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Issue , 2014

The Women’s Issue

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News

  • Un-Arrested Development

  • He Kōrero Whakamihi

  • Eye on Exec

  • Un-Arrested Development

  • He Kōrero Whakamihi

  • Eye on Exec

  • Features

  • appsmear

    What Feminism Means To Me

    We asked our contributors what feminism meant for them.

    by

  • Ladies in the House

    Interviews with Female MPs

    by

  • Interviews with MPs on Womens Issues

    It’s election year, so Salient asked New Zealand political parties for their stances on important women’s issues.

    by

  • Bob Dylan: part-man, part-myth, all music. Still rocking at 73.

    I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    – SPONSORED – Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth. THE MAN I try my best/ To […]

    by

  • Full Kill Murray Interview

    Up-and-coming female rap artist from the backstreets of Newtown Kill Murray AKA Katie Meadows AKA 420 princess released her first music video ‘Smoke Blowbacks’ earlier this year and the video went viral.

    by

  • Feminism and Gender

    Now, in a ‘typical’ Trans 101, this would be where I say that gender identity is a spectrum, with men and women on opposite ends. Actually, it’s more complicated than that: gender identity is a huge complicated three-dimensional thing.

    by

  • I Am a Feminist and a Writer But I Don’t Want to Be a Feminist Writer

    I have just spent three wonderful months studying fiction and poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop summer graduate program in ‘The City of Iowa City, Iowa’. It has been a fantastic experience, but it has also been a major shock to the system that has forced me to re-evaluate what it means to me to be a feminist

    by

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • appsmear

    What Feminism Means To Me

    We asked our contributors what feminism meant for them.

    by

  • Ladies in the House

    Interviews with Female MPs

    by

  • Interviews with MPs on Womens Issues

    It’s election year, so Salient asked New Zealand political parties for their stances on important women’s issues.

    by

  • Bob Dylan: part-man, part-myth, all music. Still rocking at 73.

    I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    – SPONSORED – Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth. THE MAN I try my best/ To […]

    by

  • Full Kill Murray Interview

    Up-and-coming female rap artist from the backstreets of Newtown Kill Murray AKA Katie Meadows AKA 420 princess released her first music video ‘Smoke Blowbacks’ earlier this year and the video went viral.

    by

  • Feminism and Gender

    Now, in a ‘typical’ Trans 101, this would be where I say that gender identity is a spectrum, with men and women on opposite ends. Actually, it’s more complicated than that: gender identity is a huge complicated three-dimensional thing.

    by

  • I Am a Feminist and a Writer But I Don’t Want to Be a Feminist Writer

    I have just spent three wonderful months studying fiction and poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop summer graduate program in ‘The City of Iowa City, Iowa’. It has been a fantastic experience, but it has also been a major shock to the system that has forced me to re-evaluate what it means to me to be a feminist

    by

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • appsmear

    What Feminism Means To Me

    We asked our contributors what feminism meant for them.

    by

  • Ladies in the House

    Interviews with Female MPs

    by

  • Interviews with MPs on Womens Issues

    It’s election year, so Salient asked New Zealand political parties for their stances on important women’s issues.

    by

  • Bob Dylan: part-man, part-myth, all music. Still rocking at 73.

    I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    – SPONSORED – Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth. THE MAN I try my best/ To […]

    by

  • Full Kill Murray Interview

    Up-and-coming female rap artist from the backstreets of Newtown Kill Murray AKA Katie Meadows AKA 420 princess released her first music video ‘Smoke Blowbacks’ earlier this year and the video went viral.

    by

  • Feminism and Gender

    Now, in a ‘typical’ Trans 101, this would be where I say that gender identity is a spectrum, with men and women on opposite ends. Actually, it’s more complicated than that: gender identity is a huge complicated three-dimensional thing.

