Take Five: Including In the Next Room, Fantastique and Hue & Cry

by Guy Somerset / 30 June, 2012
In the Next Room; Fantastique; and Hue & Cry.


First, it was a book: Whatu Kakahu: Maori Cloaks (Te Papa Press, $84.99), one of the Listener’s 100 Best Books of 2011 and an illustrated non-fiction finalist in this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards. Now, with a tweak to the name, it’s an exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington: KAHU ORA: LIVING CLOAKS, curated by the woman responsible for the book, Awhina Tamarapa, and likewise drawing on the museum’s kakahu collection, the largest in the world. The exhibition features the stories behind prestigious cloaks and their owners, plus accounts of great weavers past and present. And cloak-making does have a present, as you’ll discover in a weavers’ studio where you can meet and watch today’s generation at work. Billed among the exhibition highlights are a cloak containing over 12,000 feathers and the only remaining cloak stitched from whole dog skins. Perhaps not such a highlight for dog lovers. There’s a nifty website, too: bit.ly/M3aDsV. Until October 21.


The earth didn’t move for Listener reviewer Nick Grant when Auckland Theatre Company staged Sarah Ruhl’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominee IN THE NEXT ROOM (OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY) earlier this year, but maybe Dunedin audiences will be more receptive to the buzz surrounding the play. Sorry, no more puns; although, since Grant described it as “like a cross between Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and a double entendre-loaded sex romp”, perhaps Fortune Theatre-goers should brace themselves for more of the same. It’s a play requiring delicate directorial balance – but if anyone can manage that it’s Lara Macgregor. June 30-July 28. Meanwhile, at the Court in Christchurch, there’s a directorial debut, with actor Tim Bartlett taking the helm of the latest staging of Dave Armstrong’s critically acclaimed hit comedy THE MOTOR CAMP and bringing a touch of the Kiwi summer to the middle of a Canterbury winter. Let’s hope for the cast’s sake there is good onstage heating. June 23-August 4.


The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s composer-in-residence, Wellingtonian Jack Body, unveils new work Hector’s Ghost as part of the APO’s FANTASTIQUE concert, which is built around Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and also features much-admired Christchurch-based German pianist Michael Endres’s performance of Mozart’s Coronation piano concerto – all under the baton of American conductor John Nelson. Auckland Town Hall, June 28.


Rare books and maps, as well as tapa-cloth specimens collected by Captain James Cook, are among items you can see in CHARTING THE LAND ON THE OCEAN: PACIFIC EXPLORATION, 1520-1876, which draws on various University of Otago and Dunedin Public Library collections “to remind students, scholars and the wider community that these resources do exist and can be viewed, touched, read and enjoyed”. The wider community – that would be us. De Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago Library, until September 14. That exhibition is just opening; a couple about to close at Pataka Museum of Arts & Culture in Porirua are MONEY TALKS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORLD THROUGH THE IMAGERY OF BANKNOTES and THE ART OF MONEY. The former considers just who or what are likely to be found on banknotes and takes in some of the most beautiful designs in the world; the latter comprises works created in various forms from banknotes, including a flying carpet. An expensive material to work with – although perhaps not for much longer in certain parts of Europe. Until July 1.


HUE & CRY: a rather good British film of the 1940s; a rather bad British group of the 1980s; a wholly wonderful New Zealand literary/art magazine of today. It comes out only once a year and is always worth tracking down. The sixth and latest includes new writing from Chris Price, Pip Adam, Lawrence Patchett and Gemma Bowker-Wright, winner of the 2011 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award. There’s art, too, from Simon Denny, Andrew McLeod and Kushana Bush, and much more besides, including a spot of typical mischievousness from Richard Meros. $26 from selected bookstores.


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