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12:16  Anne-Marie Speed, voice coach to the stars

Anne-Marie Speed

Anne-Marie Speed Photo: supplied

Anne-Marie Speed

Photo: supplied

When actress Sheridan Smith played Cilla Black in a recent biopic, the critics were knocked out by how much she sounded like the Sixties singer.

It wasn't a fluke.   When it comes to teaching actors to sing like Cilla Black or Johnny Rotten, or simply helping singers to protect and enhance their voices, expat Kiwi Anne-Marie Speed is the person to call.

Anne-Marie's the director of the London based company The Voice Explained.  And for 30 years now she's worked as a singing teacher, and vocal, acting and accent coach within film, TV, theatre and music theatre.

Her CV includes TV shows like Doc Martin, Dr Zhivago and Pistol, Danny Boyle's series about the Sex Pistols.  She worked on the live-action Disney films Beauty and the Beast and Pinocchio, as well as numerous West End productions. 

Anne-Marie's about to head home to Aotearoa to take a workshop in Dunedin.  Lynn Freeman called her in London to find out how she got into vocal coaching.

Anne-Marie Speed's voice training workshop at the University of Otago starts on 28 November.


12:34  Musician Christine White's multilingual Raven Project

Christine White

Christine White Photo: Ebony Lamb Photography

Learning to speak Farsi as well as collaborating with around 50 musicians on several original tracks has taken up much of the last three years for Christine White.

She's called it The Raven Project - six songs in digital and vinyl format, accompanied by three music videos.  The first was called "Raven" and the second, "Taken"  and the final one, "Starless Skies", will be released later this week.

Christine's main collaborator in the music has been legendary composer John Psathas.   And along with the music videos, she's publishing a book of her haiku-style poetry in English and Farsi.

Lynn Freeman first asks her about her childhood musical influences...

Christine White's complete Raven Project will be available online from Thursday, while the vinyl versions and the poetry will come out in mid December.


12:48  Jesse Austin-Stewart creates music for people of all types of hearing

Jesse Austin-Stewart

Jesse Austin-Stewart Photo: supplied

Jesse Austin-Stewart

Photo: supplied

Sound artist and composer Jesse Austin-Stewart has created an album of music vibration compositions, designed to be felt rather than heard.

By holding a PlayStation Dualsense controller, the music can be experienced through the way changing patterns feel against your palms. 

Jesse is one of the 2022 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Springboard award winners, and has produced music with more than 1 million streams.

For Music for PlayStation he's worked with the hearing-impaired community to create these works which will be available on streaming sites from 25 November.   As someone with a disability, he tells Lynn Freeman that he wanted to create music that offers a shared experience for everyone.


1:10 At The Movies

This week Simon Morris reviews Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the Finnish drama Compartment Number 6 and mr Organ.


1:32  The Queen's Closet - baroque music rural drama

The contemporary story of five unlucky-in-love New Zealanders living in the fictitious rural town of Cloverton is being paired with Henry Purcell's 17th century music for a new kind of opera experience...

New, but based on a very old one.   Mixing spoken drama with operatic music was all the rage at the time of Charles II and the English Restoration, though it became known - not always flatteringly - as a "semi opera".

Wellington-based group The Queen's Closet likes to mix things up. The musicians play as authentic as possible 17th century period instruments.  But for this show, Cloverton: In Love & In Wine, they commissioned writer Dave Armstrong to come up with a modern libretto that actors will perform on stage.

Lynn Freeman spoke to the ensemble's co-founders - manager and producer, Sharon Lehany and artistic and musical director Gordon Lehany.

The Queen's Closet's Cloverton: In Love & In Wine premieres on Friday, 25 November, at Te Auaha in Te Whānganui-a-Tara/Wellington.


1:47  Matamata Dramatic Society, three quarters of a century on

For 75 years the Matamata Dramatic Society has entertained its community while also training generations of performers and crew.

Memories will flow at the upcoming celebration event and fundraiser for the Waikato-based society's significant anniversary.

Two of the members heavily involved in the big night are Greg Dunn and his daughter Helen Drysdale-Dunn, who grew up on the stage and went on to win Waikato Young Singer of Year Award 2020.

Lynn Freeman talks with Greg and Helen, and first asks what the Dramatic Society means to Matamata after all these years.

The Matamata Dramatic Society's  75th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser is on at the Pepper Street Café on 26 November.


2:06 The Laugh Track -  actor/director Paul Gittins 

Paul Gittins

Paul Gittins Photo: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

:Paul Gittins



Actor and director Paul Gittins seems to have done the round trip in his career.  He started out acting in theatre, in the heyday of the big resident companies - Mercury, Downstage, the Fortune.

He turned to TV - famously in the original core cast of Shortland Street, as lynchpin Dr McKenna.

Since then he's done a bit of everything - directing documentaries, acting in shows like Hercules, Xena and, inevitably, Power Rangers.  And now he's back in the theatre, with his own company Plumb Productions.  Plumb's new show is called Snowflake.

A long and winding road, in other words, that leads him to our door!  On the Laugh Track, Paul Gittins' picks include the original At last the 1948 show version of "The 4 Yorkshiremen", Rhod Gilbert, Kitty Flanagan and Cal Wilson.