    by

  • I Am a Feminist and a Writer But I Don’t Want to Be a Feminist Writer

    I have just spent three wonderful months studying fiction and poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop summer graduate program in ‘The City of Iowa City, Iowa’. It has been a fantastic experience, but it has also been a major shock to the system that has forced me to re-evaluate what it means to me to be a feminist

    by

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • appsmear

    What Feminism Means To Me

    We asked our contributors what feminism meant for them.

    by

  • Ladies in the House

    Interviews with Female MPs

    by

  • Interviews with MPs on Womens Issues

    It’s election year, so Salient asked New Zealand political parties for their stances on important women’s issues.

    by

  • Bob Dylan: part-man, part-myth, all music. Still rocking at 73.

    I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    – SPONSORED – Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth. THE MAN I try my best/ To […]

    by

  • Full Kill Murray Interview

    Up-and-coming female rap artist from the backstreets of Newtown Kill Murray AKA Katie Meadows AKA 420 princess released her first music video ‘Smoke Blowbacks’ earlier this year and the video went viral.

    by

  • Feminism and Gender

    Now, in a ‘typical’ Trans 101, this would be where I say that gender identity is a spectrum, with men and women on opposite ends. Actually, it’s more complicated than that: gender identity is a huge complicated three-dimensional thing.

    by

  • I Am a Feminist and a Writer But I Don’t Want to Be a Feminist Writer

    I have just spent three wonderful months studying fiction and poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop summer graduate program in ‘The City of Iowa City, Iowa’. It has been a fantastic experience, but it has also been a major shock to the system that has forced me to re-evaluate what it means to me to be a feminist

    by

  • manawahine

    Mana Wahine

    I would encourage non-Māori women to support Māori women, and stand by their side, but never lead them in their own discussions – discussions, Annette and Maryan, which have been going on far longer than your lifetimes, and will continue hereafter.

    by

  • Opinion

  • History That Hasn’t Happened Yet


    History That Hasn’t Happened Yet

  • History That Hasn’t Happened Yet


    History That Hasn’t Happened Yet

  • Arts and Science

  • Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th-Century New Zealand [Book Review]

    [Trigger Warning: abortion, suicide]

    Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th-Century New Zealand
    by Margaret Sparrow
    Victoria University Press

     5/5 stars

    “Stories of the women who died are important because otherwise their voices remain silent.”

    There are newspaper clippings, advertisements, labels and wrappings, witness accounts, court reports, catalogued objects, and photographs scattered throughout this book. These are the pieces of history, the shards of physical evidence, that Dame Margaret Sparrow uses to examine women’s experiences of abortion in the 19th century. Turning every page of Rough on Women unearths something new and brings another voice to life.

    The challenge of understanding abortion in 19th-century New Zealand is huge. Women who underwent successful abortions were understandably silent about what they had done – therefore, it is the hundreds of chilling coroner’s reports of “maternal deaths” that are the most useful.

    Sparrow examines each one on a case-by-case basis. There’s Mrs Clara Hannagan who died in rural Ngāruawāhia when no doctor could come to her aid, Mrs Mary Brown who took a fatal dose of poison pennyroyal, and many more.

    The families of women who died abortion-related deaths were fiercely protective of the unspeakable truth. They distorted facts, added irrelevant information, and deliberately lied in death notices. 19th-century women’s experiences of abortion were, in every possible way, silenced. And it has taken a long time for them to find a voice. Rough on Women does the critical job of excavating the truth. It finally gives them something close to a voice of their own, even though they lived over 100 years ago.

    Sparrow transports us to the isolated colonial world that these women lived and died in. Intertwined with historical analysis, there are passages of narrative where she retraces the final moments of the women’s lives. She takes us to their front doorsteps, into their bedrooms, onto the streets where they lived.

    Her style is not that of your typical history book. She writes factually and simply, sometimes almost conversationally. At fewer than 200 pages, Rough on Women is readable and always interesting, even if you’re not used to non-fiction.

