Navigation for Standing Room Only

On Standing Room Only, achieving women...  champion of children's literature Crissi Blair picks up the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award, while singer Amba Holly is once again nominated for Best Female Solo Artist at the Waiata Māori Music Awards.  But some women's achievements may be overlooked - like those of our women art criminals. Penelope Jackson's new book is called Females in the Frame. 

The Silver Sisters - Whetu and Komako - talk about collaboration in their theatre works, while poet Anne Kennedy is inspired by another family member, her late brother Phillip.

A new book pays tribute to that unique New Zealand adornment, the hei tiki, and Dunedin hosts a festival devoted entirely to the short, short play - 20 minutes and under.

All this plus the Laugh Track, the 3 o'clock drama, At The Movies, and today's music theme, devoted to the music of July 1969, the month of the Moon Landing.



12:37  Crissi Blair is  champion of children's literature

Crissi Blair

Crissi Blair Photo: supplied

Auckland book reviewer and judge, school librarian and long time champion of children's literature Crissi Blair is the 2019 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award winner.

Crissi is an authority on children's books, writing for several publications including the School Journal and the Australian review magazine Magpies, for which she's now the New Zealand coordinator 

For almost ten years she published the New Zealand Children's Books in Print and has been judge and convener for the Children and Young Adults Book Awards.   All this while holding down her day job as a librarian at Rangeview Intermediate School in Auckland.

Lynn Freeman first asked Crissi how she sees the role of book reviewer:

12:45 Women and art crimes

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Photo: supplied

Art crimes are headline-grabbing news but how often do you hear about the exploits of women art thieves, vandals or forgers?

Is the reason for the answer "never" or "hardly ever"  because they're just so good they get away with their crimes?

That dismissive suggestion by a male art writer so incensed Penelope Jackson that she went in search of women art criminals.

Art crime is familiar territory for Penelope who's written about New Zealand art crimes previously.   

Her latest book's called Females in the Frame.  She tells Lynn Freeman why she thinks it's taken so long for their stories to be told.

Penelope Jackson who'll be speaking about her new book Females in the Frame at the upcoming ArtCrime 2019 symposium in Wellington in October.

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews Apollo 11, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan and The Kitchen.\


1:31  The enduring treasure of Hei Tiki

It's been sixty years since a comprehensive book about hei tiki was last written, and so much has been learned about these most precious of Maori adornments during that time.

Dougal Austin from Te Papa took on the challenge to write about what he describes as an enduring treasure, and being at the museum gave him access to the largest collection of them in the country.

Te Hei Tiki ranges from the earliest known examples of the carved stylized human figures to modern interpretations of them in non-traditional materials. 

Dougal tells Lynn Freeman that finding lost or discarded hei tiki in archaeological sites is very rare.

Te Hei Tiki by Dougal Austin is published by Te Papa Press.


1:48 The Silver Sisters:  playwriting is a family business 

Whetu and Komako Silver

Whetu and Komako Silver Photo: supplied

Working with your sibling on a play can go either way.  You know each other so well there's a lot you don't need to explain.  Or you know each other so well you don't treat each other as professionals.

Sisters Whetu and Komako Silver have collaborated on several theatre projects, and the latest is about to be shared with an audience for the first time at the annual Kōanga Festival.

Their first play Hine examined the sacredness of women.  Their new one introduces us to their seven much loved and very different uncles.  

Komako Silver is the younger sister who's produced several award winning films, while Whetu is also a theatre director.

They took time out from rehearsals to talk to Lynn Freeman about their personal and professional relationship - starting with big sister Whetu.

The script for My Seven Uncles is being presented at the Whakarongomai Playwrights Readings at the Corbans Estate in Auckland on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th of September. 

2:06 The Laugh Track - versatile Christchurch improviser George Fenn

George Fenn

George Fenn Photo: supplied

Right now Christchurch is host to what's billed as the "World's Southernmost Festival of Comedy".  The Go-Media Comedy Carnival is necessarily a bit lighter on its feet than its northern rivals.  There seem to be more LGBTQ, non-binary acts than elsewhere, and also a lot more versatility.

