Arts

Saddlebacks: back in the saddle

Saddlebacks: back in the saddle

You could say it’s just a tree stump; or you could say that it’s a hal­lowed place, a spot where some­thing truly spe­cial occurred. For in this stump, on a bank in the Pol­hill Reserve on the slopes between Aro Valley’s Hol­lo­way Road and Zeal­and­ia, two saddle­back chicks hatched late last year — the first […]

Truth and Big Lies

Truth and Big Lies

If my cal­cu­la­tions are cor­rect, the New Zea­l­and Inter­na­tion­al Com­edy Fest­iv­al should be going on as you read these very words. The com­edy fest­iv­al is, like so many events on the Wel­ling­ton cul­tur­al cal­en­dar, so routinely won­der­ful and elec­tric that it is easy to take it for gran­ted. Every year for more than two weeks this […]

Back to the big screen in May

Back to the big screen in May

I sup­pose every month of cinema releases can boast being ‘some­thing for every­one’, but this month it really does appear to be jus­ti­fied. First up, on Sunday 3 May, is a single screen­ing at the Embassy of the won­der­ful and utterly influ­en­tial first Beatles fea­ture, A Hard Day’s Night, screen­ing as part of the New […]

Empty tables, closed doors, Open Looks

Empty tables, closed doors, Open Looks

  The first quarter of 2015 was a mixed bag for loc­al read­ers and book­sellers. Quilters’ Dewey-defy­ing treas­ure-tables dis­played at last their naked sur­faces, while the thrum­ming hive of eph­em­era atop Arty Bees’ Man­ners Street walk-in divulged drawn-on gems at quartered prices. Hope­fully you made best friends with a dog-eared tome or two. Among the […]

The return of the Roots

The return of the Roots

Trin­ity Roots Cit­izen (Self-released) When beloved Wel­ling­ton group Trin­ity Roots ral­lied them­selves for a series of reunion con­certs in 2010, it became clear that the pub­lic weren’t that keen to let them drift away into the fog again. Five years and sev­er­al small line-up changes later, they unveil their third prop­er album. Driv­en by the core team […]

Come on Doll Face

Come on Doll Face

Col­lage seems a use­ful meta­phor for con­tem­por­ary life in the digit­al age. A col­lage dis­rupts accep­ted mean­ings by tak­ing found images clipped from their ori­gin­al con­text, then mix­ing them up and rearran­ging them. It’s hap­pen­ing around us con­stantly across all media. Cur­at­or Sian van Dyk provides a small sur­vey of the prac­tice in Cut + Paste, […]

Fanfare for the Commons man

Fanfare for the Commons man

Jeremy Com­mons used to put on draw­ing-room oper­as. He doesn’t now, but for 14 years he ensured that these intim­ate dra­mas were reg­u­larly re-enacted, for a small audi­ence of the dis­cern­ing, at the James Cook Hotel and the Welles­ley Club. Rehears­als took place in his house on Hawker Street, in the shad­ow of St Gerard’s monastery. […]

The more things change

The more things change

Ever since I took over this column in early 2012, I feel like everything I have writ­ten has come with the sub­text of com­ing change. Much as we love it, Wellington’s theatre scene has been on shaky ground, mired in shift­ing sands for quite a while now. There always seemed to be a shad­ow just […]

To end all wars

To end all wars

Vera Brittain’s mem­oir Test­a­ment of Youth is a heart-rend­ing les­son about the First World War and its effects. As you read, gobsmacked by the forces that swoop in and pluck off everything and every­one Brit­tain loved, her out­rage — at injustice and pre­vent­able death — informs every step of her story. Aged 21 in 1914, […]

Other countries, other stories

Other countries, other stories

The past, we’re often reminded, is anoth­er coun­try. It’s still inac­cess­ible to even the world­li­est of 21st-cen­tury trav­el­lers; good luck work­ing out the status of forces agree­ment neces­sary to tra­verse that hos­tile ter­rain. You’ll make bet­ter head­way from your sofa. Fran­cis Fukuyama pro­claimed the “End of His­tory” back when CDs were new and the Gulf […]

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