    The book also covers a broad range of topics affecting women in the 19th century, from infanticide rates to methods of contraception. Important figures in the history of New Zealand feminism are introduced, such as Lady Anna Stout (1858–1931) who was among the first to publicly advocate for gender equality. But safe abortion wasn’t yet a consideration for these early feminists – it was still “unmentionable”, and we are only just beginning to be able to talk about it publicly today.

    Rough on Women is essential reading for anyone interested in women’s issues and New Zealand’s social history. Its timely release just prior to this year’s election hopefully stirs us to remember that abortion is still technically a crime according to New Zealand law. It just goes to show how long it can take to undo so much stigma and unspeakability surrounding this issue. And it hasn’t been undone yet. Margaret Sparrow sees clearly what must be done next: “The fundamental flaw has been to treat abortion as a crime … Ultimately it is the woman (of any age) who should decide; not a parliamentarian with a conscience vote, or a state-funded doctor.”

    She hopes that in collecting these women’s stories, the book “will be a legacy of all the women who died, and they will not have died in vain”. Rough on Women reminds us how far we’ve come, but also that the fight’s not over yet.

    by

  • The Dark Horse [Film Review]

    Directed by James Napier Robertson
    Reviewed by Charlotte Doyle
    4.5 Stars

    Sipping (albeit fizzy) red wine while munching on Bellinis (a stretch considering the lack of salmon) was a reeking statement of privilege after emerging from a movie which plunged the audience into gang-patched Gisborne. The potential post-film conversation starters thrown around included: “Do you feel an urge to play chess?”, “Isn’t this wine just so refined?” and, “Did you even know we had gangs in New Zealand?” Having arrived concerned about the cleanliness of my Palladiums and leaving feeling an immense gratitude for never experiencing a punch in the face, the Russell McVeagh Gala screening of The Dark Horse was thus an event with an immense reality check.

    Avoid the temptation to consider this yet another Once Were Warriors saga, as the themes are infinitely more universal. Anyone can relate to the innate need for sympathetic companionship. The blind desperation for security. Loyalty to overbearing family members. An inability to visualise something beyond all you’ve ever known. At the same time, many members of the audiences paying easy money to see this film have most likely never been deliberately peed on to harden them up. Yet in spite of this transcendence of racial presumptions, it is also possibly about time people emerged from their indoctrinated apathy to social issues in New Zealand. Instead of tripping off to the other side of the world for philanthropic campaigns (e.g. Karen Walker and her sunglasses), there are immense challenges facing local communities, and often ones with an underlying beautifully rich, indigenous culture.

    This is a story passionately told. Director and writer James Napier Robertson emphatically described the film’s creation over four years as a deeply personal and life-changing project, and each speaker at the Gala emphasised the touching charisma of Genesis Potini, its main subject. The culmination of their efforts was an intensely respectful, celebratory yet challenging film. Other than one shot of a geographical location that annoyingly didn’t match reality (while understanding the lack of beauty of a motorway), there don’t seem to be any other obvious faults. The story of Genesis Potini has been rightfully brilliantly told.

    The Dark Horse is in cinemas now.

    by

  • Broadening Broads Borders With B-Grades

    Even if they pass the Bechdel test, movieland has a lot to answer for in terms of women’s expression and representation in film. Like, isn’t it awesome when a female character’s motivation isn’t her rape, or when all of her narrative arcs aren’t in reference to men, or when she looks and acts counter to society’s narrow construction of her gender? Here are some films that will satiate the feminist spirit while entertaining the senses and stimulating the brain.

