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Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, our newest kiwi star

Thomasin Mckenzie Harcourt and Ben Foster

Thomasin Mckenzie Harcourt and Ben Foster Photo: Supplied

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, of the Harcourt acting dynasty, is making waves overseas with what Vanity Fair calls a star-making performance in Leave No Trace, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week.

Directed by Debra Granik, Leave No Trace is a sensitive father-daughter drama about Tom, a teenage girl whose war vet father, Will (Ben Foster), is so rattled by post-traumatic stress that the only way he can cope is to live off the grid, away from the rest of the world. When we meet this resourceful, quietly loving pair, they’re living in a state park outside of Portland, Oregon, where Will teaches Tom self-sufficiency and survival skills as they forge a little life together.

Thomasin talks about the movie, the hoopla and returning to school, direct on her return from Sundance.



New lease of life for the Sarjeant

gallery and Ruapehu at sunset

gallery and Ruapehu at sunset Photo: Supplied

Whanganui's Sarjeant Art Gallery has been emptied out ahead of a multi-million dollar earthquake strengthening and extension project. Costing a total of $34.9 million, it’s a dream that's taken two decades to realise, with many moments of despair along the way. But just before Christmas the government pledged $10 million from the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund, topping up support from the Whanganui District Council and a huge financial contribution from the private sector. The 8,000 art works, spanning 400 years of New Zealand and international art history, have been moved for safe keeping to a building that's also used as a gallery, keeping the Sarjeant in the public eye over the next few years of redevelopment, and work will start soon.

Lynn Freeman visited the gallery earlier this week and had a tour from director Greg Anderson, Curator Jennifer Taylor Moore, and chief fundraiser Nicola Williams.

Part 1 of a two-part series.


1:10 At The Movies

Dan Slevin hosts At the Movies for Simon Morris. On the list today: I, Tonya about the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan figure-skating scandal: Hibiscus & Ruthless, the follow up to the Pacifica smash-hit Three Wise Cousins; and Downsizing, starring Matt Damon.



Textile superstar

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett Photo: Ben Thomas

Kaffe Fassett, the international textile, quilting and knitting superstar or the “dinosaur of patchwork and knitting” as he calls himself, has chosen to make his home in New Zealand and is living right here in Wellington.

Born in San Francisco, studying in Boston and London, he began to develop his bold and colourful signature style when the international charity Oxfam asked him to work with poverty-stricken weaving villages in India and Guatemala, to advise on designs that would be more marketable in the West.

50 years later, he is still just as active, lecturing, tutoring knitting workshops, and still experimenting with colour and bold designs. Lynn Freeman visits him in Island Bay.



NZ Festival behind the scenes

Meg Williams, NZ Festival

Meg Williams, NZ Festival Photo: Supplied

Where volunteering can get you! Eight years ago, Meg Williams was a volunteer for the NZ Festival. Next stop, Head of Marketing and Development. Now she’s the executive director.

How did she get there? What does she love about it? What are her biggest successes, biggest challenges? What’s she wrangling with at the moment? As the finishing touches are made to the 2018 schedules and festival programme, she comes in to speak about the festival behind the scenes.

On Standing Room Only we're keen to feature more interviews with creatives who prefer to work behind the scenes so if you would like to nominate some unsung heroes in the arts and entertainment industries let us know = email or text 2101 this afternoon.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Mel Bracewell

Mel Bracewell

Mel Bracewell Photo: Supplied

Melanie Bracewell, radio announcer, writer and comedian, who describes herself as a human Swiss Army knife of comedy. She’s been in hot demand ever since she won the Raw Comedy Quest 2015, a win which was immediately followed by "Best Newcomer" award in the NZ International Comedy Festival, and now she's been nominated for the Billy T Award - all in the space of four years!

Her comedy picks: Paul F Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Nate Bargatze and James Acaster.



Te Auaha – Creativity in Wellington

Pacific dance at Te Auaha

Pacific dance at Te Auaha Photo: Supplied

The brand spanking new Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Creativity in Wellington is all on track to open.

Bringing together the arts programmes of Whitireia and WelTec, Te Auaha promises to turn talent into careers. And while hard hats and high viz garments are still the order of the day at the site of the new high spec campus in the CBD, it's on track to be ready for the influx of students next month. Victoria Spackman takes us on a tour of the building, to see what’s in store for the creative artists the theatres, galleries, cinemas and film studios of the future.


Catch Me When You Fall

Catch Me When You Fall

Catch Me When You Fall Photo: Supplied

Eileen Merriman is not only a novelist: she also works as a consultant haematologist in Auckland. Catch Me When You Fall, her second novel, follows two star-crossed young lovers who are each struggling with potentially life-threatening conditions. Alex is just 17 when she finds that her leukaemia has returned and she can't cope with the disappointment.  Jamie is charismatic and caring, but unpredictable. And he is struggling with illness of his own….

Published by Penguin Random House.

Eileen Merriman

Eileen Merriman Photo: Supplied


3:06 Drama at 3 - When Sun and Moon Collide

No caption

Photo: Supplied

A small-town tale of separated kids, dark deeds and fierce retribution, that begins when a local returns home after a lengthy absence.

Isaac: Peter Hambleton

Declan: Jamie McCaskill

Travis: Olivia Robinson

Francie: Nicky MacDonnell

Coro: Wi Kuki Kaa

Vic: Jed Brophy

Young Declan: Sadwin Brophy


By Briar Grace-Smith.

Engineered by Phil Benge and produced by Ross Jolly for RNZ National.

MUSIC: Ry Cooder - The End of Violence, OPD 3007

Music played in this show

Artist: Dave Clarke Five
Song: Catch Us If You Can
Composer: Clark, Davidson
Album: Having a Wild Weekend
Label: Columbia-EMI
Played at: 12.10

Artist: Perry Como
Song: Catch a Falling Star
Composer: Vance, Pockriss, arr. Reisman
Album: Perry Como Compilation
Label: RCA 115098
Played at: 1.06

Artist: Chuck Berry
Song: You Can't Catch Me
Composer: Berry
Album: The Definitive Collection
Label: Geffen 988088
Played at: 1.45

Artist: Burnham
Song: Catch Me If you Can
Composer: Burnham
Album: Catch Me If you Can
Label: Island
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Gerry & The Pacemakers
Song: Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
Composer: Marsden
Album: Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
Label: BGO 612113
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Demi Lovato
Song: Catch Me
Composer: Lovato
Album: Here We Go Again
Label: Hollywood 713775
Played at: 2.44

Artist: Real Life
Song: Catch Me I'm Falling
Composer: Sterry, Zatorski
Album: Heartland
Label: Curb Records
Played at: 2.58

Artist: The Whitestripes
Song: Catch Hell Blues
Composer: White
Album: Icky Thump
Label: Third Man / Warner Bros
Played at: 3.04

Artist: Justin Bieber
Song: Catching Feelings
Composer: Bieber, Smith, Dixon, Dawkins, Thomas, Edmonds
Album: Believe
Label: Island
Played at: 3.58