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On this week's Standing Room Only, TVNZ thinks the future of new, edgy, local programming is on-line - so where does that leave old-fashioned television?  Two new plays reflect difficult themes - Rose Kirkup has written a love-letter to under-appreciated rest-home caregivers, while IsaacTe Reina hopes to give hope to young people struggling with health issues in his All Good.   Artist Penny Howard talks about her four "muses" - four women who've inspired her new exhibition, while expat curator Vera Mey returns home to talk about why traditional arts and crafts are suddenly a hot ticket in the current global uncertainty.

Speaking of uncertainty, three items that were scuttled by technical glitches last week return this week - Laugh Track guest Sam Smith, Wearable Art International judge Mary Wing To and Australian champion of indigenous literature, Dr Anita Heiss.    We finish with a preview of the Aotearoa Audio Arts festival, and the first episode of a new podcast - Beyond Kate in which producer Sonia Sly looks at the effect of 125 years of women's suffrage.


12:16  Rose Kirkup's love letter to caregivers

Rose Kirkup

Rose Kirkup Photo: Philip Merry

Rose Kirkup describes her new play Unflattering Smock as a love-letter to underappreciated New Zealand caregivers.

Rose worked in rest homes for eight years and her characters are based on women she worked with and experiences they shared:

Unflattering Smock is set in the fictional Sunnyvale Resthome and Hospital where women from different backgrounds care for patients and for each other.

And it's about to have its first public reading ahead of a full production, as part of New Zealand Theatre Month.

Lynn Freeman talks to Rose and to one of her cast, another former caregiver, Moana Ete, about the play.

The reading of Unflattering Smock is on Friday at Wellington's Hannah Playhouse then heads to Upper Hutt Primary School on Saturday .

12:31  TVNZ's on-line competition New Blood

Last week we looked at the TV3 initiative to get new, exciting, scripted New Zealand comedy on our screens.  The Comedy Pilot Week was essentially "New Zealand's Got Sitcom Talent" - five first episodes of five new shows, and the audience picks the one or ones they like.

TV3's rivals TVNZ are doing something similar at the moment - in fact it's their second year of a project called "New Blood".  The big difference between these five new titles and the Comedy Pilot Week are - first - they're not necessarily comedies, and  - second - they're not aimed for prime-time television.  

These are web-series - based on the idea that audiences are increasingly going on-line for their content.

Simon Morris asked TVNZ's Director of Content, Cate Slater why she seems to be heading away from traditional "linear" television.

12:46  Isaac Te Reina hopes - to give hope

Isaac Te Reina

Isaac Te Reina Photo: supplied

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Photo: supplied

A Maori filmmaker and actor has written a play he hopes will give hope to young people who're struggling with mental health issues.

Isaac Te Reina is about to premiere All Good as part of the 4th ATAWHAI  festival.

"Atawhai" means to show kindness, and that's the festival's aim, using storytelling to reach people and help them talk about difficult issues and experiences.

This year, Isaac has won a Creative New Zealand award for Best Emerging Artist, and his past film projects include Tamanui, which encouraged Maori to reconnect to traditional tikanga practices. 

Lynn Freeman talked to him about All good, which premieres on Tuesday at Auckland's Basement Theatre before heading to Bats in Wellington.  

And If you are seeking help with issues you are facing, 0800 543 354  is the number for Lifeline.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews The Predator and A Simple Favour, and talks to veteran Australian director Bruce Beresford about Ladies In Black.

1:32  Pamela Howard's four muses

One posed nude with her guitar, a second is running with a tokotoko,  while another sits surrounded by owls.

West Auckland artist Penny Howard has captured women who inspire her on canvas for a solo show she calls Mana Muse.

Singer-songwriter and TV show host Anika Moa, New Zealand poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh,  writer and artist Sia Figiel and politician Marama Davidson are the four muses in the exhibition.

Lynn Freeman spoke to Penny and  Selina - first asking Penny how she selected her four muses:

Mana Muse opens at Auckland's Whitespace gallery next Sunday

1:48  Vera Mey's answer to global uncertainty - traditional arts and crafts

An unexpected silver lining from global uncertainty is emerging for traditional arts and crafts as people seek comfort in nostalgia.

That's the view of expat Curator Vera Mey, who gives the example of renewed interest in the dying art of silk weaving in Cambodia.

After working in Singapore for several years on contemporary art projects, Vera is currently in London working on a PhD at the School of Oriental and African studies.

She's just been back home to speak at the  Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui that's wrapping up today.

Vera tells Lynn Freeman she's most often asked about New Zealand's past artistic connection to South East Asia.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Sam Smith Photo: supplied

It's hard enough cracking the comedy scene anyway, but our guest on the Laugh Track is definitely doing it hard.  He was a dentist, but he gave that up about three years ago when he became a dad, and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  As he says, that was a big couple of weeks!

But the unkindest cut was when some English singer stole his name.  Simon Morris talks to the real Sam Smith about his reputation as the best warm-up man in the business.

His show Sam Smith live in concert is one of the highlights of next month's Palmerston North Fringe Festival.  Sam's picks on the Laugh Track include Sean Locke, Tim Vine, Zach Galifinakis and Demetri Martin.

2:25 Mary Wing To returns to the World Of Wearable Art

World of WearableArt is 30 this year - three decades of putting on stage thousands of jaw-dropping, labour-intensive and madly creative garments.

 4,878 of them to be exact.

What started as a small local then national competition now sees international competitors often taking home the top prizes.

In 2011 Mary Wing To from London had studied fashion design and was an apprentice harness maker when she took out the Supreme WOW Award Winner with her leather horse-head garment.

Lynn Freeman asked Mary what she's looking for as a judge this year - and how long it took to craft her winning garment:

The 2018 World of Wearable Art Awards Show starts this Thursday at Wellington's TSB Arena.

2:35 Dr Anita Heiss

Dr Anita Heiss

Dr Anita Heiss Photo: supplied

An Australian advocate for improving children's literacy and champion of indigenous literature is heading to New Zealand to talk to our writers about these and other issues at the 2018 National Writers Forum.

Dr Anita Heiss is one of Australia's best-known authors of indigenous literature.  She's an author, poet, satirist and social commentator.

She's actively getting books to Aboriginal and Torres Islander children living in outlying and disadvantaged areas, but she tells Lynn Freeman that so much more needs to be done to improve some pretty appalling illiteracy rates.

The NZSA National Writers Forum starts on Friday  at the University of Auckland

2:46 Aotearoa Audio Arts

Nicholas Bernier

Nicholas Bernier Photo: Caroline Campeau

Music...sound...noise...  They all intersect in a new festival of experimental performances, live electronic music, audio-visual works and sound installations.

Aotearoa Audio Arts is being hosted by Victoria University of Wellington's New Zealand School of Music and it's bringing over some international leaders in the field of sonic art.

One is Canadian Nicolas Bernier, an award winning audiovisual artist who invents new kinetic instruments that he plays using computers rather than by hand.

Lynn Freeman spoke to him and to another guest speaker, Mo Zareei who lectures in Sonic Arts & Engineering at Victoria :

The Aotearoa Audio Arts Festival in Wellington starts on Thursday.  

3:06 Feature at 3 - Beyond Kate

Beyond Kate is a podcast that addresses life 125 years after women won the right to vote.   It  examines womanhood in New Zealand - and the complex, hidden and nuanced challenges that women face in a society where the rules continue to shift.

As part of "Suffrage 125", producer Sonia Sly investigates what's changed, how far women have come, and how much further they have to go before they're considered equals in a still largely patriarchal society.