Navigation for Standing Room Only

12:16  Boris Bogdanovic's work as a Conservation Architect

Boris Bogdanovic spent years working with local communities in conflict areas of Afghanistan and Jordan to help them save their cultural heritage.

Now back in New Zealand, Boris is a Conservation Advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga's Northern Region.  

This involves helping owners of historic buildings - from individual homes to museums - conserve and if necessary extend or update their properties legally and sympathetically.

He also works as a Conservation Architect.   Lynn Freeman first talked with Boris about his pride in his Serbo-Croatian heritage.


12:33   The letters of artist Douglas MacDiarmid

Douglas MacDiarmid is remembered as one of our great expat artists, but a new book that coincides with the 100th anniversary of his birth in Taihape reveals a man who was also a consummate letter writer and lover of language.

His niece and biographer Anna Cahill has spent years transcribing hundreds of Douglas' handwritten letters to his first great love, composer Douglas Lilburn.

Along with some poems dating from 1944 to 2001, these are contained in a book called Letters to Lilburn - Douglas MacDiarmid's conversations from the heart.

Douglas died from Covid-19 in Paris in August 2020, but Anna and others were determined that his centenary be celebrated in his homeland.

Lynn Freeman asks Anna if she hopes that Letters to Lilburn will help people to see Douglas as a man who was eloquent with both paint and pen.

Letters to Lilburn - Douglas MacDiarmid's  conversations from the heart, a limited-edition volume, is launched in Wellington on 14 November, the date of his 100th birthday.  As well as Anna's book, there will be the MacDiarmid Centenary Art Trail that's included in a new dedicated website.


12:46  The return of the Capital's historic Hannah Playhouse

When Wellington's Downstage Theatre Company closed in 2013, many feared that was the end of the road for its long-time home, the Hannah Playhouse.

After all, the 49-year-old concrete building stands on prime real estate, opposite Bats Theatre and the Embassy Cinema.

But the charitable trust that owns the Hannah has made a three-year pilot scheme with Wellington City Council to invest $200,000 a year in it.   It will be used primarily as an arts incubation space for top performers to develop their work.   There may occasionally be public performances there too.

First to benefit from the opportunity is Footnote Dance Company - rehearsals are under way for a new show to premiere later this month.

Lynn Freeman talks with Stephen Blackburn, the council's city events manager, who's known the building since childhood.  His father Ken was involved with Downstage Theatre right from the start: 

The Footnote Theatre production ChoreoCo 2022: Mea Uma opens at the Hannah Playhouse on 16 November.


1:10 At The Movies

Viola Davis in the 2022 film The Woman King

Viola Davis in the 2022 film The Woman King Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing

This week Simon Morris looks at The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, French police investigation The night of the 12th, and South Korean film noir, Decision to leave.


1:31  Bill Bradford's poetry reflects his early life as a shepherd

Bill Bradford

[gallery:7362] Photo: supplied

Bill Bradford

Photo: supplied


Former shepherd turned activist Bill Bradford reflects on his many years, first looking after flocks of sheep and later disadvantaged workers in his first poetry collection, No Rising of the Sheep

Bill lives in Wellsford these days.  

While his later years were spent as a trade union organiser and activist, he's recently found himself writing a lot about his time on the land.

Lynn Freeman talks with Bill Bradford about the rural memories that infuse so much of his poetry.

No Rising of the Sheep, poems by Bill Bradford is a Mary Egan Publishing publication.  

The collection is filled with pencil drawings by Thomas Lauterbach 



1:46   Emily Floyd's exhibition explores child's play

Australian installation artist and sculptor Emily Floyd is about to reveal to Dunedinites an exhibition about the history of childcare that she's created since coming to the city on a research visit earlier this year.

Emily, the daughter of toymakers, investigates play in the show Keeping it Complex, Keeping it Connected, and includes lots of opportunities for children and their parents to interact with many of the sculptures.  But she says there are a few fragile pieces in this show that may have to be kept up high!

Her day job is Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Program at Melbourne's Monash University.  But this year she's also the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa International Visiting Artist for 2022.

Emily Floyd tells Lynn Freeman that she uncovered some great material while carrying out research in Ōtepoti for this show.

Keeping it Complex, Keeping it Connected opens on 12 November at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.


2:06 The Laugh Track - musician Sam Scott

The Come Together band

The Come Together band Photo: Kioui Pix

Sam Scott

Sam Scott Photo: supplied

A new concert, featuring some of our top singers and musicians, is about to take on the daunting task of putting the Beatles' longest and most chaotic album on stage in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.  It's called Come Together: The Beatles' White Album.

50 years after they broke up, the Beatles have had rather a good year - the Peter Jackson Get Back documentaries, the bells-and-whistles reissue of - arguably - their best album Revolver...

