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12:16 Uncovering the lost murals of E Mervyn Taylor

This is a story of lost - and hopefully found. For months now, a team's been trying to uncover traces of a mural by E. Mervyn Taylor under layers of whitewash on an old wall in Taita, north of Wellington. Artists are working with conservators from Te Papa, using infra-red technology to scan the wall on which Taylor's mural was painted, and analysing paint samples. Bronwyn Holloway-Smith from Massey University's College of Creative Arts, is director of the E. Mervyn Taylor mural search & recovery project. She tells Lynn Freeman that Mervyn Taylor was an artist fascinated by the idea of moving beyond European traditions.

12.37 The Auckland Fringe goes it alone

It's always bad news when an arts organisation suddenly loses its funding. And this week the hammer came down on the Auckland Festival's feisty little sibling the Auckland Fringe. No funding for 2017. But the Fringe is determined not to bow out without a fight.  Can it go it alone? Lynn Freeman talks to Fringe director Lydia Zanetti.

12:46 A live orchestral salute to video game Final Fantasy

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Photo: supplied

Thomas Boecker

Thomas Boecker Photo: supplied

It's an unlikely idea - to stage an orchestral concert devoted to video-game music, but it seems to have taken the world by storm. When the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra announced they were playing music from the game Final Fantasy, they were overwhelmed with ticket-buyers - to such an extent they're now putting on a second show this week. It was the brainchild of German promoter Thomas Böcker, and he's taken the Final Symphony all over the world. He talks with Lynn Freeman. The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performs Final Symphony on Friday and Saturday, Oct 21 and 22, at the ASB Theatre at Auckland's Aotea Centre. 

1:10 At The Movies

This week - The Girl On The Train, Deepwater Horizon and This Giant Papier Mache Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy.

1:35 Playwright Jamie McCaskill has created a new play - and a hit webseries

Jamie McCaskill

Jamie McCaskill Photo: supplied

Jamie McCaskill

Jamie McCaskill Photo: supplied

The Maori Sidesteps

The Maori Sidesteps Photo: supplied

The prejudices that Maori living in rural New Zealand encounter everyday are challenged in a new play by Jamie McCaskill. The Wellington award-winning playwright, producer and director is tapping into his own experiences of living in a small town in a new play, The Biggest, which premieres at Hannah Playhouse in Wellington on 29 October  He tells Lynn Freeman he's not finger wagging, but using comedy to make a point in the way Billy T James and Roger Hall do. And in his spare time, Jamie's working on a webseries combining his two loves - comedy and classic Maori show-bands. After just two days, the trailer for The Maori Sidesteps got 20,000 hits.

1:48 Dunedin collector Janet de Wagt is championing Classic Plastics

Plastic was once exotic and novel, now it's everywhere, but Dunedin collector Janet de Wagt loves it so much she's got thousands of historic plastic objects tucked away in boxes. Right now she's unpacking them though, for an exhibition called Pioneering Plastics. For many of us, plastic is a dirty word in these environmentally sensitive times, but Janet tells Lynn Freeman it's become a victim of its own success, and should be appreciated not vilified. Her exhibition will be held in the Otago Pioneer Women's Memorial Hall which celebrates its 75th birthday this month. It'll open on Wednesday.

2:06 The Laugh Track - theatre producer Hadley Taylor

Hadley Taylor and The Other People

Hadley Taylor and The Other People Photo: supplied

Today a hit musical is a spectacular event, often years in the planning, and based on an iron-clad story - from the Bible, say, or a famous novel by Victor Hugo - or, more recently, an already popular Disney movie. But back in the musical's early days, the show was often pulled together in a matter of weeks - and Auckland theatre company The Other People are following in their footsteps. The task they've set themselves is to write, produce, rehearse and open an original two-act musical in just 100 days. Counting down to D-Day - November the 2nd - is today's Laugh Track guest, producer and General Manager of The Other People, Hadley Taylor. Simon Morris asks him how it's going - and whether he, director/writer Adam Spedding and composer Brayden Jeffrey are completely crazy!

