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12:15 Framing Identity at the Auckland Festival of Photography

Shahidul Alam

Shahidul Alam Photo: supplied

The Auckland Festival of Photography launches in June, with a string of exhibitions based on this year's Identity theme.  What is identity? How does is shape us and our work? ...and why does is seem so important to talk about it these days?  

Chris Scott-Corson

Chris Scott-Corson Photo: supplied

Simon Morris is joined by one or the curators for the festival, Shahidul Alam and two young photographers, Janet Lilo and Chris Corson-Scott.

Janet Lilo

Janet Lilo Photo: supplied

The Auckland Festival of Photography runs from June 1st to the 24th - more details on their website.


12:30 Jingles The Musical - it's a thing - and you'll love it!

Jingles the Musical

Jingles the Musical Photo: supplied

Maybe we get the musical theatre we deserve.   Italy gets grand opera, Germany gets Wagnerian Ring Cycles, Britain and America tap into pop songs and the Great American Songbook.  We get Jingles the Musical.

Simon Morris talks to Dean Hewison about his tribute to our commercial heritage. Jingles the Musical opens at Auckland's Basement Theatre on June the 6th.

Jingles the Musical

Jingles the Musical Photo: supplied

12:50 The Civic Spills its Secrets

The Civic is the jewel in Auckland's cinema scene - a throwback to when cinemas weren't just a place to see movies but Motion Picture Palaces. As Auckland Live announces the launch of public tours of Auckland’s grand old lady of theatre, The Civic, Simon Morris finds out more from their tour guide, Peter Dobson.

1:10 At The Movies


1:33 Being Viola Di Grado

Viola Di Grado

Viola Di Grado Photo: Michele Panduri.

Italian writer Viola di Grado is fascinated by language. A graduate from Turin in Chinese and Japanese, her first novel 30 percent wool, 70 percent acrylic won awards at home for "linguistic invention pushed to the visionary".

Viola is here as part of the Auckland Writers Festival, and also appearing in Wellington on Tuesday,  talking with Dr Claudia Bernardi, at Victoria University's Kelburn campus, about How to be Viola Di Grado.


1:50 James Harrison returns home for New Zealand Opera's Carmen.

James Harrison - Baritone

James Harrison - Baritone Photo: supplied

New Zealand Baritone James Harrison has now well and truly got his foot on the international opera ladder.  He's this year's Dame Malvina Major Foundation Fellow/Scholar, he's taken time out from a busy schedule in Europe to play two roles in New Zealand Opera's production of Carmen

Carmen opens in Wellington on the 1st of June, then travels to Auckland in the 22nd, and finally plays in Christchurch in July. 

James talk to Simon Morris.


Carmen Photo: supplied


2:06 The Laugh Track - Markus Birdman

Here as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival, Markus Birdman picks his favourite comedy clips for Simon Morris.

Markus Birdman

Markus Birdman Photo: supplied

2:25 Dr. Faustus makes a new deal.

Actor Iana Grace

Actor Iana Grace reads an excerpt from Dr. Faustus. Photo: supplied

Director Caleb Wells

Director Caleb Wells Photo: supplied

Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus tells the story of a man who makes a deal with the Devil.  He gets unlimited power, money, glory, women - anything he could ever want.   But he forgets to check the small print...   

Faustus doesn't quite know what he's getting himself into, and neither will the lead actor in a new production at Auckland's Basement Theatre because each night a different guest actor will play the part of Faustus - having never rehearsed with the rest of the cast before. Simon Morris finds out more from the play's director Caleb Wells.

Dr Faustus

Photo: supplied

The Faustus Project opens at Auckland's Basement Theatre on May the 30th.

2:40 A change of direction for Dunedin writer Paddy Richardson.

Through the Lonesome Dark by Paddy Richardson

Through the Lonesome Dark by Paddy Richardson Photo: supplied

Dunedin writer Paddy Richardson is an established crime writer - but her 7th novel you'll find in the "Historical New Zealand fiction section" of your local bookshop, library or online site.

It's set in the lead-up to and during the Great War - initially in Blackball on the South Island West Coast, then in France.

Through the Lonesome Dark follows the fortunes of local lad Clem, who flees Blackball to join other New Zealand soldiers digging tunnels under the French town of Arras.

Before he leaves, we spend time with him and his two closest friends, Pansy and Otto.

Paddy Richardson tells Lynn Freeman what lead her into writing historical fiction rather than another thriller.


2:49 NZ Books - After the Book Awards...

No caption

Photo: supplied

Last week saw the presentation of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards - our most prestigious celebration of our top writers. Simon Morris talks to Nicola Legat, Chairwoman of the NZ Book Awards Trust about the winners and what this means for New Zealand writing.

3:06 Drama at 3 - 'No Science to Goodbye' by Annabel Wilson.

Our Drama this week is 'No Science to Goodbye' by Annabel Wilson, a play that premiered at Wanaka's Festival of Colour last month, before we  recorded it live at BATS Theatre in Wellington as part of the 'Live on Stage' partnership between BATS and RNZ.

Elsie has returned from Berlin to the Southern Lakes to be with her brother, Sam, who is ill. But she meets up again with her ex-lover Frank, who is now a glaciologist. They have not seen one another for seven years or so. The play is subtitled ‘a theatrical poem’ and for good reason, as you’ll hear.


Music played in this show

Artist: Sheb Wooley

Song: Purple People Eater

Composer: Sheb Wooley

Album: single

Label: MGM

Played at: 12:12


Artist: Joan Armatrading

Song: Me Myself I

Composer: Joan Armatrading          

Album: Me, Myself, I

Label: A&M

Played at: 12:15


Artist: Joni Mitchel

Song: Man From Mars

Composer: Joni Mitchel

Album: Taming the Tiger

Label: Reprise

Played at: 12:30


Artist: Billy Lee Riley

Song: Flying Saucer Rock and Roll

Composer: Billy Lee Riley

Album: single

Label: Sun

Played at: 12:45


Artist: Brunettes

Song: If You Were an Alien

Composer: Brunettes

Album: Structure and Cosmetics

Label: Sub Pop

Played at: 12:55


Artist: Mila Jovovich

Song: The Alien Song (For Those Who Listen)

Composer: Mila Jovovich

Album: The Divine Comedy

Label: SBK/EMI Records

Played at: 1:10


Artist: Devo

Song: Planet Earth

Composer: Casale

Album: Freedom of Choice

Label: Warner

Played at: 1:43


Artist: David Bowie

Song: Loving the Alien

Composer: David Bowie

Album: Tonight

Label: EMI America

Played at: 1:55


Artist: Captain Beefheart

Song: Big Eyed Beans from Venus

Composer: don Van Vliet

Album: Clear Spot

Label: Reprise

Played at: 2:04


Artist: Luscious Jackson

Song: Alien Lover

Composer: Jill Cunniff

Album: Electric Honey

Label: Grand Royal

Played at: 2:35


Artist: Cleaners from Venus

Song: The Girl from Mercury

Composer: Cleaners From Venus

Album: Best of Cleaners from Venus


Played at: 2:55


Artist: Radiohead

Song: Subterranean Homesick Alien

Composer: York/Greenwood/O’Brien/Greenwood/Selway

Album: OK Computer

Label: Parlophone

Played at: 3:05


Artist: Carpenters

Song: Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

Composer: Klaatu

Album: single

Label: A&M

Played at: 3:55