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Photo: Four Songs, Played Twice. Bryce Galloway. Image Mady Cheng

On this week's arts and culture radio show: 'funny as', we have a panel on NZ comedy after 12.30pm to coincide with the new history of local comedy that is about launch on TVNZ, and 'funny' is our musical theme. 

After the 1pm news host Simon Morris with At the Movies, and a look at the art of sound in movies with documentary director Midge Costin. More documentary from the film festival in the one o'clock hour as Lynn Freeman talks to Shirley Horrocks about her doco on the life of photographer Peter Peryer, who passed away late last year. 

Jessica Hansell aka Coco Solid is our guest on the Laugh Track after 2pm, artist and musician Bryce Galloway on his midlife crisis 'bandmates wanted' project, and novelist Weng Wai Chan on her story for young people set in fascinating Singapore circa 1940. Finally before the 3pm news, historic off-Broadway SoHo Playhouse's artistic director Darren Lee Cole on the three NZ works he has brought to New York after being invited to the PANNZ (Performing Arts Network of New Zealand)  Arts Market in Auckland earlier this year. Our Drama at 3 is 31 Egmont Street by Dan Ashworth. 


12:38 Comedy panel

Back in the dawn of New Zealand comedy, say the mid Seventies, very few people were making a living out of it. Fred Dagg, aka John Clarke, was a sensation on TV and as a live act. And Roger Hall had discovered the middle-class Kiwi theatre-going public, and put out hit after hit.
That was then. It's hard to calculate the number of people professionally employed in comedy right now, but this week alone saw two brand-new sitcoms open on TV, along with an upcoming comedy current affairs quiz show - not to mention the evergreen 7 Days celebrating its 10th anniversary, various light-comic magazine shows - and a history of Kiwi comedy which is about to launch on TVNZ.  

It's called Funny As, and for a quick overview of what happened, Simon Morris talks to the series creator, Paul Horan, along with two more people who've been in the funny business ever since it started getting serious - director Mandy Toogood, who pioneered TV standup in the famous Pulp Comedy series back in the '90s, and impresario Scott Blanks, whose Classic Comedy venue has been the undisputed centre of the game since the turn of the century.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews Camino Skies, Crawl and looks at what makes a good franchise sequel.

1:31  Movie soundtracks finally get put in the spotlight

If there's one person who doesn't need to be convinced about the importance of sound in films, it's the presenter of a radio programme about movies!  Sound and pictures have been two halves of the impact ever since Al Jolson told a shocked audience "You ain't heard nothing yet."

But it's taken a while for sound to get the attention it deserves, until now. A new documentary gets its first screening here at the International Film Festival.

Making waves: the art of cinematic sound may have a slightly po-faced title, but for anyone with any interest in film - or who's even seen one - it's absolutely riveting. Simon Morris talks to director Midge Costin about the great sound innovators, including Orson Welles, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg - and Barbra Streisand!

1:46  Peter Peryer: The Art of Seeing

Photographer Peter Peryer has shared his life story, and his wry reflections on his chosen art form with documentary maker Shirley Horrocks.

Neither realised that the film that came out of it would be his swansong, with Peter's sudden death in November last year at the age of 77

Peter Peryer The Art of Seeing is about to premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Shirley Horrocks intended it to provide a permanent record of his long life and four decades of photography, including his many many portraits of his ex wife Erika. She talked to Lynn Freeman about her first meeting with Peter.

Peter Peryer The Art of Seeing premieres on Sunday July 28th at the Auckland Waterfront Theatre as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival. 

2:06 The Laugh Track - Jessica Hansell aka Coco Solid

'A cartoon snapshot of the multicultural melting pot that is Aotearoa', and 'an examination of millennial Māori anxieties' are among the descriptions we've read for the animated series Aroha Bridge. It's about to go on prime time Maori TV.

Aroha Bridge stems from the vivid imagination of Jessica Hansell aka rapper Coco Solid, who's a Māori/ Samoan /German musician, screenwriter, political essayist and visual artist. Lynn Freeman met up with Jessica for the Laugh Track.

