalry between Alice and Sarah. It stems from a lot of things. Sarah behaviour has generally got on Alice’s nerves quite a bit and there is definitely a personality clash. As much as Alice recognises all the good things about her and the fact that she is good at her job, they do clash which has come from right back when Sarah moved into the flat with TK,” says Potter.
When asked about how she sees things panning out for her onscreen alter-ego, Potter is hopeful yet confident. “It’s important for her that the relationship works out and she really wants to help Craig move on from Sarah. She likes being there for Craig and wants it to go somewhere – definitely. As for Sarah, well, she should be concentrating on TK; there is no need for her to be in Ferndale at this time.”
Alice versus Sarah on Shortland Street this week, weeknights at 7.00pm on TV2.