Nigel Wearne

There’s a charismatic bearded man up the front with his guitars resting on the communion table, and a small audience facing: leaning forward from the pews. I’m not usually one for church on a Saturday night, or ever, but I could get used to this. Jamie Macphail’s Sitting Room Sessions have developed a sort of…

Looking for Alaska vs Albi and the Wolves

19 August 2017, Common Room, Hastings Auckland folk (but not as you know it) band Albi and the Wolves have their biggest fans in Hastings, and Albi, in turn, is a massive fan of Common Room: “It goes without saying; this is the best pub in the whole damn country!” What is billed as a…

After the Accident

8-12 August 2017, Napier Little Theatre Napier Repertory Players’ alternative, versatile studio productions work well for exploring challenging themes within a shortened time space, providing opportunities for performing arts participants to increase their skill base in all elements of theatre, using minimal props, sound and lighting. Their latest offering, After the Accident (written by Julian…

Freedom and Structure: Cubism and New Zealand Art 1930 – 1960

24 June – 12 November 2017, MTG, Napier You will rarely have the chance to enjoy an exhibition of New Zealand painting that is as aesthetically delightful or culturally revealing as this one. For a historical overview it compiles relatively few artists – six in total – and yet the output of the practitioners collected…

Rave Ia E To Matou Rima

Created By Our Hands 1-13 August, Hastings Community Arts Centre This community gallery fulfils its role best when it offers a setting for community-owned showings of work. When the stories of how and why and who are as visible as the work itself. When process is as respected as product. When community can stand alongside…

Blithe Spirit

28 July 2017, Aubyn Live Theatre, Hastings As I parked up behind a healthy row of cars, a flutter of excitement came over me. I had driven past Aubyn Live Theatre hundreds of times, regularly seeing the sign change as performances came and went, but this was my first tentative step into the world of…

Properties of Peace and Evil – Brett Graham

12-29 July, Parlour Projects “Now talking is at an end” is one of the last things Pai Mārire prophet Panapa of Ngāti Hineuru wrote to Hawke’s Bay provinces superintendent Donald McLean before their opposing forces met in the Battle of Ōmarunui in October 1866. The phrase used by Panapa was the colloquial “kua mutu te…

Grawlixes

23 July 2017, Common Room Some say work and love don’t mix, that it creates a world of complexities and problems and leads to inevitable break-up. Robin Cederman and Penelope Esplin of Grawlixes have taken their experiences as an ex-couple and have crafted music that is funny, intimate and refreshingly real. This was the last…

Revolutionary Arts Ensemble: Kung Fu Jazz

20 July 2017, Common Room Adrian Thornton has crazy, good ideas, and Anton Wuts is the music wizard who makes stuff happen… so… take 1960s free jazz, a massive dose of the avant-garde saxophonist, Albert Ayler, and speed it all up, give it a punk rock spin, two drum-kits, keys, guitars, enough brass, and you…

Reb Fountain

23 July 2017, Sitting Room Sessions, Red Barrel Winery Another ‘sitting room’, another Sitting Room Session. Jamie Macphail has sent out the invitation and there’s the many familiar faces, the few new ones, who come whenever he calls, to wherever he says. This time we’re at Red Barrel, along the dark main road out from…

The Sound of Music

16 July 2017, Municipal Theatre, Waipawa There was a buzz in the air at this matinee performance: the Waipawa Musical and Dramatic Club’s production of The Sound of Music. A lot of the audience had family members in the cast, crew or orchestra, and they sported huge smiles which matched mine and attested to our…

Menagerie a Trois

20-29 July, Theatre HB Playhouse I buy free range eggs with almost religious zeal.  On the few past occasions I’ve brought cage eggs I’ve scuttled out of the supermarket burning with shame.  I regularly toy with the idea of going vegan, before I remember there’s nothing in this world quite like bacon.  I worry frequently…