    Drama:
    The Color Purple (1985) Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey.
    Nominated for 11 Oscars and given 4 stars by Roger Ebert, the film is an emotional epic that covers off class, race, gender and sexuality. Phew! Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, it was never a film that was going to match the complex and breath-taking source material, but Celie Harris’s powerful narrative is deserving of whatever attention a platform is willing to give it. Admittedly, the blockbuster Hollywood shine did the private and personal journey of the characters more harm than good, and the desperate silver-lining complex and happy-ever-after mythology is in full swing here. Still, Oprah Winfrey’s rare on-screen moments are raw and incredible; her resilience and strength make it all the more harrowing to watch her graceless and cruel descent. The film reminds you that you don’t have fucking problems, and if women survived these conditions, you can make it through the day without your trim soy latte.
    Honourable mentions: Boys Don’t Cry (1999).

    Action:
    Alien: Resurrection (1997) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder.
    Its sci-fi, it’s postmodern. Postmodernism and feminism don’t typically mix, but it can be refreshing when gender is neutralised by survival conditions. I love the Alien franchise, and this instalment was a standout in terms of wrestling Hollywood’s women complex into submission. The allegory is all too obvious: Ripley’s body is exploited by the oppressive cooperation, the body is a host for the abuse and profit for others, commandeered for its function as life-giving vessel (extracting people of their bodily autonomy). Eventually, the Alien queen adversary (now laden with womb – how expository) must be confronted by Ripley (who embodies the disembodied and rejects the confines of her gender) and the latter is forced to defeat her proverbial alien-hybrid child, aborting it through a vacuum in space. CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE AVERTED! Woah! That’s a lot to process. And so much action and suspense and thrills!
    Honourable mentions: G I Jane (1997) Trigger Warning: questionable treatment of sexuality.

    Comedy:
    The Heat (2013) Directed by Paul Feig. Starring Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy.
    Hey, wouldn’t it be great if someone made a buddy cop movie where instead of men making jokes about their demanding family life, that they’re getting too old for this shit, and how everyone happens to be a motherfucker, there were ladies making jokes about their demanding families, that they’re getting too old for this shit, and how everyone happens to be a motherfucker. Well, someone did! And believe it or not, this exclusive comedy duo, without precedent, manage to pull it off. Sure, the storyline was uninspired and you may find the buddy cop genre a painful exercise in tedium. But let me put it this way: it’s probably because all the genre jokes to be made have been made, AND all of the jokes also just happen to have been made by men. Give in to mediocrity! This one flew under the radar during New Zealand syndication, but the extras material alone (on the DVD release) is worth digging out your old Video Ezy account number.
    Honorable Mentions: Sister Act 2 (1993), Some Like It Hot (1955)—this film is as transgressive today as it was back then, even though it doesn’t quite fit the bill, it is hilarious!

    Documentary:
    The Punk Singer (2013) Directed by Sini Anderson. Starring Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz.
    What happened to the third wave? Are we the fourth wave? This excellent documentary gives the viewer a mere snapshot, on speed, into the infamous phenomenon that was and is Kathleen Hanna. If you don’t know anything about riot grrrl, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin etc, you will come out of this film desperately googling for more. She’s fierce, accessible, opinionated, and honest: a real girl. Lots of tender intimate moments, lots of fan-girl moments (sadly, Joan Jett’s scene where she praises Kathleen is understated), lots of nostalgia and angst. Don’t put her on a pedestal; she asks you not to. Don’t create a martyr out of her; she’s not dead yet. That sort of thing. The archival footage alone is worth the watch, but of course it’s a healthy reminder of the personal as the political. And feminist punk is badass.
    Honorable Mentions: Miss Representation (2012), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996).

    Fantasy/Fairytale:
    Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) Directed by David Zellner. Starring Rinko Kikuchi, Bunzo.
    A modern fairytale adventure where a Japanese woman escapes her pedestrian existence in search of treasure that is all too real in her mind (even if it fudges with others’ expectations and sense of reality). Kumiko is a wonderful character that embodies a woman’s need to escape, particularly in the face of blatant patriarchy and society’s expectations of and for her. She is a bag of contradictions that is refreshing among the contemporary plethora of one-dimensional and equally boring ‘anti-hero’ representations of women. Beautifully shot and directed, there is something magical in the film’s use of realism: there are no princes, fairy godmothers or anthropomorphic animals, but you’ll get over that quickly. Of note: plot holes are filled efficiently and with little regard for the audience’s expectations – this movie requires that the viewer dispense with logic and simply enjoy a happy ending.
    Honourable mentions: Frozen (2014) – jokes, that storyline was terrible, but Brave (2012) was excellent. Spirited Away (2001) also deserves a nod.

