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Friday, December 02, 2022

How very dare they - Womad sign's missing 'M' given a 'deliberately shoddy' replacement


Following the theft of the letter 'M' from New Plymouth’s Womad sign, the Taranaki Arts Trust (TAFT) have erected a deliberately 'shoddy' replacement.

The M, which was stolen taken earlier this month, was one of five colourful letters making up the name Womad, the World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival, which returns to the city’s Brooklands Park from March 17-19 next year.

TAFT), the organisers of Womad, removed the remaining four letters after the theft, but then replaced them with a new 'M' created from pieces of 4x2 donated by a local builder.

“It’s a way of drawing attention to the fact that the M is still missing while also still being able to have the letters up,” TAFT chief executive Suzanne Porter told

“It would be a real shame to not have the letters up around Taranaki in the lead up to Womad - it’s one of the local signs that summer is coming, and Womad is on the horizon.”

She said TAFT did not want to keep the letters in storage but also did not want to waste time and effort running around trying to find them. They would much rather have the missing M back.

Ms Porter appealed to anyone who knew the whereabouts of the missing letter to contact police or get in touch with TAFT, either at their Brougham Street office, or by calling 06 759 8412.

Friday, November 11, 2022


L.A.B - Topic Photography (via Facebook)

Repeating their 2021 haul L.A.B has secured their spot in award history, taking out the same four Tūī for the second year running.

Their success story continues with the group taking home Recorded Music NZ Te Pukaemi o te Tau | Album of The Year for their fifth album L.A.B. V, Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau | Single of the Year for ‘Mr Reggae’, Te Roopu Toa | Best Group and Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Roots Artist.

Tami Neilson - Topic Photography (via Facebook) 

Country singer-songwriter Tami Neilson has won three Tūī: her 6th Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Artist, as well as Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa | Best Solo Artist, and Massey University Te Kaiwhakaputa Toa | Best Producer for her album Kingmaker. Tami’s Best Producer nod makes her the first solo female to win the award since Bic Runga in 2006.

Fresh from their APRA Silver Scroll win, Rob Ruha has been recognised as 2022’s Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa | Best Soul/RnB Artist for his album Preservation of Scenery and under his mentorship, Te Tairāwhiti tira waiata Ka Hao received Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa | Best Māori Artist and the Te Māngai Pāho Mana Reo Tūī for Ka Hao: One Tira, One Voice and ’35’ (ft. Rob Ruha) respectively.

Rob Ruha and Te Tairāwhiti tira waiata Ka Hao - Topic Photography (Via Facebook)

Tauranga-based artist and first-time nominee Georgia Lines has scooped the Tūī for Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau | Breakthrough Artist of the Year for her sophomore EP Human, while pop juggernaut BENEE takes home the 2022 Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa | Best Pop Artist for the fourth year running.

The other winners this year include Waipu-based metal band Alien Weaponry for Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa | Best Rock Artist, Vera Ellen for Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa | Best Alternative Artist for the critically acclaimed It’s Your Birthday, first time nominee LEAPING TIGER for Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist, and Robert Ashworth & Sarah Watkins for Te Kaipuoro Inamata Toa | Best Classical Artist for their album Moonstone – a collection of works by New Zealand composers.

Two-time 2022 Pacific Music Award winners Diggy Dupé, choicevaughan and P. Smith also took home the Tūī for Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa | Best Hip Hop Artist for The Panthers OST.

Vera Ellen - Topic Photography (Via Facebook)

Another year, another awards season for Six60 who continue to show us why they’re history makers, taking out Te Toa Hoko Teitei | Highest Selling Artist for the fourth year running, and Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau | Radio Airplay Record of the Year for the sixth time for their single ‘Someone To Be Around’.

There will be one surprise award announced tonight – the Tūī for Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga | People’s Choice will be tallied up and presented to the recipient this evening and on social media.

Announcing the Artisan Awards winners

Alongside the main awards finalists, the behind-the-scenes heroes of the hapori puoro were also announced and celebrated today.

While Tami Neilson received Best Producer, the Tūī for Te Kaipukaha Toa | Best Engineer went to Simon Gooding for his contributions to Tami’s album Kingmaker.

