Take Five: Including The Mousetrap and Still Dancing

by Guy Somerset / 24 November, 2012
The Mousetrap; Still Dancing; and The High Country.
Agatha Christie's 'The Mousetrap'


Go on, admit it, you’re curious. You probably managed to get through your OE in London without bothering to see Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP, a fixture of St Martin’s Theatre since 1952 and the longest-running show in the world. Some of you will also have managed to visit your children on their OE without doing so. Hell, some of you will have managed to visit your grandchildren on their OE without doing so. But now the play has set up shop in Wellington – as one of 60 licensed overseas productions during its diamond anniversary celebrations – and you can scratch that itch without looking so damned touristy. St James’s Theatre, until November 24 (although, given the precedent of London, we may never see the back of it). Those bitten by the Christie bug, or unable to make it to The Mousetrap, should immerse themselves in the DVD box set AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MISS MARPLE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION BBC/MADMAN, released on December 6. The Miss Marple in these definitive 1980s and early 1990s TV adaptations is Joan Hickson; accept no substitutes, least of all Geraldine McEwan or Julia McKenzie in those campy new versions trotted out by Prime in its Weekend Murders slot.


Past finalists in the GISBORNE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION include members of the NZTrio, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and – farther afield – Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. This year’s 24th competition features 60 competitors, half from New Zealand and the others from Australia, Singapore, the US and Europe. First prize includes a solo engagement with the Vector Wellington Orchestra. Among the other prizes are ones for most promising player, the best performance of a work by a New Zealand composer and the best performance of a work by JS Bach. War Memorial Theatre, November 25-December 1.


You’ll have to be fleet of foot to catch its final days, but it’s well worth the effort: STILL DANCING is an exhibition of photographer Stephen A’Court’s portraits of the 2012 graduating class of the New Zealand School of Dance, to mark the school’s 45th anniversary. New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington, until November 22.


It’s panto time. Oh no it isn’t; oh yes it is; blah blah blah. Roger Hall’s CINDERELLA is back, with Lyndee-Jane Rutherford as the Fairy Godmother and Gavin Rutherford and Jon Pheloung as the Ugly Sisters. Where is it? It’s behind you. Oh no it isn’t … Circa One, Wellington, November 17-December 23; January 2-12. For those who prefer the (pre)festive season more Dickensian, PLAYING MISS HAVISHAM is a one-woman show in which Helen Moulder plays a Canterbury woman preparing to audition for the role of the jilted one in a film of Great Expectations and finding her own life – wouldn’t you know it – “[taking] on the twists and turns of a Dickens novel”. St Augustine’s Church Hall, Devonport, Auckland, November 25. Michelle Ang, winner of last year’s Best Actress in a Feature Film award for My Wedding and Other Stories, takes on 13 roles in CHOP/STICK, which challenges notions of racial identity and was born, in part, of Ang’s frustration “feeling she would never have an opportunity of playing outside her ethnicity”. Basement Theatre Studio, Auckland, November 20-24.


The long gestation of sculptor Joanna Langford’s THE HIGH COUNTRY could make a work of performance art in its own right. Originally commissioned for the 6th SCAPE Christchurch Biennial of Art in Public Space in October 2010, it was first delayed by the September 2010 earthquake and again by the February 2011 quake – and then in early 2012 Langford injured her wrists, delaying installation a third time. Featuring 300 recycled plastic milk bottles lit with LED lights, and sitting on top of a 10m-high crane tower, The High Country’s imagined urban landscape amid the real urban landscape of post-quake Christchurch is best viewed at night. Corner of Montreal St and Kilmore St, until January 13.
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