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After 12.30pm: The Independent newspaper in the UK dubbed her the world's leading sex scenes director, now Ita O'Brien is developing guidelines on getting intimate on stage and screen. We talk rock'n'roll websites in NZ with Marty Duda whose Radio 13 builds on seven years of the site 13th Floor. After one on At The Movies an extended interview with Rupert Everett - star, writer and director of a new film about Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince, high-end architect Andrew Patterson, the subject of a major Thames and Hudson monograph who thinks short-term thinking is contributing to our current housing crisis, and ...

Meanwhile in what was once dubbed the hellhole of the Pacific, Russell in the Bay of Islands, plans are underway at their community Museum for a proper home for all that amazing history, we speak to curator Kate Martin.

And after the 2 O'clock news comedians Alice Snedden and Rhys Mathewson are on the laugh track with their comedy clips but also introducing a not so funny matter - comedians getting home from their gigs safely late at night.

Orchestra Wellington have gone back to go forward embracing the hipster by releasing Orchestra Wellington - LIVE, not just a CD but a double vinyl LP.

Then we speak to maverick artistic multi-tasker Jo Randerson who has a new book of poetry out called The Wind is Up and We're On in which she truly charges up the personal with the political.

And later that hour to Dunedin to consider how Australasian galleries are approaching representation of the booming contemporary Chinese art scene, with an exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery that includes a life-size replica - in leather - of a Russian tank.

SIMON:   Finally in the Drama at 3   A lonely woman traps an innocent fundamentalist Christian in Window by Lucy O'Brien.

There's all sorts of visual additions, and extended interviews on our web-page




12:30 Guidelines on getting intimate on stage and screen - Ita O'Brien

The Independent newspaper in the UK dubbed her the world's leading sex scenes director. Ita O'Brien from the UK has the job title of 'Intimacy Cooridnator'. She teaches in some of Britain's premier acting schools, hosts Intimacy on Set and Satge Workshops for film and theatre actors around the world, and devises her own work. Ita is currently working to establish best practice for producers, directors, and actors working with scenes with sexual content.

She's in Australia and New Zealand doing events with the Equity Foundation (a professional development branch of Actors' Equity) to give actors, directors, producers, writers and crew from the stage and screen industries an opportunity to learn best practice approaches to intimacy, simulated sex scenes.

The industry she says currently has no established guidelines or accepted process. "Under-rehearsed or unsafe intimate scenes do not serve the production or keep the participants safe. There are countless examples of poor practice leaving actors with lasting damage and often compromising the production."

Ita is currently working to obtain industry adoption of the 'Intimacy on Set' guidelines.

Ita O’Brien trained as a dancer at The Royal Academy of Dancing and at Bush Davies in the UK, and followed a professional career in Musical Theatre performing on television, the West End and touring, where she was an assistant choreographer she gained a diploma in acting from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, working for eight years in theatre and television. She went on to gain her MA in Movement Studies and teach in many leading training instituions. Ita devised her first play, April's Fool which performed in 2009, and co-developed a play The Faun about Nijinsky, which performed in 2012. Her most recent work in development, Does my sex offend you? is an exploration of the dynamic of sexual abuse.

"Historically, lesbian sex scenes have predominantly been directed by men, and have a male gaze, the male fantasy of 'girl on girl action', much like that found in pornography," says Ita O'Brien

Filming sex scenes in front of a crew of sound technicians, gaffers and cinematographers has never been easy. In fact, she says, most actors seem to have a bad sex scene war story.

Now the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal has prompted Equity, the actors' union, to consider detailed guidelines governing simulated sex on screen and stage.

A set of guidelines intended to prevent actors from being exploited during sex scenes has been drawn up, as part of a campaign also calling on the theatre industry to employ dedicated staff to oversee sexual content in shows.


12:45 Up on the 13th floor - Marty Duda

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Photo: Veronica McLaughlin

Marty started 13th Floor in 2011 and changed it (with Reuben Raj, pictured with Marty) to Radio 13 in the middle of this year. Radio 13 is a music site with 24/7 streaming radio station that has a team of  15 writers, 10 photographers and 10 radio DJs (all contributors on a voluntary basis). It's fully self funded with licenses to broadcast music and share podcasts - focused on music both NZ and international. And it's also a platform to showcase music photography by NZ based photographers and videoed live performance sessions, like this one this year from Hopetoun Brown. Yet is doesn't exactly pay, says Marty.

Over seven years The 13th Floor built up an impressive archive of written, photographic and video content and this remains online. That included an arts and theatre section - Radio 13 meanwhile focuses purely on music.


1:10 At The Movies

An extended interview with Rupert Everett - star, writer and director of a new film about Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince.


1:33 Houses of Aotearoa - Andrew Patterson

The houses of one of our most highly regarded architects Andrew Patterson are the subject of the first monograph to be published internationally of the work of a New Zealand architect. Houses of Aotearoa is being published by one of  the  (if not the) greatest publisher of art and culture books, Thames and Hudson.

Andrew Patterson was awarded the 2017 New Zealand Institute of Architect’s Gold Medal and was named by World Architecture News as one of 21 architects “whose directional ideas are helping to shape the future of world architecture”.

While the book focuses on residential work, Patterson’s studio is perhaps best known for its civic and commercial projects. These include some of the country’s most recognisable buildings, amongst them New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre and the Christchurch Botanic Garden Centre.