L.A based Chelsea Jade Metcalf was awarded Te Toi Ataata Pukaemi Toa | Best Album Artwork for her album Soft Spot while Joel Kefali and Ella Yelich-O’Connor (Lorde) were recognised with the NZ On Air Te Kiko Puoro Ataata Toa | Best Music Video Content for Lorde’s music video ‘Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)’, the video which features three different versions of Lorde — literally and figuratively.

Recorded Music New Zealand Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen says this year’s awards are a testament to the passion and commitment displayed by the local music scene.

“Being able to see such deserving artists receive recognition for their art is an honour – such a broad range of recorded work with originality and artistry, showing the depth and breadth of talent in Aotearoa,” says Owen.

“With many of our 2022 award winners being first-time nominees, we hope it also encourages our aspiring and emerging ringapuoro across the motu to press ahead with their own musical journeys.”

With thanks to NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho for their continued support.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Bird of the Year Winner is - Pīwauwau Rock wren

Can you name a bird that loves our mountains so much that it never retires below the bush-line? Look no further than New Zealand’s true alpine bird species! Weighing less than an AA battery and laying eggs the size of 10c coins, these tiny rock bobbers defy all laws of survival and demonstrate true mountain bravery.

The pīwauwau/ rock wren is the winner of the Bird of the Year contest for 2022.

The winner of the country's most popular competition was announced on Morning Report today.

By yesterday three frontrunners had emerged, the pīwauwau / rock wren, the kea, and kororā / the little blue penguin.

The diminutive alpine dweller narrowly defeated the little blue penguin to take the top spot, with nearly 3000 voters putting it in the top spot.

Pīwauwau campaign leader Stephen Day said the bird had definitely flown under the radar up until now.

"Unless you'd spent some time in the mountains, you'd probably never heard
of a rock wren until two weeks ago. It's a true underbird."

The two-time champion kākāpō was barred from the ballot, as the organisers, Forest and Bird, decided to focus on the underbirds.

Last year's competition proved controversial, with a win by the long-tailed bat.

Kororā PremiereKororā / the little blue penguin is the runnerup this year

For more information - go to

Thursday, October 20, 2022

WOMAD NZ 2023 - Artists announced!

WOMAD NZ announces 22 more incredible and diverse international & local talent for the 20th anniversary of the festival. 
Including Sampa The Great, Deva Mahal, Fly My Pretties, Mdou Moctar, Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar, and many more. 

WOMAD NZ 2023, March 17-19 Celebrating 20 years, 17 Festivals And Over 1500 Performers 

From; Afghanistan to Zambia, psychedelic rock to incredible vocalists, classical to hip hop, Grammy award-winning to up-and-coming, traditional to contemporary, memoirs to mathematics. 

Today, WOMAD NZ 2023 has announced 20 new music and dance acts and two World Of Words and OMV STEAM Lab speakers as part of the 2023 festival this March. The festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the award-winning Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in New Plymouth. 

Set to celebrate, inspire and entertain, the 22 new artists performing WOMAD 2023 in alphabetical order are: Acapollinations (Aotearoa) * Bab L’ Bluz (Morocco/France) * Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (USA) * Cimafunk (Cuba) * Constantinople (Canada) * Deva Mahal (Aotearoa) * Fly My Pretties (Aotearoa) * Professor Hinke Osinga (Aotearoa) * Justin Adams & Mauro Durante (UK/Italy) * Kefaya and Elaha Soroor (Afghanistan/UK) * Kita (Aotearoa) * Lil O'Brien (Aotearoa) * MazbouQ (Aotearoa) * Mdou Moctar (Niger) * Mudra Dance Company (Aotearoa) * Pandit Ronu Majumdar & Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh (India) * Rizwan Muazzam Qawwals (Pakistan) * Rubi Du ( Aotearoa) * Sampa The Great (Zambia) * The Garifuna Collective (Belize) * The Langan Band (Scotland) * Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar (Senegal) 

These 22 new musicians, dancers and speakers join the already announced brilliant multi-award-winning Korean folk-pop group ADG7, Aotearoa's genre-pushing jazz, hip hop project Avantdale Bowling Club, and modern Occitan troubadours San Salvador from France. Plus, World Of Words speaker Dick Frizzell and OMV STEAM Lab meteorologist Lisa Murray, both from Aotearoa. 