    And, to top it off, a film to remind you why you are a feminist and that your ideology is still relevant:
    Pain & Gain (2013) Directed by Michael Bay. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
    Where to begin. This film epitomises modern misogyny in such a stark and obvious way it should probably have been named “Virulent male – the superior gender”. Male sexual impotence is lampooned and mocked. It is seen as a painful process of recovery – cloaked in shame, because there is nothing more demoralising than the loss of male sexual potency amiright? I mean, what else are we all doing here? Women only feature as sexual background material (Rebel Wilson, I expected better from you). At one point, cock-jock The Rock snorts coke off a woman’s derrière: after all, a woman is only as good as the prop you make of her. Women asked to “show them your tits” jiggle delightedly. Clearly, there can be nothing more gratifying than being complicit in your own objectification (especially given that your male counterpart – owner – has benevolently financed your physical improvement). In one scene, a group of men are desperately enthusiastic to play the ‘rapist’ in a safety skit with an attractive woman. The idea, that “but rape and sex are the same thing when we’re playing pretend”, made my hymen grow over. Of course, there are some classic homophobic ‘jokes’ – a man who shows emotion by crying is called a queer, and a priest is beaten to death for what is perceived as a sexual advance. Hilarious! The setting in a sex-toy warehouse paves the way for obsessive penetration complexes of such an extent that Freud would be rolling over in his grave to revise his castration-anxiety thesis. Regrettably, this movie isn’t satire. It’s not even comedy. Forgive me if I don’t trust Michael Bay’s good filmmaking intentions. This movie is a gross, morbid, car wreck of a spectacle. Its dedication to finding entertainment in said spectacle sees it traverse the boundary between entertainment and endorsement of completely insane regressive bullshit. This movie won’t just piss you off, it will make you want go full militant.

    by

  • A View from the Bridge

    4 Stars

    I was enormously excited to finally see a production of A View from the Bridge, having previously only read the play text. The opening night at Circa Theatre was a hoot. The staff hung up both Italian and American flags behind the bar, covered their tables in traditional red-and-white-checked cloths and even boasted about having both Italians and Americans in the crowd for the evening. I think they were trying to tell us something.

    Gavin Rutherford – who bears a striking, but no doubt unintentional, resemblance to Cam from Modern Family – plays Italian–American dockworker Eddie Carbone. He works hard to raise his orphaned niece Catherine (Acushla–Tara Sutton) with his wife Beatrice (Jude Gibson) among the thriving but temperamental backdrop of working-class Brooklyn in the 1950s.

    Sutton’s effervescent portrayal of the innocent Catherine is a pleasure to watch. I was almost sad to see it disappear into a panicked and confused heroine when the play took a dark turn. Many of Miller’s works have a tragic male protagonist. Think Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman and Joe Keller in All My Sons. Rutherford plays the role of Carbone with dignity, so that by the shocking end of the play, you as an audience member aren’t disgusted by Eddie’s actions; you feel sorry for him. The whole story is overseen by the narrator Alfieri (Chris Brougham), who sometimes steps out of his chorus role to provide legal advice to Eddie.

    The cast lay the Italian–American accents on very thick. They are almost comical at the start of the play. I felt as if it was going to turn into a Honeymooners episode; however as the show progressed and the cast shook off the inevitable opening-night nerves, their accents became more natural, and you’re left captivated by the wonderful, albeit heart-breaking, story.

