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12:15 New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year

New Zealand's most prestigious photography prize, New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year, has gone to intrepid adventure photographer Neil Silverwood. He is a specialist caving photographer, spending weeks at a time underground, and his winning portfolio for the Nikon Photographer of the Year Award takes viewers on a journey into one of New Zealand's deepest, darkest and most dangerous underground environments: the Ironstone cave system.

Justin Gregory speaks to him in Nelson, just before he sets off on another adventure into the Kahurangi National Park.

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Photo: Neil Silverwood

12:30 No Longer the "Other"?

Something happened this year to Chinese New Zealand theatre; it broke into the mainstream.

Playwright Renee Liang premiered her opera The Bone Feeder at the Auckland Arts Festival. Mei-Linn Hansen's play The Mooncake and the Kumara toured the country and in Auckland, theatre maker Alice Canton brought questions about identity to a big stage with her post-dramatic production, Chinese/Other.

Alice tells Justin Gregory that while she's delighted by all the acceptance, she worries a little bit about losing some of that outsider energy.

Alice Canton in White Other

Alice Canton in White Other Photo: Image supplied


12:40 Under My Dark Umbrella: The Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship 2018

Poet David Howard.

Poet David Howard. Photo: Supplied

The Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship has been announced, awarding two writers a four-month residency each in the Sargeson Centre in Auckland. They are: Auckland playwright and actor Carl Bland, who will be writing a hostage drama set in a pie shop, and Dunedin poet David Howard, who will be summoning the ghost of Katherine Mansfield for a seance.

David has been committed to writing since he was a teenager, but was forced to put his literary future on hold to support a young family - which he did through a successful pyrotechnic career. Justin Gregory speaks to him about poetry, pyrotechnics, and the paranormal.


1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris looks back on 2017 - a year of two Star Wars films, two Lego films and two films mostly about Dunkirk. It was also a year that finally did a little more than pay lip-service to the idea of inclusiveness - Moonlight, Wonder Woman and black horror-comedy Get Out.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Photo: Warner Bros.


1:35 Snexit

Sam Sneddon

Sam Sneddon Photo: Supplied

They're calling it the Snexit; Basement Theatre's long-serving development manager Sam Sneddon is quitting to go back to acting.

It's been six years since Sam agreed to help Charlie McDermott and Sophie Henderson run Auckland's developmental theatre space. In that time, 600 different shows have been through and the Basement has changed from a make-do eyesore to an adaptable and enjoyable place to see a show.

But as Sam tells Justin Gregory, he still vividly remembers the early days of the Basement.



1:45 Telling The Real Story

Erin Mercer - author of Telling the Real Story.

Erin Mercer - author of Telling the Real Story. Photo: Supplied

What sorts of things do people write about? What rises to the top and what sinks out of trace? And most importantly overall, Do we have a New Zealand voice? These are all questions that Auckland academic Erin Mercer gleefully tackles in her latest book. It's called Telling the Real Story which is a bold claim for a writer.


2:06 The Laugh Track – Amanda Billing

Actor and singer Amanda Billing is in 2018’s Pop-up Globe season as Lady Macbeth. Her comedy picks come from Bridesmaids, Monty Python, Eddie Izzard, and Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip.

Amanda Billing at the Pop-up Globe

Amanda Billing at the Pop-up Globe Photo: Supplied


2:25 Pottery on the Page

In the late 1950's a group of New Zealand potters decided to get serious about who they were and what they wanted to do.

They launched New Zealand Potter magazine and for 40 years, clay artists discussed, advised, reviewed, supported and often argued with each other. Along the way, they built a community.

Curator Emma Bugden has edited the first 10 years of this extraordinary magazine in what she calls a "partial archive" and a record of when our potters began to take themselves seriously. An exhibition on the life and work of notable potter Doreen Blumhardt is on at the Dowse Gallery in Lower Hutt.


2:40 Eating the Earth

Dark, dystopian and disturbing, artist Ruth Watson's new work Geophagy at COCA examines the challenges of overpopulation and the environmental issues on a planet straining to satisfy our appetites.


2:50 Cartoonist rights

The 2015 attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killed 12 people, injured 11 others and sparked demonstrations across Europe in support of free speech.

But, says cartoonist rights advocate Terry Anderson, the Hebdo attacks were not at all typical of the kind of threat cartoonists and satirists often live under.

Anderson is in Wellington on behalf of Cartoonists Rights Network International and he says abuse by the state is far more common than terror attacks.


3:06 Drama at 3 – Words of Love: Bottomless

Words of Love is a series of five plays by award-winning writer and actor, Fiona Samuel. This episode is called Bottomless.

That’s followed by Jenny Bornholdt's prose poem - The China Theory of Life. When a young woman moves into a flat her life is filled with numerous characters that create a bustling tapestry of life.

The Narrator is Cathy Downes. Other actors include Brian Sergent, Michael Haigh, Perry Piercy, Pat Everson, and Alice Fraser.

Music played in this show


Artist: Bananarama
Song: Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)
Composer: DeCarlo, frashuer, Leka
Album: Bananarama: The Greatest Hits
Label: London 828106
Played at: 12.10

Artist: Hunters & Collectors
Song: Say Goodbye
Composer: Archer, Falconer, Howard
Album: Natural Selection
Label: Liberation 302234
Played at: 12.37

Artist: Simple Minds
Song: Don't You Forget about Me
Composer: Chiff, Forsey
Album: The Best of Simple Minds
Label: Virgin 811257
Played at: 12.58

Artist: Everly Brothers
Song: Bye Bye Love
Composer: Bryant, Bryant
Album: The Very Best of the Everly Brothers
Label: Warner 927161
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Dance Exponents
Song: I'll Say Goodbye (Even Though I'm Blue)
Composer: Luck
Album: Prayers Be Answered
Label: Mushroom l38077
Played at: 1.45

Artist: Jackson 5
Song: Never Can Say Goodbye
Composer: Davis
Album: Jackson 5: Gold
Label: Motown b 0004196
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Sound of Music Original Soundtrack Orchestra
Song: So Long, Farewell, from the Sound of Music
Composer: Rodgers
Album: The Sound of Music
Label: RCA Victor 672 556
Played at: 2.04

Artist: LCD Soundsystem
Song: All My Friends
Composer: Mahoney, Murphy, Pope
Album: Sound of Silver
Label: DFA 385114
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Boyz II Men
Song: End of the Road
Composer: Babyface, Reid, Simmons
Album: Legacy, The Greatest Hits Collection
Label: Universal 440016
Played at: 3.04

Artist: Alice Cooper
Song: School's Out
Composer: Bruce, Buxton, Cooper, Dunaway
Album: Alice Cooper: Greatest Hits
Label: Warner 923770
Played at: 3.58