Jessica's choices include Kura Forrester, Dr Katz, Kay & Peele and Frickin Dangerous Bro. 

2:25 Bryce Galloway's musical midlife crisis

On his 50th birthday, Wellington artist Bryce Galloway decided it was high time to have a mid-life crisis.

He got his first tattoo, and then posted a "bandmates wanted" flyer, with a view to attempting to start a gig with a new band every month of his 50th year. 

He had some form. You may remember Bryce from his musical installation project Wendyhouse a few years back.

So what happened? Did he manage to achieve 12 bands in 12 months?  Bryce Galloway shares band-tales about The New Zealand Government, Death Math, The Lies and Crying In Cars with potential fan Simon Morris.

Four songs, played twice by  Bryce Galloway opens at Toi Pōneke in Wellington on July 26.

2:38  Novelist Weng Wai Chan

Weng Wai Chan's debut novel Lizard's Tale is a World War Two spy story with a difference. Set in Singapore in 1940, its heroes are young people, and it's told from a non Western point of view.

It's a fascinating scene: on the streets a remarkable mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Japanese cultures, with rumours of a Japanese invasion getting stronger everyday, all still under stuffy British rule. 

It's the Singapore of Weng Wai's father's childhood. Mark Amery talks to Weng Wai about her story of young Lizard - living on his wits on the streets, and stealing a strange box from the famous Raffles Hotel at the bidding of a local gang chief. 

Lizard's Tale is out now from Text Publishing


2.50  Three Kiwi acts at New York's SoHo Playhouse

The Modern Māori Quartet is one of three New Zealand acts handpicked for a showcase season in New York early next year at the historic off-Broadway SoHo Playhouse.

The other two are the slam poetry style show Wild Dogs Under My Skirt and The Contours of Heaven - real stories of six young people from Te Matau a Māui, Hawkes Bay.

SoHo's Artistic Director Darren Lee Cole invited the three works to New York after being invited to the PANNZ (Performing Arts Network of New Zealand)  Arts Market in Auckland earlier this year.

Creative New Zealand is contributing $284,000 towards the season, timed to coincide with one of the largest markets for the performing arts in North America.

Lynn Freeman asked Darren how the New Zealand shows he saw compare to the other international work he invites to perform in New York:

3:06 Drama at 3 - 31 Egmont Street by Dan Ashworth

A riveting and factual account of the recent Martian attempt to capture the town of Inglewood during the recent period when local authorities were clamping down on illegal water use in the area.

Music played in this show

Artist: Stephen Sondheim
Song: Comedy Tonight
Composer: Stephen Sondheim
Album: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Label: Capitol
Played at:12.30pm

Artist: Womack and Womack
Song: Strange and Funny
Composer: Bobby Womack
Album: Radio M.U.S.C. Man
Label: Elektra
Played at:12.57pm

Artist:Waylon Jennings
Song: This Is Getting Funny (But There Ain't Nobody Laughing)
Composer: Michael Smotherman
Album:Ol' Waylon
Label: RCA
Played at:1.04pm

Artist: Elvis Costello
Song: What's So Funny (About Peace Love and Understanding
Composer: Nick Lowe
Album: The Best of
Label: Columbia
Played at: 1.40pm

Artist: The Smiths
Song: That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
Composer: Morrissey and Marr
Album: Meat is Murder
Label: Rough Trade
Played at:1.55pm

Artist: Motorhead
Song: Back at the Funny Farm
Composer: Motorhead
Album: Another Perfect Day
Label: Bronze
Played at: 2.04pm

Artist: Frank Sinatra
Song: My Funny Valentine
Composer: Rodgers and Hart
Album: My Funny Valentine
Label: Capitol
Played at: 2.35pm

Artist: Spice Girls

Song: Something kinda funny

Composer: Andy Watkins, Paul Wilson and Spice Girls
Album: Spice
Label: Virgin
Played at: 2.55pm

Played at:

Artist: Cliff Richards
Song: Got a funny feeling
Played at: