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12:30 Hooked on Books!

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Photo: Read NZ

How do we foster young reviewers and spark the joy of criticism from a young age? The Hooked on Books program has been running since 2016 and has been adopted this week by Read NZ Te Pou Muramura.

The online platform encourages young readers to express their views on what they're reading in effort to create a young reviewing culture in Aotearoa and provide criticism of children's and young adult literature from their intended audience.

Melissa Wastney from Read NZ joins us to explain why they've picked it up and what the future of the program looks like.

12:45 NZ opera returns to the stage with Semele 

The arts have been under the gun all year here, and none so obviously as New Zealand Opera, which has been forced to rethink a year where no overseas stars can get into the country.

General Director Thomas De Mallet Burges has been with  NZO for two years, and we wondered about the effect of Covid 19 on top-end performance. The company kept busy even during lockdown, and now preparations are well underway for a multi media sit specific live on stage version of Handel's Semele. 

Following the success of Opera New Zealand screening a past production of Tosca during the lockdown, the new work is also destined to be filmed and shown on screen.

NZ Opera's 'Semele'

NZ Opera's 'Semele' Photo: New Zealand Opera

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris remembers the old, low-budget B movies fondly, and wonders if the current cinema fare can learn from them.

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Photo: supplied by distributor

1:33 Hindi theatre powerhouse's new production 

A play translated from English into Hindi for New Zealand audiences is about to open in Auckland.

It's by Indian Art Theatre, the company behind New Zealand's first Hindi movie and first Hindi web series.

It's based on A. R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize nominated book Love Letters that translator and director Kapil Asrani describes as  a powerful ode to India and life as it was in Bombay, before it became Mumbai. 

Lynn Freeman talks with Kapil, who spent a decade working on Bollywood productions and Indian television series, and also to actor Monica Nangia, and to the show's lighting whizz Ruzbeh Palsetia.

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Photo: Indian Art Theatre

1:50 Llew Summers life and work

Canterbury Sculptor Llew Summers created more than 900 works over his five decades working in wood and marble through to cast glass and concrete. 

His works tended to be large scale, often of rounded human forms, angels and animals. One of his best known bronzes is called Butterfly at the Auckland Botanic Gardens of human figure stepping forward with their arms behind them like wings. His artworks were purchased by local councils and are collectors around the country. 

Cultural historian and writer John Newton met Llew in the last few years of his life and they quickly became firm friends, to the point where Llew asked John is write his story. Llew Summers: Body and Soul has been published by Canterbury University Press with the support of Creative New Zealand. 

2:06 The Laugh Track - David Brechin-Smith 

For over 20 years David Brechin-Smith has been that rare thing in this country - a professional jobbing comedy writer. Ever since he started out writing jokes for game shows back in the 90s, he's been a gun-for-hire on projects as diverse as The Strip, Insider's Guide to Happiness, The Cult and that hilarious documentary Pecking Order. 

Now he turns his skills to a a comedy heist movie.  It's called Lowdown Dirty Criminals.  Clearly this guy knows his way round a joke!   Simon Morris talks to David Brechin-Smith on the Laugh Track...

2:25 Jonathan King: The Inkberg Enigma

What do you get if you throw together two precocious teenagers, an old school camera, a small Aotearoa fishing town and a mysterious castle with a foggy past?

Film maker and comic artist Jonathan King sets out to find out in his new graphic novel for young adults The Inkberg Enigma. Inspired by the ligne claire drawing style, King's drawing and writing spells out an adventure through the present and the past with a true local flavour.

It's his first children's book and he joins Lynn Freeman to discuss why he was so dead set on penning and drawing it.

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Photo: Geko Press

2:40 Author Pip McKay crosses oceans 

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Photo: Polako Press

It's not just the cover of a book we judge, despite the old saying, but those first few pages also have to grab us.

Pip McKay did such a great job in the opening pages of her latest novel The Telling Time, that she won the 2020 First Pages Prize with the panel including author Sebastian Faulks. The novel is set both in New Zealand in the 1980s, and in the former Yugoslavia in the late 1950s.

It's the story of Gabrrijela who must leave her home to take up a job in New Zealand, and of her daughter Luisa who wants to find out about her homeland and her family back there.

The Telling Time by Pip McKay is published by Polako Press.

2:49 Kit Toogood on a new future for the Auckland Art Gallery 

The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has announced the establishment of a new advisory committee to look at the future of the gallery as the world changes rapidly around it.

The chair of the new board is retired High Court Judge Kit Toogood. He speaks to Lynn about why he thinks the gallery is so important, and how it may have to change to attract new audiences and sustain domestic interest while the borders remain closed to tourists.

Nathan Coley's work 'A Place Beyond Belief' at Auckland Art Gallery

Nathan Coley's work 'A Place Beyond Belief' at Auckland Art Gallery Photo: Suppled / Auckland Art Gallery

3:06 Drama at 3 - Terror at Tinakore Rd

In today's Classic Drama we visit old-world Wellingto with The Terror at Tinakore Road, by Neil Giles. 

Music played in this show

Artist: Newbeat
Song: Thou shalt not steal
Composer: Loudermilk
Album: Bread and butter
Label: Ace
Played at: 12.32

Artist: Catatonia
Song: Road rage
Composer:  Roberts-Matthew
Album:  Road Rage: The Best of
Label:  Music club
Played at: 12.58

Artist: The Divine Comedy
Song: The complete banker
Composer: Hannan
Album: Bang goes the knighthood
Label: DCR
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Carter USM
Song: A nation of shoplifters
Composer: Morrison-Carter
Album: Starry eyed and bollock naked
Label: Chrysalis
Played at: 1.43

Artist: Junior Murvin
Song: Police and thieves
Composer: Murvin-Perry
Album: Police and Thieves
Label: Island
Played at: 1.58

Artist:  Tom Lehrer
Song: The old dope peddler
Composer: Lehrer
Album: The Remains of...
Label: Rhino
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Al Hunter
Song: Let somebody else drive
Composer: Vickery-Kilgore
Album: Neon Cowboy
Label: CBS
Played at: 2.33

Artist:  Adele
Song: Set fire to the rain
Composer: Adkins-Smith
Album: 21
Label: XL
Played at: 2.04

Artist: Stanley Holloway
Song: Got to pick a pocket or two
Composer: Bart
Album: Oliver (1962)
Label: Angel
Played at: 3.04

Artist:  Rolling Stones
Song: Gimme Shelter (live)
Composer: Jagger-Richards
Album: No Security (live)
Label: Virgin
Played at: 3.58