2:27  Best-selling Christchurch crime writer Paul Cleave 

Paul Cleave

Paul Cleave Photo: MARTIN HUNTER

Paul Cleave

Photo: supplied


Christchurch writer Paul Cleave has released his latest thriller, The Pain Tourist just as filming is about to start on a TV show based on his first crime novel.

Paul worked on the script for the Lionsgate-backed show, called Dark City -The Cleaner, that's set in his home town.   Just as Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse did with Oxford, and Ian Rankin's Rebus did with Edinburgh, Paul's made  Ōtautahi/Christchurch a literary crime hub!   

Unlike many crime novelists, Paul Cleave isn't wedded to the same detective in each novel.  Though, as he tells Lynn Freeman, in The Pain Tourist we do see some familiar crime fighters.  So what is a "pain tourist"?

No word yet when Dark City - The Cleaner will screen, but Paul Cleave's novel The Pain Tourist  is out now.  It's an Upstart Press publication.



2:38   Glen Wolfgramm's huge, Tongan-inspired paintings

17 artworks spanning 25 years of paintings make up artist Glen Wolfgramm's first survey show of his intricate abstract works, all strongly reflecting his Tongan heritage.

A'eva tokotaha he Pasifiki: Solo across the Pacific is also the Tāmakai Makaurau-based artist's first solo exhibition in a public gallery. 

The "Solo" in the show's title also refers to how solitary the experience of painting is - though less so these days with children and a studio in the family home!

Glen, who's a self-taught artist, is a past finalist in the Wallace Art Awards.   His large-scale paintings have been described as dynamic, fractured and reverberating with Polynesian motifs.

Lynn Freeman began by asking Glen about the survey show, which has allowed him to be reunited with work he hasn't seen for more than two decades.

Glen Wolfgramm's  A'eva tokotaha he Pasifiki Solo across the Pacific is showing at Pātaka: Art + Museum in Porirua in Wellington.


2:46  Playwright Ben Wilson's unique Christmas gift

A "dysfunctional family epic" is how Ben Wilson's award-winning script Homemade Takeaways is described.

The comedy-drama  won the 2020 Playmarket Playwrights B4 25 competition and it's finally heading onto the stage, produced by the company Red Scare.

It's set in small-town New Zealand during Christmas with the 'chosen family' of four.   These include a primary school teacher wants to write violent children's fiction, and a recently dumped self-help expert who is self-destructing.  

Ben Wilson talks with Lynn Freeman about Homemade Takeaways and the cachet the phrase "award-winning" gives a young writer.

Homemade Takeaways premieres at Bats Theatre in Te Whanganui A Tara Wellington on Tuesday 22 November.

3:06 Drama at 3 -  A real dog by Fiona Samuel and Red Devil 1917 by Colin Beardon

We open with the final of Hat Trick - Fiona Samuel's trilogy of solo plays.    Carol Smith stars as Lynette, a new age hippie struggling to create harmony in her life in A Real Dog.   And just a note, it does contain adult references.

And then a play about a young woman trying to help her grandfather with unintended outcomes!   Red Devil 1917 by Colin Beardon features John Bach, Francesca Emms and Hayden Weal.  ….


Music played in this show

Artist: John Farnham
Song: You're the voice
Composer: Quinta-Reid-Ryder-Thompson
Album: One Voice
Label: BNG
Played at: 12.16

Artist:  Finn Brothers
Song: Disembodied voices
Composer:  Finn-Finn
Album: Tim Finn:L North South East West
Label: Capitol
Played at: 12.30

Artist: Christine White
Song: Taken
Composer: White-Psathas
Album: The Raven Project
Label: Christine White
Played at: 12.34

Artist: Julie Byrne
Song: Follow my voice
Composer:  Byrne
Album:  Not even happiness
Label:  Badabing
Played at:  12.58

Artist: Radiants
Song: Voice your choice
Composer: McAlister-Simms
Album: Mojo Chess Classics
Label: Mojo
Played at: 1.07

Artist: Gabrieli Consort
Song: Fairy Queen
Composer: Purcell
Album: Fairy Queen 
Label: Signum Classics
Played at: 1.32

Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Song:  Sound of your voice
Composer: Hearn
Album:  Barenaked Ladies are me
Label:  Desperation
Played at: 1.46

Artist:  Donna Summer
Song: Voices cryin' out
Composer: Faltermeyer-Summer
Album: All Systems Go
Label: Crimson
Played at: 1.58

Artist: Tammy Montgomery
Song: Voice of experience
Composer:  Rogers-Patton
Album: Where the girls are Vol. 2
Label:  ACE
Played at: 2.05

Artist: Til Tuesday
Song: Voices carry
Composer: Hausman-Holmes-Mann
Album: Aimee Mann: Ultimate Collection
Label: HIPO
Played at: 2.58

Artist: Paper Cranes
Song: Voices
Composer: Paper Cranes
Album: Voices
Label: Aeroplane
Played at:  3.05

Artist: Linda Ronstadt
Song: Still within the sound of my voice
Composer: Webb
Album: Cry like a rainstorm howl like the wind
Label:  Elektra
Played at: 3.58