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12:16  Diversity is the new black in TV comedy

The range of comedy, light drama and drama series on TV and streaming services in this country is astonishing right now.

The days of "diversity" meaning "worthy and tucked away somewhere" are long gone.   In fact these days being diverse seems to be a competitive edge - here and overseas.  

Pax Assadi's sitcom Raised by Refugees is going into its second series.   So are Jewish comedy Kid sister,  pre-colonial drama Kairākau, trans dramedy Rūrangi, and the unique scifi/rural/Asian/sitcom mashup Creamerie.
Simon Morris drags Creamerie showrunner Roseanne Liang and producer Bronwynn Bakker from Kevin and Co away from pre-production of the new series to talk about the New Diversity, along with one of the people who can take a bow for the success of the New Diversity, NZ On Air's Amie Mills. 

12:31  The art (and craft) of tatting 

Tatting, a form of lace making, was on an international 'seriously endangered craft' list until just a couple of years ago.

Its rejuvenation is credited to the worldwide Covid lockdowns, when people had time to learn and make handicrafts.

Fiona Sharp learnt how to tat as a child in the 1950s and has never looked back.

Her work will be on show at the upcoming Wellington Heritage Crafts and Vintage Retro Fair.

Lynn Freeman talks with Fiona about the origins - and future - of tatting.

Fiona Sharp's tatting will be on show at the Wellington Heritage Crafts and Vintage Retro Fair at the Seatoun Village Hall in Wellington on 30 October.


12:46  Dame Malvina Major Award-winner, tenor Oliver Sewell

Oliver Sewell

Oliver Sewell Photo: Emma Brittenden | Photography

Winning this year's $50,000 Dame Malvina Major Award is allowing Christchurch tenor Oliver Sewell to live the dream and forge an international career. 

Oliver's currently in Europe after recently winning first place in the Vincerò Worldwide Opera Competition in Naples, competing against 30 finalists in front of an international panel of judges.

It was the award money that made it possible for him to attend the competition in Italy, and will help to fund his plans to move to Europe next year, with all the associated costs of travel, lessons and accommodation.

Lynn Freeman spoke to him on the line to Dresden in Germany, and he explained why the Dame Malvina Major Award and the competition win have come at a pivotal point in his career.


1:10 At The Movies

This week Simon Morris reviews Memory, Don't worry darling and Amsterdam.


1:31  Jazz bassist and composer Seth Boy and his Filipino roots 

Seth Boy

Seth Boy Photo: supplied

Wellington based, Filipino-born bassist and composer Seth Boy often combines the musical influences of his home country and of jazz greats like Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane in his work.

Seth has a new work commissioned for Wellington's upcoming Jazz Festival.

Farewell, Sweet Stranger is the name of the piece that touches on his feeling of being disconnected from the Philippines, and his concern about losing touch with his roots.

Lynn Freeman speaks with Seth Boy - who's also the principal bassist of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band.

Seth Boy is performing as part of Sunday Mixtape - three different commissioned performances one after the other, at the Opera House on Sunday 23 October,  as part of the Wellington Jazz Festival.


1:50  Going together like Drum & Bass

MC Tali and DJ Chiccoreli

MC Tali and DJ Chiccoreli Photo: supplied

Tired of being left off touring schedules by musicians, Whanganui is taking matters into its own hands.

Over Labour Weekend it's launching a new festival, Lost Art Summer in the Square, with a line up of local and national musicians. 

Top of the lineup of electronic artists are partners in life and music, DJ Chiccoreli and MC Tali.

Since moving back from London to Auckland 9 years ago, they're two of the biggest names in the Drum & Bass scene here.

MC/vocalist Tali was the first solo woman in a decade to win the Vodafone New Zealand Music Award for "Best Electronic Artist" back in 2019.  She's up for the award again this year.

Chiccoreli meanwhile, has taken his distinctive soulful Drum & Bass - what he calls "Liquid Lowdown" - on stage and over the airwaves, most recently on George FM.

They tell Lynn Freeman there's been a resurgence in interest in the music but there's more to do.

DJ Chiccoreli & MC Tali will be performing on Saturday at the Lost Art Summer in the Square in Whanganui next weekend.


2:06 The Laugh Track - Shoshana McCallum

Shoshana McCallum

Shoshana McCallum Photo: supplied

Erotica and comedy have co-existed for centuries - just think of Shakespeare's comedies or Chaucer's baudier Canterbury Tales, all the way back to Aristophanes and even cave paintings   

And it's certainly a subject dear to the heart of International Emmy-winner for her lockdown series Inside, writer Shoshana McCallum.    She's written what she describes as "a provocative jaunt through erotic fiction" called Erotica by the fire.

