Category Archives: Event

Plays, lectures & other outings

eBikes

From the Bike Expo at the Air Force Museum, 43 Harvard Ave Wigram.

Here is my list of companies in Christchurch selling ebikes

Action Bicycle Club
8 Walker St

Avantiplus
Colombo/St Asaph St

Bandini
64 Sandyford St

Bike Barn
245 Moorhouse
6 Chappie Place
199 Marshland Rd

Electric Bike Co
The Tannery, 3 Garlands Rd

Evolution Cycles
Tower Junction, 7c Mandeville St

Goat Cycles
93 Barrington St

Hub Cycles
Shop 6, Tower Junction, Whiteleigh Ave

iCycle Electric
85 Clarence St

Push Bikes
501 Papanui Rd

 

Venus Fur

Venus in Fur
(Court Theatre)

By David Ives
Directed by Lara Macgregor
Featuring Daniel Watterson & Jessie Lawrence

Playwright Thomas Novachek is frustrated. He’s been auditioning women all day long for his stage version of a scandalous erotic novel set in the 1800s. He’s eager to jump on the current trend of all things kinky but every woman who has walked through the door is simply not talented enough. Then Vanda arrives.

This mysterious siren who shares the same name as the lead character not only knows the text by heart but also has an uncanny understanding of who she is attempting to portray. Her masterful audition quickly escalates into a provocative and dangerous game of cat and mouse – but who will end up being eaten?

As this theatrical Pandora’s Box is opened, nothing is as it seems and the lines between acting and reality will be forever blurred.
(Text from Court Theatre)

Backstage Review

TheatreView Review

Press Review

Video from the Broadway Production

 

New PM

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern (born 26 July 1980) is a New Zealand politician and the Prime Minister-Elect of New Zealand. She is the Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017. She was first elected to parliament as a list MP at the 2008 general election and has been the MP for Mount Albert since 8 March 2017.

She’s the youngest ever leader of the Labour party, but she isn’t New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister. That title goes to Edward Stafford who became Premier in 1856 and was about 18 days younger than Ms Ardern.

Hudson & Halls

Actors: Todd Emerson, Chris Parker and Anya Tate-Manning

The oven’s caught fire, David is drinking and Peter has bad news…

Be transported to an ’80s television studio for big laughs, rum-fuelled showdowns and very questionable cooking in this immersive work co-created by theatrical daredevil Kip Chapman (director of That Bloody Woman).

Theatre Review

Press Review

Nobody Songs

Songs for Nobodies
Court Theatre

By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Ross Gumbley
Musical Direction by Richard Marrett
Featuring Ali Harper

Share in five life-changing encounters between legendary divas and the everyday women whose lives they touched, interspersed with the songs that made Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holliday and Maria Callas icons of our age.


Structurally, this “play’ has problems. It’s just five disconnected episodes of encounters with great singers. The characters being portrayed are not the singers, but associates, acquaintances and passers-by. Then the actress breaks into song of the singer, not being played but encountered. When you break it down, this doesn’t make any sense.

What does make sense is a vehicle for a very talented actresses and singer. And Ali Harper certainly fills the role. She has been performing in Christchurch for decades and can handle the wide range of accents and styles. From Country and Jazz to Opera.

It’s an outstanding performance, but a play certainly NOT.

Vanya

For years, Vanya and his niece Sonya have laboured on their family’s country estate in relative harmony. But when Sonya’s father returns from the big city with a glamorous new bride, unfulfilled desires and fierce family loyalties collide to destroy the status quo.

This bittersweet exploration of love, hope and longing is heart-breakingly human, achingly poignant and laced with irony.

Annie Baker’s revitalization of this theatrical classic brings the play into the 21st century while retaining the timelessness of Chekhov’s wit, insight and emotional depth.


Usually the Court Theatre will copy reviews onto it’s web page. This show didn’t have any and the one I found at Stuff.com was only luke warm. I hadn’t heard of this Chekhov play, and it’s not surprising. It was originally set in Russia around 1889 (pre-revolution) but the new production uses music from the 1970’s. So it’s confusing are to when it’s supposed to occur. The story is rather inconsequential and like a soap opera. Family members meet, fallout, resolve and leave.

The most notable thing was some of the actors.  Esther Stephens was in ‘That Bloody Woman’ and plays Ngaire Monroe on Westside.  Sophie Hambleton (who I thought looked familiar) plays Carol O’Driscol on Westside. This TV3 production has a third season and will broadcast sometime this year, so something positive was learned from the night.

 

 

 

Boy + Dog

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Lara Macgregor
Featuring Tim Earl
Fifteen-year old mathematical genius Christopher Boone sees the world differently to everyone else. He knows all the countries of the world and their capital cities, every prime number up to 7,507, he doesn’t tell lies and his favourite colours are not yellow and brown.

When the neighbour’s dog is murdered, Christopher takes the investigation into his own hands and uncovers secrets that lead him far from home and change his life forever.


All the reviews rave about this:

A white stage reveals the inner-workings of a beautiful mind in this flawless piece of modern theatre.

If this was a movie, it would be nominated for an award.

In fact it’s won many….

It won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Play, the 2015 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.

Given my experience with awards, it’s unlikely I would like it. Certainly the performance of Tim Earl is notable, if only for the amount of dialogue he has to remember.

But….

It’s got a very ‘look-at-me, I’m a modern innovative piece of theatre’ tone to it. It certainly has humour and pathos, but I’m a cold hearted bastard and wasn’t taken in by the Boy’s story.  It could have done with more plot and less silly acrobatics.

Armageddon

The 2017 Armageddon event, at Horncastle Arena.

Miltos Yerolemou

This guy I didn’t know. He is in Game of Thrones playing a character I had forgotten from the books. Mildly entertaining fellow with little experience at these type of events.

Chad Coleman

Another unknown, although I had heard of ‘The Wire’  and ‘The Walking Dead’. Currently in The Expanse a series based on the James S. A. Corey novels.

Billy Boyd

Everyone’s favorite Hobbit and the most experienced conference talker, indulging in an  impromptu walking completion with the audience.

 

Ivana Baquero

Currently filming the second series of The Shannara Chronicles in NZ. Turns out she played the girl in Pan’s Labyrinth.

The least experienced presenter, but with an outgoing personality she spend most of the time talking with the host and swapping geekish stories.

 

 

 

Ropable

 

By Ross Gumbley & Allison Horsley
Featuring Lara Macgregor & Eilish Moran
Weddings can be murder…

Prudence has come to the Hitchcock-themed MacGuffin Hotel for her niece Eden’s wedding to Montgomery Parker (yes, the Montgomery Parker). But when Eden’s disapproving mother Constance arrives, everyone finds themselves embroiled in a case of dangerous lies, suspicion and murder!

Cut off by a landslide, run by an amorous Austrian and filled with family secrets and homicidal tendencies, the MacGuffin is about to become home for a twisted story that even the Master of Suspense couldn’t have imagined…


 

 

It’s a black comedy Agatha Christie/Hitchcock story set in modern times (despite a very old-fashioned set). Eilish Moran is always good as the mother and Kathleen Burns brings out a familiar German accent.

It’s generally a fun romp, however the ending attempts to change the tone. I would have preferred an ending where the baddie gets away with evil doings. It may be unfashionable, but more fun and dramatic.

PM English

Simon William “Bill” English
(born 30 December 1961)

became Prime Minister-designate of New Zealand and leader of the National Party on 12 December 2016. Since 2008, he has been the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.