Laura Collins and the Back Porch Blues Band

20 May 2017, The Cabana, Napier I make my way to the back of Roy Brown’s iconic venue. Laura Collins and the Back Porch Blues Band fill the small raised stage, glittering lights tinsel in drops to the floor behind and the familiar palm tree silhouettes black on concrete wall. Posters and memorabilia fill this…

Four Flat Whites in Italy

18 May 2017, Napier Municipal Theatre I am certainly old enough to remember enjoying Roger Hall’s TV series Gliding On from the 80s but I was not expecting to enjoy his play Four Flat Whites in Italy, which is pitched at the retiree section of society.  This particular production was directed by Geraldine Brophy (receptionist…

Cori Gonzalez-Macuer

19 May 2017, Common Room, Hastings Being a feminist killjoy, it can be tough to have a laugh. Once you’ve been on the receiving end of a social system that discriminates on the basis of factors outside your control, it becomes hard to poke fun at others under similar criteria. Cori Gonzalez-Macuer is a comedic…

Kathryn Stott Piano Recital

18 May 2017, MTG Century Theatre Ravel: Sonatine; Faure: Nocturne No 6 Op 63; Franck: Prelude, Choral and Fugue M. 21; Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse; Faure: Nocturne No 4, Op 36; Dutilleux: Piano Sonata. With a wholly French bill of fare, a gastronomic metaphor was difficult to resist.  Lovers of French – particularly piano – music…

Oro

11 May 2017, Hastings City Art GallerY We were treated to a musical performance by traditional taonga pūoro (Māori instrument) maker, player and teacher, Matiu Bartlett, accompanied by fellow taonga pūoro player Layton Robertson. Together they created a soundscape using traditional Māori instruments, ranging from the eerie sounds of the koauau (blown flute), the striking…

Muse Gallery

If proof were needed of the triumph of capitalism, and its unruly stepchild, consumerism, then one need look no further than the bizarrely popular phenomenon of ‘unboxing’ videos. This is a practice in which the unpackaging of a new, usually desirable consumable is filmed and uploaded to YouTube. The viewer experiences the vicarious thrill of…

Shared Plots

Until 27 May, SPA_CE, Napier This is a group show of paintings by four artists with connections to Hawke’s Bay. Works by Brad Donovan, Hayley Hewer, John Eaden and John Lancashire can be viewed until the 27th of May. You are greeted with Brad Donovan’s Suburban Night Scene. It’s dusk and Douglas fir tree silhouettes…

Dramatis Personae

Parlour Projects, a contemporary art gallery situated on Eastbourne St in Hastings, is a large-ish, well-lit, handsome exhibition space. It routinely mounts impressive work by talented local and out-of-town artists. On show at present are Billie Culy’s large photographs of retro flowers. They feel like throwbacks to the New Zealand of the ‘50s: church hall…

The Pickle King

5 May 2017, Napier Municipal Theatre “If variety is the spice of life, then call me the Pickle King!” Indian Ink certainly cast their net wide in the scope of this ambitious production. Their novel use of space and properties, as well as their method of addressing love and duty, sexuality and sensuality, culture and…

Dead Hill

28 April 2017, Napier prison The Napier Prison “trail of horror” as I had dubbed it in my calendar takes place every month in the 1860s complex that once housed Hawke’s Bay’s most wanted and most unhinged. The location itself being relatively unsettling, this night promised, in my mind, a plethora of murderous tales, the…

The Chills

28 April 2017, Cabana, Napier Expectation was high and the crowd was swelling, the Cabana’s distinct smell of sweaty dancers and dissipated dry ice putting me in mind of great nights rocking out to some loud music here. I was looking forward to the renowned Dunedin sound from years gone by that I thought I…

Gemma Ray

5 May, 2017, The Old Mill, Napier The Old Mill, Napier, is quite possibly the perfect venue for the intimacy, drama, and retro-stylings of British singer-songwriter Gemma Ray. Main Street hides this local hacienda in a narrow gully that snakes up Napier Hill. Once inside the dated lobby, you take the stairs down to the…