The book is marked by ‘the house alone in big landscapes’ but Andrew also believes some short-term thinking contributing to our current housing crisis. 


1:50 Giving the history of Russell a new home

Russell was once dubbed the "hellhole of the Pacific", then named  Kororāreka, and the site of the flagpole famously cut down four times by Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke, sparking the Northern War of the mid-1840s. Now plans are afoot for Russell in the Bay of Islands' to have the museum it deserves, replacing the modest 1950s building that currently houses it.

Last weekend the Russell community came together for a successful fund-raising art auction to support their planned new museum. Thirteen original works by renowned Whanganui-based artist Peter Ireland all sold under the gavel of Far North mayor John Carter, boosting the museum redevelopment fund and all have gone to homes in the region . Peter Ireland writes:

“Te Tai Tokerau, Northland, is the bicultural nursery of Aotearoa New Zealand, from which we have evolved into a multicultural landscape. Russell, or Kororāreka, is threaded with the strands of those stories of encounter, and these are the close-up textures of our heritage. This new museum will share stories of who we are, not just who we were. It is a local treasure house, but of national importance.

The multi-million dollar development, designed by the Isthmus group, will be built on the existing museum site, but will be turned 180 degrees to face the sea, where many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s founding stories played out. In the next stage, the finer design details of the complex will be finalised, incorporating both Māori and Pākehā themes woven together. The museum are due to go for resource consent shortly.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Alice Snedden and Rhys Mathewson - Get Me Home NZ

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Photo: supplied

Alice Snedden and Rhys Mathewson's clips include Rose Matafeo, Rhys Nicholson, Beth Stelling and Luke Heggie. But their cause is not so funny. They are one of a stellar line up of comedians including Melanie Bracewell, Michele A’Court, The Fan Brigade, Guy Williams and Two Hearts who are part of One Hell of a Comedy night at Q Theatre on Sunday night, with 100% of the profits for the night going towards Get Me Home NZ - fundraising to help get women and non-binary comedians home safely by providing a free, safe transport option home from gigs.

This is in the distressing aftermath this year of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon's death. The young comedian was raped and killed as she walked across soccer fields on her way home early on a Wednesday morning in Melbourne. Eurydice had just performed a stand-up gig in the Melbourne CBD. It was a journey she'd safely made many times before.

Rhys Matthewson

Rhys Matthewson Photo: Supplied

Organisers' Fan Brigade say: “Working in comedy means late nights, drunk punters hanging about, and always leaving work in the dark. Personal safety is a significant concern. We undertook a short survey of 61 women and non-binary people who were or are in comedy in New Zealand. More than a third of us have been attacked on the way home."


2:25  Bringing together the old and new - Orchestra Wellington

These days if you're in the arts you have to be pretty light on your feet, looking for new opportunities and new audiences, while keeping faith with the old ones. It's a balancing act, and one of the current champions is Orchestra Wellington. The Orchestra have gone back to go forward embracing the hipster by releasing Orchestra Wellington - Live, not just a CD but a double vinyl LP - on red and white vinyl. It's available through their website.

We spoke to General Manager Kirsten Mason and Music Director Marc Taddei, who confesses himself to being an audiophile. They discuss the new ways the orchestra is not just holding onto a faithful audience but building a new one, including providing a virtual reality event at CubaDupa in March with a 360 degree recorded experience of being on the conductor's podium during a performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.


2:40 The wind is up and we're on - poems by Jo Randerson

Jo Randerson is an artist whose career it seems knows no bounds - she is best known currently as a director, performer and producer with Barbarian Productions the theatre company she established with husband Thomas La Hood, but she's also a curator and celebrated writer, the recipient of many fellowships and awards.

Her just released book The Wind is Up and We're On is her eighth and is available to purchase online from Unity Books and in their Wellington store. 

In the author's foreword Jo comments on the book having been written in the small windows of time that motherhood affords - during a time in last 10 years she says she watched the country avoid discussing inequity, real identity and biculturalism. No wonder the book has an anger and a meditation on wisdom that sees the personal as very much political. The foreword though also notes that Jo brought the book into the world at the same time our Prime Minister was bringing a baby into a world, and whale came to visit Wellington Harbour leading to the cancellation of fireworks - "The wind is up and we're on" is her call for this being a time to make change.

Mark Amery caught up with Jo and she began with a reading.


2:49 Representing Chinese Art - New Networks at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Our public gallery collections reflect colonial ties to England and an art history rooted both here and in Europe. But what of collecting and representing the art scene of today from elsewhere - in particular the contemporary art powerhouse that is modern day China?    

New Networks: Contemporary Chinese Art opens this weekend at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery featuring everything from ceramics to a life sized leather replica of a soviet tank. The work is drawn from collections throughout New Zealand and Australia and alongside it is a solo exhibition by an acclaimed Chinese artist who has been in residence in Dunedin, Yang Yongliang. With Mark Amery to discuss are the co-curators Lucy Hammonds and Lauren Gutsell.


3:06 Drama at 3 - Window by Lucy O'Brien

Our Drama Hour this week features a play for radio by Lucy O'Brien. She takes us into the dark and sometimes violent minds of three characters who, in response to a chaotic and violent environment have taken to fundamentalism, or to drink... Or both! In such a setting, some of the language and the descriptions of violence can be upsetting, so listener discretion and parental guidance is recommended.