More artists and festival announcements are expected in the coming months. The World of Music, Arts and Dance festival boasts eight stages, each featuring an eclectic and cross-cultural line-up with talented musicians, artists, and inspiring speakers for three days and nights of extraordinary music and culture like nothing else in Aotearoa. Situated in a natural amphitheatre over a lake, the iconic Bowl stage is a venue with the wow factor. While the Dell Stage is an intimate affair surrounded by gentle native bush. 

Both The Gables and the Brooklands stages are known for their high energy and late-night sets. The Kunming Garden hosts the World Of Word stage, which celebrates diverse and exciting voices designed to inspire people to think, talk, laugh, listen and learn and the OMV STEAM Lab is a place of wonder where Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics unite, with inventors, innovators and people at the top of their fields pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. 

Unique to Aotearoa, Te Paepae proudly hosts Māori Culture workshops and activities, and music, food, and conversation are at the heart of Taste the World. Loved by all ages, WOMAD NZ 2023 is a worldly fix without leaving the country—the ultimate culmination of sounds, scenery and good vibes. 

Chief Operating Officer for WOMAD UK, Mike Large, states, "WOMAD, first and foremost, is a great festival to enjoy and discover music, arts and dance. But it was born with a purpose and created in response to difficult times. There was apartheid aboard, race riots and terrorism at home in the UK. Our founder Peter Gabrel believed that by bringing great artists together in a family-friendly environment, the audience would forget their fears and prejudices and open their hearts to the music instead... WOMAD and what it stands for feels more important now than ever." 

Tickets to the three-day camping festival are on sale now from .

This year, WOMAD has teamed up with PayPlan making it easy for festival-goers to book tickets now, pay in regular, easy payments, and be dancing under the mighty Taranaki Mounga in March 2023. 

Camping and glamping options are available.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

2022 Silver Scroll Awards announced

Photo - Supplied

This year's top Kiwi songs for were announced last night at a special ceremony at Spark Arena. About 500 people attended, with many more watching it online. This was the first full-scale event to take place in over 3 years, due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Each year a different musical director takes care of the performances - this year being Rob Ruha and Cilla Ruha.

The APRA Silver Scroll Awards, which celebrates Aotearoa's songwriters and composers, is an annual event.  Members of APRA AMCOS, which takes care of musical royalties, were able to vote in the awards. 

This year's winner was the song '35' by Rob Ruha and an East Coast youth choir.  he song is named after a State Highway that loops around Te Tairāwhiti, the East Coast.

Members of APRA AMCOS, which takes care of musical royalties, were able to vote in the awards.

The released version was performed by Tairāwhiti youth choir Ka Hao with Rob Ruha, and was written by Rob Ruha, Kaea Hills, Te Amorutu Broughton, Ainsley Tai, Dan Martin, Whenua Patuwai.

"The feel-good local anthem gained international recognition late last year after going viral on TikTok, proudly putting Māoritanga and the East Coast on the map," the APRA statement said.

"The coming together of Rob Ruha and Ka Hao is seamless, as a project to promote and revitalise te reo Māori, the group's name refers to the proverb ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi (as the old fishing net is worn, a new one is made), referring to youth growing up and entering adulthood."

The song was performed at last night's performance by Stan Walker and Hamo Dell.

Maioha Award for a te reo Māori waiata

Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean Zeta and Chris Wethey took out the Maioha Award for an exceptional waiata in te reo, for their song 'Te Iho'.

"'Te Iho' praises the essence of powerful wāhine Māori, using poetic language to express the importance of women. [It] is a potent waiata about whakapapa and the DNA passed down from atua wāhine," APRA said.

SOUNZ Award winner inspired in Paris

Reuben Jelleyman won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his orchestral work called 'Catalogue'.  He has been nominated for the award twice previously.

The composition is described as: "a chaotic collision of Jelleyman's musical exploration", created whilst Jelleyman was studying at the Conservatoire national Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris (and  written for the performance ensemble Multilatérale).