In the case of today's Laugh Track guest, "versatility" is putting it mildly.  George Fenn travels with five separate, different shows, including Router Sidewalk - a magical, improvised tour of whatever city George happens to be in.  

George Fenn's choices include Rhys Nicolson, James Nokise, Hannibal Burell and Guy Montgomery.


2:25 British playwright and dramaturg Fiona Graham

Fiona Graham

Fiona Graham Photo: supplied

28 Plays from around the world are about to be performed in Dunedin, over just three days.

There's a Jacobean farce, there's a comic murder mystery, but the marathon also includes plays that cover tough issues like self harm and rising sea levels.

The international writers are all telling their stories in just 20 minutes, as part of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Short Play Festival. 

One of the dramaturgs who'll be giving feedback on the plays is British playwright Dr Fiona Graham.  Fiona is the Director of the M.A. in Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths College at the University in London. 

New Zealand is familiar territory for Fiona who worked here for a decade earlier in her career.  She talks to Lynn Freeman, on an uncooperative phone line, about the appeal of a really short play...

2:40 Poet Anne Kennedy's new work is inspired by memory

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Photo: supplied

The memories and emotions surrounding the accidental death of her big brother Phillip in 1973, have been poured into a new poetry collection by Anne Kennedy.

It's not a eulogy or a lament but a series of poems, many riffing on a poem he'd written before his death and that was found in his papers.

Moth Hour starts with Phillip's, the young man who shared his little sister's love of language and writing.

Anne and Lynn Freeman start their conversation about this deeply personal poetry collection with her brother's poem followed by one of her own.

2:49  Leading Māori singer-songwriter Amba Holly  

Amba Holly

Amba Holly Photo: supplied

Amba Holly already has several Waiata Māori Music Awards in her cabinet, this year she's again up for best female solo artist 

Now in its 12th year, the  Awards celebrate excellence in Māori music and aim to encourage traditional and contemporary Māori musical composition.

Amber's Waikato Tainui and grew up singing on the marae before deciding to make a career from her music.  She talks to Lynn Freeman about her life and music.

Music 101 has recorded Amba and her band here at RNZ and it'll be on the RNZ Music Facebook page by Wednesday. The 2019 Waiata Māori Music Awards will be announced on Friday at Club Hastings.

3:06 Drama at 3 - Part 2 of Book Ends by Roger Hall

Actor Ray Henwood

Actor Ray Henwood Photo: Supplied

The concluding part of Roger Hall's play about a suburban book club.  It stars the late Ray Henwood who died last week.  Today the Cabin Fever Club meets for the final time in their Auckland North Shore cafe.



Music played in this show

Artist: Rolling Stones
Song: Honky Tonk Women
Composer:  Jagger-Richards
Album: Hot Rocks
Label: Abcko
Played at: 12.33

Artist:  Henry Mancini
Song:  Love theme from Romeo and Juliet
Composer: Rota
Album: 16 top tracks
Label: RCA
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Song: Ma Cherie Amour
Composer: May-Wonder-Cosby
Album: Ma Cherie Amour
Label: Motown
Played at:  1.43

Artist: Thunderclap Newman
Song: Something in the air
Composer:  Keene
Album: Spirit of Joy
Label: Polydor
Played at:  1.58

Artist: Desmond Dekker and the Aces
Song: It mek
Composer: Dekker-Kong
Album: 007 The Best Of
Label: Trojan
Played at: 2.04

Artist:  Jackie De Shannon
Song:  Put a little love in your heart
Composer:  De Shannon
Album: Sad songs
Label: EMI
Played at:  2.32

Artist: Blood Sweat and Tears
Song: Spinning Wheel
Composer:  Clayton-Thomas
Album: Greatest hits
Label: CBS
Played at:  2.58

Artist: Zager and Evans
Song:  In the year 2525
Composer: Evans
Album: 60's Number 1's
Label: Old Gold
Played at: 3.04

Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Song:  Proud Mary
Composer:  Fogerty
Album: Creedence Gold
Label: Fantasy
Played at: 3.58