Including Indian Ink on Seeded

by Diana Balham / 11 June, 2011


Seeded (95bFM, 11.00am; Radio Active, 9.30am; RDU, 2.00pm; Radio One, 10.00am, Radio Control, Sunday, 3.00pm). Today’s programme looks at the life and times of Justin Lewis, who founded the award-winning touring theatre company Indian Ink with Jacob Rajan in 1997. They have written five hugely popular plays to date – Krishnan’s Dairy, The Candlestickmaker, The Pickle King, The Dentist’s Chair and The Guru of Chai – and have another in production. Now, top US agent David Lieberman, who also has the Kronos Quartet and Tim Robbins’s Actors’ Gang on his books, has signed the company – his first New Zealand act – which is a bit of a coup. Lewis also founded and is on the board of Q Theatre, an organisation that has raised $21 million to build a new 350-seat theatre in Auckland. For Seeded links and podcasts go to ­Frequencies: 95bFM, ­Auckland 95FM • Radio Control, Palmerston North, 99.4FM • Radio Active, Wellington 88.6FM • RDU, Christchurch 98.5FM • Radio One, Dunedin 91FM

Music Alive (Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00pm). If you’ve been following this, you’ll be sitting tight by the wireless with your favourite tipple after dinner. It’s … the … (drum roll) final of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2011. RNZ crosses live to the Auckland Town Hall for the final three contestants, who will perform a violin concerto by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar, Prokofiev, Sibelius or Tchaikovsky, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Arvo Volmer. And in case the glory of winning isn’t heaven enough, the winner will take home $40,000. So it’s just like New Zealand Idol/The X Factor/Popstars – oh, but the winner will doubtless still have a music career in 10 years.


Spectrum (Radio New Zealand National, 12.15pm). Deborah Nation is still way down south digging up the past in Gold Dust and Dragons. After commemorating the discovery of that most precious of metals in Gabriel’s Gold, she’s now looking at a less-celebrated aspect of those heady years: the racial intolerance that was associated with the hard-working Lawrence Chinese community. A bylaw from the time prohibited Chinese from setting foot in the (white) township of Lawrence, but they were generously given a nearby block of wetland, which they turned into a thriving settlement. Today, there are only a couple of buildings left of the Chinese camp, built in 1867, but Dunedin ­historian Dr James Ng is working like a trojan to restore this precious part of New Zealand’s heritage.

Opera on Sunday (Radio New Zealand Concert, 3.00pm). Euroradio Opera Season returns with Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which has been called “a razor-edged critique of capitalism”, so its plot might be a little less fluffy than your average Italian opera. Weill’s satire, with a stinging German libretto by Bertolt Brecht, tells the story of a group of desperate ­characters in a city where nothing is forbidden and everything is for sale. It premiered in 1930, was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and didn’t resurface until the 1960s. This production, recorded in the Teatro Real, Madrid, stars Elzbieta Szmytka, Jane Henschel, Christopher Ventris, Willard White, Donald Kaasch and Steven Humes.

Spiritual Outlook (Radio New Zealand National, 5.10pm). Noelle McCarthy continues her six-part quest to find out what well-known New Zealanders believe in, with part two of I Know This Much Is True. Today, she talks to Tim Wilson, TVNZ’s US correspondent and author of Their Faces Were Shining, a novel about crackpot religious believers. Wilson possesses a keenly satirical communicative style (which might translate as “he’s a bit of a smartarse”) and is the son of a Presbyterian minister.


Whim-Wham (Radio New Zealand National, 10.45am). This morning, Stuart Devenie begins a five-part reading of Whim-Wham: The Satirical Verses of Allen Curnow. Curnow published satirical pieces in the Listener, the NZ Herald and the Press under the pen name Whim-Wham for more than 50 years and he could sum up our Kiwi idiosyncrasies better than anyone. This series marks the 100th anniversary of his birth, on June 17, 1911. Curnow died in 2001.


Appointment (Radio New Zealand Concert, 7.00pm). German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl talks with Matthew Crawford tonight. Although inhabiting this vocal range makes you “sing like a girl”, to quote English counter-tenor William Purefoy, they often have normal male speaking voices, as is the case with Scholl. Bach is his composer of choice: he has recorded several Bach cantatas, as well as the Mass in B Minor, the St John and the St Matthew Passions. After recording one of Bach’s solo cantatas for alto, he wept. “The piece was so mighty, I felt like an ant,” he said. Yes, but did he cry like a bloke or a Bee Gee?


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