Compositions for film and television

The award for original music used in a film was scooped up by Dana Lund and Horomona Horo for their score for Whina, a story about the legacy left by Dame Whina Cooper.

And the award for music used in a TV series was won by Jonathan Crayford, Joel Tashkoff, Troy Kingi and Stephen Atutolu for the soundtrack to TV Mini series 'The Panthers', about the history of the Polynesian Panthers and the Dawn Raids.

Here is the full list of finalists:

2022 APRA Silver Scroll award finalists

WINNER: '35' written by Rob Ruha, Kaea Hills, Te Amorutu Broughton, Ainsley Tai, Dan Martin, Whenua Patuwai, performed by Ka Hao and Rob Ruha

'Beyond the Stars' written by Tami Neilson and Delaney Davidson performed by Tami Neilson and Willie Nelson (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

'Girl At Night' written by Natalie Hutton, Minnie Robberds, Joel Becker, Angus Murray, performed by There's A Tuesday (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

'He Ōrite' written by Troy Kingi*, Iraia Whakamoe, Ryan Prebble, James Coyle, performed by Troy Kingi and The Nudge (*LOOP Publishing Limited/Kobalt Music Publishing)

'My Boy' written and performed by Marlon Williams (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

APRA Maioha Award finalists, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori

WINNER: 'Te Iho' written by Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean Zeta, Chris Wethey, performed by AJA & Byllie-Jean

'E Hine Ē' written by Em-Haley Walker, performed by TE KAAHU

'Rangatira/Owner' written and performed by Ria Hall translated by Teraania Ormsby (published by LOOP Publishing Limited/Kobalt Music Publishing)

SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalists, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition

WINNER: 'Catalogue' by Reuben Jelleyman

'more full of flames' and voices by Neville Hall

'Manaaki' by Phil Brownlee, Liane Taikao (Ariana Tikao)

APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award finalists

WINNER: Dana Lund and Horomona Horo for Whina

Karl Steven for The Justice of Bunny King

Conrad Wedde, Samuel Scott, Luke Buda (Moniker) for Night Raiders

APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award finalists

WINNER: Jonathan Crayford, Joel Tashkoff, Troy Kingi, Stephen Atutolu for The Panthers

Conrad Wedde, Samuel Scott, Luke Buda (Moniker) for Wellington Paranormal

Claire Cowan for One Lane Bridge

2022 NZ Music Hall of Fame Inductees: Te Kumeroa "Ngoingoi" Pēwhairangi QSM, Tuini Moetū Haangū Ngāwai

For the full story, go to the APRA Website

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Tahi Festival: The Shit Kid - Sarah Harpur (Bats Theatre 16 & 17 September)

There’s a ‘shit kid’ in every family. In Sharni’s case it’s her. Her twin, Nige got to be a champion rower. He wins big at the Olympics and gets recognized everywhere he goes.
She ain't.

Sharni, once married, once divorced, parent of one (oh yeah, two) kids, is not interested in sibling rivalry. Well, ok just a little. She’s on a mission to get back her horse from the rich horse breeder neighbors next door. She trades in black market pony poo and teaches posh kids to ride. She has a plan to get her nag back. 

The only thing standing in her way is her baby, a lack of intergenerational wealth, her temper, and an actual plan. 

After a five-year hiatus from the comedy scene, award-winning writer and funny woman Sarah Harpur (101 Dates (2010), 7 Days (2009) and Everybody Else Is Taken (2017), returns with her hilarious one-person play. She’s built it all on sibling rivalry, Olympic ambition, some very dodgy Mark Todd fever-dreams and a very sexy horse. 

Some people dream of success, winning, taking it all. Sharni is all about being the best at being mediocre. 

To pull it off Harpur has summoned all the ghosts and energies of Lynn of Tawa, the Topp Twins and Sharon from the takeaways down the High Street to bring you the most Sheila-ish character she can muster. 

The laughs come thick and fast. Her anecdotes and punch lines a re course and crass at times. Farm humour, perhaps. Subtly and wit is not called for here. 