    For a play that is considered a tragedy, I was surprised at how many times the audience laughed. A lot of the credit for that can be given to the brothers, Rodolpho and Marco. It was a pleasure to see them realised on stage. Paul Waggot plays an excellent Rodolpho. His delightfully charismatic performance of the sewing, singing and dancing blond Sicilian is everything you want the character to be: so charming, but just charming enough so his arrogance doesn’t lose the trust of the audience. His allure is balanced out by the straight-faced and sensible Marco, whose immense gratitude at being able to work in America finally breaks down when Eddie disrespects his brother.

    The inclusion of dramatic music aimed at raising the tension or highlighting the solemnity of certain scenes was unnecessary. The director needs to let the script do the work and trust her audience to pick up on which scenes are tense and which are sad. The addition of music does not add to the mood; it only distracts from it.

    Circa produces an annual Arthur Miller play because they prove extremely popular with their audience. However, there is more to it than simply numbers through the door. The beautifully crafted worlds of Miller’s plays are still a delight to watch, even 60 years after they were first produced. A View from the Bridge may not have the same eerie relevance as All My Sons or the political allegory of The Crucible, but it is still a brilliant play. It challenges any production to recreate the authenticity of the unique world that Miller has created, and Sue Wilson’s does just that.

    A View from the Bridge runs at Circa Theatre until 23 August.

    by

  • I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth.

    THE MAN

    I try my best/ To be just like I am/ But everybody wants you/ To be just like them/ They sing while you slave/ And I just get bored

    “Maggie’s Farm,” from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965

    You were born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in a small Minnesota city named Duluth. Your grandparents had fled the anti-Semitic pogroms in what is now Ukraine in 1905.

    As a teen you listened to and played rock and roll – Elvis Presley and Little Richard. Your rendition of “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay” at your High School talent show was so loud that your principal cut the microphone off.

    You moved to the big city, Minneapolis, in 1959 to go to university. It was the edge of the Sixties, and you developed an interest an intense and life-defining passion for folk music. You preferred it to rock and roll, you said, because “the songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.”

    You moved to the really big city, New York, in 1961 to pursue music. It made sense to drop out of university to go in search of your life. You met your idol, Woody Guthrie. He was the giant whose shoulders you would later stand on.

    You played in pubs in the Village. You were a hit.

    From then on, you’ve been one step ahead of the game. Yours is a story of evolution.

    It’s impossible to really know someone whose life has been so closely documented but so little understood. ‘I’m Not There’ couldn’t tell your story without using different characters for the different phases of your life: young folk Dylan, mid-sixties electric Dylan, post-motorcycle-recluse Dylan, born-again Christian Dylan, older Dylan.

    Everyone and no one can identify with your life story. Your talent lies in being the unique everyman. With your music you speak to us, sometimes at us; always for us.

    THE MUSIC

    Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
    In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

    “Mr Tambourine Man,” from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965

    You’ve released fifty eight singles, thirty five studio albums, eleven live ones and ten bootleg discs. Your first single was released in 1962, your latest this year. You’ve won ten Grammys, you’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you’ve sold more than 100 million fucking albums. On paper, you’re one of the all-time greats.

    But the genius of a musical body of work shouldn’t be measured quantitively. The best songs are the ones that speak to the listener. Your lyrics speak universal truths, and people just get it. Your voice is nothing flash, but your music’s not so much about the sound; it’s all feeling.

    It’s clear you have loved: “I Want You”, “She Belongs To Me” and “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”.

    It’s clear you have lost: “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”, “Just Like A Woman” and “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”.

    It’s clear you have lived: you knew the times were a changing before anyone else, you exposed America’s injustice system, you saw through the facade and the fakeness of the social elite.

    Your life has informed your art, and vice versa. You’re a chameleon: sometimes found with your heart on your (album) sleeve, sometimes hiding with your emotions in near-impenetrable verse.

    THE MYTH

    The line it is drawn/The curse it is cast
    The slow one now/Will later be fast
    As the present now/Will later be past
    The order is rapidly fadin’/And the first one now/Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” from The Times They Are a-Changin’, 1964

    You have two lasting, intertwining legacies.

