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12:16  The secrets of Cosplay

Cosplay is the ultimate dress-up, honouring your fantasy, sci fi and sporting heroes and heroines by dressing just like them.  But it often goes deeper, with cosplayers taking on their subjects' personalities.

These home-made outfits can be incredibly elaborate and complex, often based on designs by Oscar-winners for movies with massive budgets.

If you want to create realistic-looking armour, swords and helmets at home, you need to ask the experts.   And some secrets are about to be shared at workshops in Wellington, ahead of the annual Armageddon expo.

The tutor of these Masterclasses not only works on costumes for Weta, he's a keen cosplayer himself - Sanit Klamchanuan.

Lynn Freeman first asked Sanit what is his own favourite cosplay outfit.

The Masterclasses with Sanit Klamchanuan are on at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in Wellington in April.


12:34  In some secluded rendezvous - the ballroom cave, Te Ana Ru

For thirty years in the early Twentieth Century, party-goers used to trek across one of Auckland's wildest west coast beaches to Te Ana Ru cave, to dance on a kauri floor.  It was built by loggers, and when not in use lifted up to the cave ceiling to save it from the incoming tide

It's been sixty years since people took part in one of the famous dances at the 'ballroom cave'.  But the legend intoxicated two Wellingtonians, Jenny Gillam and Eugene Hansen, who visited it while on an Auckland Regional Parks Residency last summer .

They've been working on an exhibition inspired by Te Anu Ru for over a year, though they were delayed twice by Covid 19.

Now finally Jenny and Eugene are about to unveil The Thrum of the Tide, a piece that includes a six-hour long soundscape.  Lynn Freeman asks them how they first heard about the ballroom cave.

The Thrum of the Tide premieres on Saturday at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

12:45  Andrea Gardner on having her award winner modified

"Please note the photo above has been edited to obscure the nudity in this print version of the article in order to avoid offending readers. The unedited photo can be viewed on our website on the article which will carry a content warning".

That was the caption in the Whanganui Chronicle to a photo of artist Andrea Gardner's print after it won the Whanganui 2021 Patillo Art Prize.

You might expect the piece featured a large and confronting nude photograph.

In fact it's a small, historic, painted image of a woman's breasts - an intregral part of Andrea's print called "Now I Have Your Attention".   Except now in the newspaper photo version, a piece of tape extends across the woman's nipples.

Lynn Freeman was puzzled why this would happen in 2021, and asked Andrea Gardner for her reactions.

We have this statement from the Sarjeant Gallery that manages the Patillo prize
"The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui is very happy with Ms Gardner's winning work "Now I Have Your Attention" and is delighted that this year's judge Reuben Friend chose it as the Open Award winner of the 2021 Pattillo Whanganui Arts Review.   We are proud to have Andrea's work hanging at Sarjeant on the Quay with the 156 other Arts Review exhibitors and see no reason to censor the image in any way. As one of NZ's significant regional art galleries we welcome art that makes you think and Ms Gardner's work does exactly that".


1:10 At The Movies

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Photo: Disney Animation

This week Simon Morris reviews Blackbird, Cosmic Sin and Raya and the last dragon.


1:32 Florian Zeller, writer-director of Oscar favourite The Father

Florian Zeller

Florian Zeller Photo: PHOTO CREDIT: © Samuel Kirszenbaum

The Father, starring Olivia Coleman and Sir Anthony Hopkins

The Father, starring Olivia Coleman and Sir Anthony Hopkins Photo: supplied

This week the Academy Awards finalists were nominated, and one of the heavily favoured films was The Father, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.

It's up for Oscars for both stars, as well as Best Picture, Best Design and Editing, and best adapted screenplay - the work of English playwright Christopher Hampton and the film's writer-director, Frenchman Florian Zeller.

A few weeks ago, Dan Slevin interviewed Florian about the challenges of The Father.

The Father opens in New Zealand next month.  And this year the Oscars take place on April 25.


1:44  Nic Low and 15 ways through the Southern Alps

Ngāi Tahu author Nic Low knows the Southern Alps intimately.  He's been on 15 treks through the mountains, following historic routes.  Now Nic's working on a book about that history called Uprising.  

But until recently he was writing about the Southern Alps from Australia.   He was based in Melbourne for 15 years, working on several writers' festivals as well as taking university courses.

Nic's returned home to take up the role of Programme Co-ordinator at the WORD Festival in Christchurch, where he also plans to finish his book.

Lynn Freeman asks him how he's juggling the two jobs.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Jerome Chandrahasan

Jerome Chandrahasan

Jerome Chandrahasan Photo: supplied

Wellington has become used to being New Zealand comedy's Second City.  And like all pretenders to the crown, the Capital has got to be a bit light on its feet.

Auckland can boast a dedicated standup club - the Classic.  Wellington has had several comedy venues over the years, culminating in a regular gig at San Fran.

The head honcho of the Wellington comedy scene is today's guest - comedian, MC, producer and founder of the Humorous Arts Trust, Jerome Chandrahasan.  

Jerome's picks include TV series Goodness Gracious Me, Tommy Tiernan, Taika Waititi, Janey Godley and the Laughing Samoans.


2:27  Opera in Schools turns 10

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Photo: NZ Opera

(l to r: Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono, Stuart Coats, Samuel Downes)

(l to r: Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono, Stuart Coats, Samuel Downes) Photo: NZ Opera

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of Opera in Schools.  It's been a decade in which arts education has been under the gun, as focus shifts to other subjects.

Undaunted, NZ Opera is touring Donizetti's Don Pasquale around schools this year, determined to introduce the music to as many children as possible.

In this production, baritone Stuart Coats sings the title role.

David Morriss from RNZ Concert's Upbeat spoke to Stuart and to Felicity Tompkins who's alternating in the role of Norena.


2:45  Bluffworld by Patrick Evans

Patrick Evans

Patrick Evans Photo: supplied

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Photo: supplied

A novel about bluffing, evasion and the decline of humanities in universities - you can't say Christchurch writer Patrick Evans is scared to tackle the big subjects!

Bluffworld is set in a world Patrick he knows a lot about.  He taught New Zealand literature and creative writing at the University of Canterbury for many years.

His narrator prides himself on being a successful master-bluffer - he's been one for years.  But his world is undergoing unwelcome change, with humanities under attack, and books no longer valued by students or universities.

Lynn Freeman talks to Patrick Evans about Bluffworld.

It's published by VUP.


3:06 Drama at 3 - Two plays, Trout and Urge

What do exploding islands, rugby league players, caesarean sections, Oprah Winfrey, and freshwater fish have in common?   They all feature in our first play, Trout by Stephanie Johnson.

In Urge by Nathan Crocker, a concerned father struggles to cope with the natural urges of his adolescent, autistic son.