The story goes from the sublime to the ridiculous as she reveals clanker after clanker. Such as everyone calling her a bad mum for taking her daughter, Mitzy Evo, to the pub at 1.00AM. Or Mistaking horse semen for ice-cream. Or accidently, on purpose getting a Kaimanawa Wild Mare pregnant to a thoroughbred in a midnight rendezvous. 

Harpur’s execution is part actor/part standup comedian and it totally works. It’s a totally hilarious 55 minutes of quality comedy. 

This is a complex, layered and ridiculous performance. Shortlisted for the 2022 Adam NZ Play Award this is pure fun. Harpur is also responsible for Dead Dads Club, which has also had rave reviews. 

Behind the comedy is a serious message. She told the press that the initial inspiration for Play was the world of equestrian and the lack of access to anyone without a trust fund.

“During the kōrero following the Tokyo Olympics,” she told the NZHerald, “I started to wonder if the Olympic dream is a flawed concept." 

Because of the pressure American gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the Games.  Then there was the untimely death of Kiwi cyclist Olivia Podmore due to other pressures.  And so many more athletes were sharing their experiences of the destructive power of the Olympic Dream. 

Harpur started to question why the dream was important and the toll that achieving it had on the mental health of competitors. She wondered about the short time the athletes get to be at the top before their body gives out or their mind cracks. 

So, writing it, her story became more about the character's motivation for trying to get into the Olympic world and discovering, through Nige’s experience that maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be. 

Extra credit goes to award-winning and multi-talented Carrie Green (Ngāti Porou), for some clever stage direction, especially the incorporation of a toy hobby horse into a steeple chase race against a Kawasaki farm bike. 

This was laugh out loud, high energy, and thought provoking. I loved this show. If it comes back, make sure you go. You are in for a treat.

Tahi Festival, at Bats Theatre and Circa Theatre is a celebration of solo artists, a 10 day Festival dedicated to showcasing the finest and most engaging solo performance from around the motu.  Check Out the Tahi Festival 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Tahi Festival: Gag Reflex - A Scanderlous Solo Show (Bats Theatre 16 & 17 September )

Internationally renowned festival performer Rachel Atlas most definitely has a complicated relationship with danger and the extreme. Some may know her from her act with former husband, Charlie called Til Death Do Us Part'.

This show, 'Gag Reflex' debuted back in March and was a huge hit. It won the Fringe Festival. Once you’ve seen it you'll understand why. 

Beginning in darkness, standing atop a rostrum veiled and crowned like a chaste queen from Henry IIIV’s court, she soon strips down to a corset and knickers and reveals her true side. Not innocent in the least. Her exotic, sexy, thrilling tale is her real-life journey from teenage stripper to high class kinky Madam to Vaudeville Circus performer to legalised sex worker, university student and contented bride to be. 

Along the way she’ll tell us about body shaming in her pubescent days, violent controlling boyfriends and a toxic marriage. 

She’ll also add in a few cringe-worthy, gasp-out-loud ‘excretiating’ anecdotes about her time working as a ‘poop specialist’ in the sex industry in New York and a coined operated stripper in London. 

Along the way she thrills us with her sword swallowing (not a singular but a ‘triple penetration’) and knife throwing - with Ms Atlas, herself as the target! 

She’s assisted by a mysterious hand that produces props and costumes from underneath the stage and a 7th foot Death Metal rocker in a gimp mask. The latter throws knives at Atlas with such brutish abandon, I genuinely feared for her life. 

She tells us that she's the only female sword swallower in the motu.  I believe that!  It's incredibly dangerous.  And she does so confidently, like it's nothing more than knitting a scarf.   

Her act pivots from narrator/actor to circus performer.  Throughout the show the capacity audience whooped and cheered her on - in all the sad, outrageous, funny and downright hair raising moments. The woman next to me was so taken, gasping in anticipation every time she saw a dangerous moment or dark swerve in the narrative approaching. I was afraid she’d either wet herself or faint overwhelmed! 

The music and sound were clever. It fitted perfectly with the story and created an instant mind picture of the exact time and date she was talking about – London in the 90’s, the rave culture she indulged in.  Or the bird life of Banks Peninsular which became so prominent during her escape from the Big Apple to a COVID isolation sanctuary in Canterbury. Here and there the cues failed and this was a bit distracting but that’s minor in context of the whole package. 