    You impacted wider pop culture – the social scene in Western countries owes part of itself to you. Movies featuring your music and story are part of the culture of today. Artworks of, about, and by you provide a backdrop to our lives. You were the Sixties personified, and our parents are all still so in awe of you.

    You changed music – folk is a part of our musical lexicon today because of you. You influenced The Beatles, who influenced everyone else. In fact, the greatest meeting in history came when you were backstage and introduced them to pot. You’d misheard them in “A Hard Day’s Night”:  you thought John Lennon had sang “I get high” when really the lyrics were “I can’t hide”.

    Covers of your songs have been influential in nearly every genre. Dylan’s Law says everyone is guaranteed to have heard one of your songs without knowing it was you who originally sang it.

    Rap music, the folk of our time, owes much to the person who put words and meaning front and centre of his songs.

    And of course, you’re still going. Releasing songs that three generations of people can get behind. Playing concerts while the rest of your generation slowly shake off their mortal coils, consigned to history.

    But that ain’t you babe; you will cast a long shadow. As long as there is music, there will be Dylan.

    The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

    by

  • Review of Second Afterlife, Young & Hungry festival

    Second Afterlife, written by Ralph McCubbin-Howell and directed by Kerryn Palmer, is a coming-of-age story set in the age of social media. Built around an extended reference to Dante’s Inferno, the play’s narrative is a journey through the dark recesses of the Internet, the place where the drunken photos we’d prefer to forget lead on a ghostly afterlife.

    The protagonist, Dan, an internet-obsessed teenager just out of school, wakes up the morning after a wild party, and decides to purge his online past of annoying and embarrassing memories. But, in this era where the apparent opportunity to present ourselves to the world however we like conceals the enormous degree of control we have ceded to giant corporations like Facebook over so many aspects of our private and public lives, things are not so simple.

    At first, it looks like a familiar quest plot; there are monsters representing various past online selves to be conquered, a romantic prize to be won. In the end, however, the all-too-simple and all-too-cliched romantic subplot gets satisfyingly subverted, while the monsters are defeated, but not in the way the audience might expect. At the very end, there is an important lesson about relationships for the self-absorbed Dan to learn.

    The play is definitely a crowd pleaser; the script is packed with one-liners, and references to a multitude of internet memes get a lot of laughs from the audience. The fight scenes are well-choreographed, and the performances are strong, with not a weak link among the cast. The writing is tight, the plot does not sag, and there is plenty of action. The subject matter, it must be said, is not astoundingly original, but it is handled very well by the cast and crew, and the end result is a satisfying and well-crafted piece of youth theatre.

     

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  • Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th-Century New Zealand [Book Review]

    [Trigger Warning: abortion, suicide]

    Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th-Century New Zealand
    by Margaret Sparrow
    Victoria University Press

     5/5 stars

    “Stories of the women who died are important because otherwise their voices remain silent.”

    There are newspaper clippings, advertisements, labels and wrappings, witness accounts, court reports, catalogued objects, and photographs scattered throughout this book. These are the pieces of history, the shards of physical evidence, that Dame Margaret Sparrow uses to examine women’s experiences of abortion in the 19th century. Turning every page of Rough on Women unearths something new and brings another voice to life.

    The challenge of understanding abortion in 19th-century New Zealand is huge. Women who underwent successful abortions were understandably silent about what they had done – therefore, it is the hundreds of chilling coroner’s reports of “maternal deaths” that are the most useful.

    Sparrow examines each one on a case-by-case basis. There’s Mrs Clara Hannagan who died in rural Ngāruawāhia when no doctor could come to her aid, Mrs Mary Brown who took a fatal dose of poison pennyroyal, and many more.