What's overlooked is that the Fab Four were often very funny - individually and together.  And so, as Simon Morris found, inviting Come Together The White Album's Sam Scott onto the Laugh Track may not be such a big stretch.

Sam Scott's picks included The Beatles, of course, as well as James Acaster, The Goons, Joan and Jericha and Mitch Hedberg.


2:27  Painter Neal Palmer goes large 

Ahead of starting an artist residency at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, painter Neal Palmer is about to unveil his largest paintings yet - of kauri, flax and magnolias.

It's part of his 27th solo exhibition called Under the Surface.

Since moving to New Zealand from London more than 20 years ago, Neal has been drawing, painting and photographing native plants and trees.

At first glance, his paintings may look like simply faithful representations of our flora.  But he's asking us to dig deeper, particularly to think about our fragile ecology. 

Lybnn Freeman took Neal Palmer back to his first impressions of Aotearoa.

Neal Palmer's show Under the Surface opens at Tamaki Makarau's Föenander Galleries on Thursday 10 November.

2:36  David Whittet's novel is inspired by his life as a doctor, here and in India 

David Whittet

David Whittet Photo: supplied

David Whittet

Photo: supplied

Risking a vaccination campaign in India against government orders puts a New Zealand doctor at great risk in the 1990s.   That's the thumbnail description of a novel written by New Zealand GP David Whittet.

The Road to Madhapur may be fiction, but David tells Lynn Freeman it includes many aspects of his own time working in India, and also in rural practice here at home.

In the novel, Theo gets in trouble when he tries to take unapproved, vital medicines from New Zealand into a developing country.  Disillusioned, he heads to India to try and make a difference as a volunteer doctor.   

Which is where he meets Elisha, the daughter of missionaries who's determined to help her parents' impoverished patients.

The Road to Madhapur by David Whittet is published by CopyPress

2:47  Sculptor Louise McRae shows how animals adapt to climate change

Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is the alluring title of the latest exhibition by sculptor Louise McRae.  She's been described as an alchemist of materials for the way she manipulates everything from concrete to metals.

In he Auckland show,  brass, copper, alloy and enamel are combined and pleated with fabrics, then combined with material felts that she's painted.

Louise tells Lynn Freeman that she took her exhibition's title from a book by conservation biologist Thor Hanson Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change showed how animals and plants are currently responding and adapting to climate change. 

Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid by Louise McRae opens on 12 November at  WRW. & Co furniture showroom  in Matakana in Tamaki Makarau.


3:06 Drama at 3 -  Hat Trick 1: Her New Life and Faith in Kohurata

In our Classic Drama hour, two solo plays.

First, we remember a trilogy of one-woman plays by Fiona Samuel called Hat Trick.    While each woman's story and background are vastly different, they are united by their shared quest to find happiness amidst personal traumas.  In the first play, Her New Life, Ginette MacDonald stars as Steph who is helping with preparations for a friend's daughter's wedding.

And then, another solo show - Faith in Kohurata, written and performed by Sophie Kendrick while at Toi Whakaari back in 2012.  It's an intimate exploration of cross-cultural marriage in small town New Zealand, and its effect on succeeding generations.

Music played in this show

Artist: Cake
Song: Sheep  go to heaven
Composer: Mcrae
Album: Chartbreakers 499
Label: Chartbreakers
Played at: 12.16

Artist: The Housemartins
Song: Sheep
Composer:  Cullimore-Heaton
Album:  London 0 Hull 4
Label:  Godiscs
Played at: 12.29

Artist: Gin Wigmore
Song: Black sheep
Composer: Wigmore-Walker
Album: Gravel & Wine
Label: Island
Played at: 12.58

Artist:  Kate Bush
Song: The Ninth Wave:  And dream of sheep
Composer:  Bush
Album: Hounds of love
Label:  EMI
Played at:  1.07

Artist: Diana Krall
Song:  Count your blessings instead of sheep
Composer:  Berlin
Album: Christmas songs
Label:  Verve
Played at: 1.43

Artist:  Johnny Winter
Song: Wolf in sheep's clothing
Composer: Paris
Album: Raisin' Cain
Label: Columbia
Played at: 1.58

Artist:  Barb
Song:  Counting sheep
Composer: Barb
Album: Barb
Label: Liberation
Played at:  2.05

Artist: Steeleye Span
Song: Sheep Crook and Black Dog
Composer: Trad.
Album: Below the salt
Label: EMI
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Ricky Scaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Song: Sheep shell corn
Composer:  Trad.
Album:  Ricky Scaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Label:  Legacy
Played at: 3.05

Artist:  Wendy Carlos
Song: Sheep may safely graze
Composer: Bach
Album:  Switched on Bach II
Label:  ESD
Played at: 3.58