Credit should also go to costume designer Go Go Amy for the ‘Elizabethan’ shawl, stunning gold crown and velvet dress, a wedding dress, with veil, and especially the raunchy (yet only just modest) corset and underwear. 

Sabrina Martin directed Atlas perfectly, keeping the action close to her audience and ‘real’, as she smashed the fourth wall to talk directly and even engage occasionally with audience member to hold focus. It was like she was speaking right to you and that greatly increased the intensity and honesty of the piece. 

Bekky Boyce quietly and effectively controlled the lighting and projections. One especially effective moment was a text message that came up on the veiled back drop. One tiny criticism was the length of the text, which was just too much to read in the time allowed before the action moved on. But that matters little, overall. 

It was clear that this story runs a parallel between Atlas’ own life, the weight of shame that comes with her chosen occupation and stigma attached.  Her mission was to overcome and detroy that stigma.  And she succeeded. 

She completes with a simple statement: never be ashamed of what you do for a living and your body is nobody’s business but your own. Never let anybody control you or your body or determine how you use it. Atlas reveals at the end that she remains a sex worker. She does it on her terms, and I believe it. 

What a way to begin.  This is her debut show but it was done as if it was but one of many.  Atlas is well rehearsed and a natural on the stage.  She may have been nervous but she won the audience over, and quite rightly. 

I celebrate her honesty, flare, skills and sheer guts. We need more people like this on our stages and in our lives! If you get the chance, make sure you see this production. 

It’s excellent on all levels!

Tahi Festival, at Bats Theatre and Circa Theatre is a celebration of solo artists, a 10 day Festival dedicated to showcasing the finest and most engaging solo performance from around the motu.  Check Out the Tahi Festival 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Tahi Festival - Agent Provocateurs by Jo Marsh (Bats Theatre 14 & 15 September)

Tahi Festival, at Bats Theatre and Circa Theatre is a celebration of solo artists, a 10 day Festival dedicated to showcasing the finest and most engaging solo performance from around the motu.  

Tonight we were treated to a bit of historical cabaret with a twist.  Australian born, now Wellington based burlesque performer Jo Marsh aka Jo Jo Bellini can be seen on red light stages around town but tonight she was a secret agent in waiting. 

She told us that, like some of her idols in this show, she too had wanted, from an early age to be a spy.  She wanted the romance, the sex, the adventure.  She wasn't too keen on the executions part though. 

Her show mixes wit and wisdom, song a salacious, saucy snippets of history as she profiles 5 amazing female spies and one transgender provocateur.

Cheeky and full of attitude she struts about her simple stage of archive boxes and manila folders whipping out facts on the lives of WWI agent Mata Hari (did you know she was a wife and mother as well as an exotic dancer?), Yoshiko Kawashima (who defied the onset of Mao's Cultural Revolution in the Sino Japanese War), Ace Spy Nancy Wake (better known as the White Mouse, and a Kiwi to boot), Mary Bowser (who's photographic memory helped the Union to win the American Civil War), the outrageous Madamoiselle Chavallier D'Eon de Beaumont (who was really a man, but became a woman) and the WW2 spy Noor Inyat Khan (a woman of colour who spied for the English, right under the noses of the Gestapo).  

Marsh liberally flaunts her favourite playlist ditties - Kim Carnes' Betty Davis Eyes, Blondie's One Way Or Another, a bond theme - Nobody Does It Better - and more, rearranging the lyrics to suit her characters, of whom she inhibits during each number.

My favourite scene was when Jo is talking about Nancy Wake (who was a Wellingtonian - did you know that?) and she reaches into her file box and pulls out a cat puppet with a swastika armband and a mouse puppet who will sneak off with the cheese (a metaphor for stealing war secrets) all performed while doing her best Debbie Harry impression.  

There are other magic moments along the way, too.  Her brash impression of Kawashima 'kicking against the pricks' as a punk rebel hero was also memorable.

If anything Marsh was a little bit let down by her own small falters.  A line missed here, a spill there.  But nothing major.  