Hadley's picks include Guy Montgomery, Saturday Night Live, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Tim Minchin.

2:26 Philanthropy's place in funding the arts

Kenneth Watkins
Philanthropy and the Arts

Philanthropy and the Arts Photo: supplied


Funding the arts is always a contentious subject. If government funding, or corporate sponsorship dries up, the next step is towards private philanthropists. But if arts institutions are too successful raising money through philanthropy, do they risk governments reducing their grants even more? And how does a small edgy theatre company compete for private money with say the national ballet or opera companies. Kenneth Watkins is Head of philanthropy at the Australian Ballet - in the past 8 years he's raised 88-million dollars for them. He's also the author, with academic Jennifer Radbourne, of the handbook Philanthropy & Arts.  Lynn Freeman spoke to Kenneth and Jennifer when they were invited to New Zealand by the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand.

2:40 A new novel about the legendary race-horse Phar Lap

Decades after his mysterious death - was it colic or arsenic poisoning? - champion racehorse Phar Lap hasn't been forgotten in either country which claim him - New Zealand and Australia. The huge horse blitzed the competition in the 1920s and 30s. Now Kelly Ana Morey is telling the champion gelding's story as a novel - not just Phar Lap's, but also those who worked with him including his trainer Harry Telford who called the big horse Bobbie. Daylight Second, published by Harper Collins, covers the triumphs and the death threats over the horse's successful but short career. Lynn Freeman talks with Kelly Ana.

2:51 A Christchurch festival of reusable materials used in the city's redesign

Dozens of unwanted cardboard carpet cores are being suspended to create pavillion and cinematic screen. It's for Christchurch's Festival of Transitional Architecture event - a celebration, the organisers say, of urban creativity and regeneration. We Have the Means is this year's theme looking at how reusable materials can be used in city redesigns. Next weekend students from seven design and architecture schools across Australasia will show what they can do with old light bulbs and, in artist Julia Morrison's case, old cardboard carpet cores. As Lynn Freeman discovered, Julia has been working with students from Massey's School of Design on Pipe Dreaming: Festa's taking place on sites around the Christchurch Art Gallery on Saturday.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Tumanbay, Part 2

3.50 Damien Wilkins' When Famous People Come to Town

Music played in this show

Artist: Nelson Eddy
Song: Rose Marie
Composer: Friml
Album: Rose Marie
Label: Proarte
Played at: 12.12

Artist: Julie Andrews
Song: I Could Have Danced All Night
Composer: Lerner-Loewe
Album: My Fair Lady
Label: Avid
Played at: 12.31

Artist: Cast
Song: Do You Hear The People Sing
Composer: Schonberg
Album: Les Miserables
Label: First Night
Played at: 12.44

Artist: Cast
Song: Defying Gravity
Composer: Schwartz
Album: Wicked
Label: Decca
Played at: 12.58

Artist: Cast
Song: Into The Woods
Composer: Sondheim
Album: Into The Woods
Label: RCA
Played at: 1.10

Artist: Nina Simone
Song: Something Wonderful
Composer: Rodgers-Hammerstein
Album: I'm Not At All In Love
Label: Inhouse
Played at: 1.45

Artist: Cast
Song: There's No Business Like Show Business
Composer: Berlin
Album: Annie Get Your Gun
Label: MCA
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Cast
Song: On The Twentieth Century
Composer:  Coleman
Album: On The Twentieth Century
Label:  Sony
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Cast
Song: Something's Coming
Composer: Bernstein-Sondheim
Album: West Side Story
Label: DG
Played at: 2.37

Artist: Kiri Te Kanawa
Song: Bill
Composer: Kern-Wodehouse
Album: Kiri
Label: Kiwi
Played at: 3.04

Artist: Ann Miller
Song: Too Darn Hot
Composer: Porter
Album: Kiss Me Kate
Label: CBS
Played at: 3.49

Artist: Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson
Song: Beauty And The Beast
Composer: Ashman-Menken
Album: Unison
Label: Epic
Played at: 3.57