Here to answer the question "Why does sex turn people into complete weirdos?" - Shosh McCallum joins Lynn Freeman on the Laugh Track.

Shosh's picks include Garth Merenghi's Dark Place, featuring Richard Ayoade and Matt Berry, Donna Brookbanks, Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge.

Erotica by the Fire opens at Auckland's Basement Theatre on 18 October. 


2:26  Australian physical theatre company Legs On The Wall 

Almost three tonnes of ice will soon be dangling high above Nelson's harbour while suspended dancers struggle to balance on it, as it melts over the course of a day. 

The city's Festival-goers will be the first in New Zealand to see THAW,  a work asking viewers to think about how they can personally take action over the climate crisis.

It's also about human adaptability and survival.

THAW is performed by Australian physical theatre company Legs On The Wall and created by its Artistic Director, Joshua Thomson.  Lynn Freeman talks to Joshua in Australia before he arrives in Nelson.

THAW has its New Zealand premiere at the Nelson Arts Festival on 24 October.


2:35  Ruth Bayley's Barefoot is inspired by real-life wartime correspondence

Ruth Bayley

Ruth Bayley Photo: supplied

Ruth Bayley

Photo: supplied

Ruth Bayley is a history graduate who's woven what she's read in second world war soldiers' diaries and telegrams into her first novel, Barefoot.

It's set between Wellington and the battlefields of North Africa.

Adelaide desperately misses her husband John who's sent to Egypt after enlisting.

She becomes obsessed with the letters he writes her, using them to turn their home into a shrine.

Excerpts from the novel were longlisted in the First Pages International Prize 2020, and then shortlisted in the NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards 2021.

Lynn Freeman talks with Ruth about the completed book.

Barefoot by R V Bayley is published by Eden Street Press.



2:46  John  Evan Harris and The Physician's gun

It reads like a western and it's based on the Maungatapu Murders of 1866, when the notorious Burgess Gang killed five men in a crime that shocked the young colony.

In his novel The Physician's Gun, John Evan Harris has woven a story around the historical events, but has created a hero in 15-year-old Henry Appleton.

Henry dreams of being a cowboy, and bringing down the Burgess Gang becomes his mission after they kidnap and shoot him, leaving him for dead.

The physician referenced in the book title is Zephaniah Smith, who comes to Nelson on personal mission to find a killer.

John - a former TV producer and founder of Greenstone TV - talks with Lynn Freeman about turning our colonial history into a page-turner. 

The Physician's Gun by John Evan Harris is published by Roiall Emerald Publishing.


3:06 Drama at 3 -  Close to you by Chad Taylor

Neal is a fire-fighter.  His younger sister, Josie , is a firebug.  When she is  injured in the house fire that has destroyed her home in a small country town, Neal travels down from Auckland to visit her in hospital and to try to make sense of what has happened.

Close to you by Chad Taylor was directed by Adam Macaulay.

Music played in this show

Artist: ZZ Top
Song: Legs
Composer: Beard-Gibbons-Hill
Album: Rancho Texicano
Label: Warner
Played at: 12.16

Artist: Phoebe Snow
Song: Big leg blues
Composer:  Hurt
Album: I can't complain
Label:  Houseofblues
Played at: 12.42

Artist: Oliver Sewell
Song: La Traviata
Composer:  Verdi
Album:  Auckland Philharmonia
Label: c/o Concert
Played at: 12.46

Artist: Dry Cleaning
Song: New long leg
Composer: Dry Cleaning
Album: New long leg
Label:  4AD
Played at: 12.58

Artist: Betty Grable
Song: Put your arms around me baby
Composer: McCree-Von Tilzer
Album: Sweethearts of the Silver Screen
Label: Musicworld
Played at:  1.07

Artist: Johnny Cash and June Carter
Song: Long legged guitar picking man
Composer: Beard-Gibbons-Hill
Album: Rancho Texicano
Label: Warner
Played at: 1.42

Artist: Rod Stewart
Song: Hot Legs
Composer: Grainger-Stewart
Album: Greatest Hits
Label: Warner
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Joe Tex
Song: Skinny legs and all
Composer: Tex
Album: 25 All Time Greatest Hits
Label: Varesarabande
Played at: 2.05

Artist: Hotlegs
Song: Neanderthal Man
Composer:  Godley-Creme-Stewart
Album:  You didn't like it because you didn't think of it
Label:  Cherryred
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Daddy Long Legs
Song: Low down ways
Album: Low down ways
Label: Yep Roc Records (?)
Played at: 3.05

Artist: Tina Turner
Song: Legs
Composer: Beard-Gibbons-Hill 
Album: The Collected Recordings
Label: Capitol
Played at:  3.57