Director and former flatmate Sameena Zehra keeps the action simple and effective, relies on the usual flourishes of cabaret, costume play and dance moves but also acknowledges Marsh's own personality and body movement.  She doesn't get her to do anything that looks too posed or unnatural.  This is Jo Marsh onstage, after all. I loved the show, the concept and the very idea of bringing history to life, especially HERSTORY like this is a very worthy thing.  Can't wait to see what comes next from Jo Marsh et al!    

Read more about Jo Marsh at  Blog On The Tracks  

Book and see Agent Provocateurs

Book a Tahi show here:

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Others Way is back!

As the old saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again. So after countless setbacks and last minute lockdowns... the giant is once again awakening from its slumber.

That's right, The Others Way Festival is back!

Save the date! Saturday October 22, when thirty of some of the finest live acts we know are set to play multiple local venues across Karangahape Road!

The full line-up will be unveiled in the weeks to come, but you know you there's going to be a batch of local gems, legends, luminaries and next-big-things! We think you'll be pretty dang happy!

Plus it's all happening on the Saturday of a long weekend, so you've got two whole days to recover. Let's party like it's 2020, 2021, and 2022!

Friday, August 26, 2022

WOMAD is Back: 20 Year anniversary - announcing the line up on 20 October

WOMAD 2023 will be announcing their line up on 20 October - Official Programme launch, plus we've got some teaser Music Announcements, STEAM, World of Words, Book Club, and so much more!

Get ready to celebrate #20years with us at WOMAD NZ 2023

As part of the World of Words programme, the WOMAD Poetry Slam 2023 showcases performance poets, putting them in the spotlight on the World of Words Stage, Kunming Garden.

A much-loved part of the festival programme, the Poetry Slam competition is all about poetry as a performance, a celebration of beats, verse, quips and rhythms that take poems from the page to the stage.

To celebrate National Poetry Day, organisers are opening up Poetry Slam Applications for 2023 with a message from the delightful Penny Ashton to all WOMAD’s wordsmiths.

The Slam Schedule 

Saturday, March 18 - 4 pm, Kunming Garden

The contestants, festival-goers, will deliver their original spoken words in the hope of being crowned the WOMAD Slam Champ. WOMAD audience response plays an essential role in the judges’ scoring - so get along and cheer on this poetic fiesta.

Sunday, March 19 - 4 pm, Kunming Garden

The WOMAD Slam Champ will perform their winning piece, followed by a slam session from our world-renowned judges and seasoned slammers.

Prepare to be surprised, entertained and provoked by their lyrical genius moments, passionate prose and rhythmic rhymes.

The 2023 Poetry Slam Champ will take home a double VIP WOMAD 3-DAY PASS for 2024!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Kiwi singer Margaret Urlich, 57, dies after living with cancer for over two years

“She had a level of sophistication that marked her out,” he said. “Marg was super stylish, she oozed confidence but underneath, she was a female who had to overcome her shyness to try to make it in a male-dominated industry. And she did.” - Peter Urlich

Aria award-winning singer  Margaret Urlich and one of Aotearoa's most successful musicians, has died aged 57.  

Born in Auckland, Urlich died on Monday of cancer at her home in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands.

Urlich’s condition was known to her friends and colleagues, but kept private from the public ey at her whanau's request.

She came to our attention in 1985, fronting the new wave outfit Peking Man, before gaining even more fame as a member of the all-female pop group When The Cat’s Away. 

'Melting Pot' went to No 1 on the New Zealand charts and sealed their fame as a go to live act. They were was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in December 2021.

“Margaret was a true and rare talent,” Dianne Swann (When The Cat’s Away) told “She lit up any room, and if you were on stage with her you had to lift your game. She was a uniquely gifted person, and I will always miss her.”

Urlich moved to Australia in 1988, to pursue her solo career.  Her debut solo 'Escaping' made her the first female solo artist to top the NZ charts, and her debut 'Safety in Numbers' netted her an Aria award in 1991 - Best breakthrough artist.

That same year, her vocals were featured on Daryl Braithwaite’s megahit 'The Horses' (12 weeks in the Australian top 10).