    The families of women who died abortion-related deaths were fiercely protective of the unspeakable truth. They distorted facts, added irrelevant information, and deliberately lied in death notices. 19th-century women’s experiences of abortion were, in every possible way, silenced. And it has taken a long time for them to find a voice. Rough on Women does the critical job of excavating the truth. It finally gives them something close to a voice of their own, even though they lived over 100 years ago.

    Sparrow transports us to the isolated colonial world that these women lived and died in. Intertwined with historical analysis, there are passages of narrative where she retraces the final moments of the women’s lives. She takes us to their front doorsteps, into their bedrooms, onto the streets where they lived.

    Her style is not that of your typical history book. She writes factually and simply, sometimes almost conversationally. At fewer than 200 pages, Rough on Women is readable and always interesting, even if you’re not used to non-fiction.

    The book also covers a broad range of topics affecting women in the 19th century, from infanticide rates to methods of contraception. Important figures in the history of New Zealand feminism are introduced, such as Lady Anna Stout (1858–1931) who was among the first to publicly advocate for gender equality. But safe abortion wasn’t yet a consideration for these early feminists – it was still “unmentionable”, and we are only just beginning to be able to talk about it publicly today.

    Rough on Women is essential reading for anyone interested in women’s issues and New Zealand’s social history. Its timely release just prior to this year’s election hopefully stirs us to remember that abortion is still technically a crime according to New Zealand law. It just goes to show how long it can take to undo so much stigma and unspeakability surrounding this issue. And it hasn’t been undone yet. Margaret Sparrow sees clearly what must be done next: “The fundamental flaw has been to treat abortion as a crime … Ultimately it is the woman (of any age) who should decide; not a parliamentarian with a conscience vote, or a state-funded doctor.”

    She hopes that in collecting these women’s stories, the book “will be a legacy of all the women who died, and they will not have died in vain”. Rough on Women reminds us how far we’ve come, but also that the fight’s not over yet.

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  • The Dark Horse [Film Review]

    Directed by James Napier Robertson
    Reviewed by Charlotte Doyle
    4.5 Stars

    Sipping (albeit fizzy) red wine while munching on Bellinis (a stretch considering the lack of salmon) was a reeking statement of privilege after emerging from a movie which plunged the audience into gang-patched Gisborne. The potential post-film conversation starters thrown around included: “Do you feel an urge to play chess?”, “Isn’t this wine just so refined?” and, “Did you even know we had gangs in New Zealand?” Having arrived concerned about the cleanliness of my Palladiums and leaving feeling an immense gratitude for never experiencing a punch in the face, the Russell McVeagh Gala screening of The Dark Horse was thus an event with an immense reality check.

    Avoid the temptation to consider this yet another Once Were Warriors saga, as the themes are infinitely more universal. Anyone can relate to the innate need for sympathetic companionship. The blind desperation for security. Loyalty to overbearing family members. An inability to visualise something beyond all you’ve ever known. At the same time, many members of the audiences paying easy money to see this film have most likely never been deliberately peed on to harden them up. Yet in spite of this transcendence of racial presumptions, it is also possibly about time people emerged from their indoctrinated apathy to social issues in New Zealand. Instead of tripping off to the other side of the world for philanthropic campaigns (e.g. Karen Walker and her sunglasses), there are immense challenges facing local communities, and often ones with an underlying beautifully rich, indigenous culture.

    This is a story passionately told. Director and writer James Napier Robertson emphatically described the film’s creation over four years as a deeply personal and life-changing project, and each speaker at the Gala emphasised the touching charisma of Genesis Potini, its main subject. The culmination of their efforts was an intensely respectful, celebratory yet challenging film. Other than one shot of a geographical location that annoyingly didn’t match reality (while understanding the lack of beauty of a motorway), there don’t seem to be any other obvious faults. The story of Genesis Potini has been rightfully brilliantly told.

    The Dark Horse is in cinemas now.

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  • Broadening Broads Borders With B-Grades

    Even if they pass the Bechdel test, movieland has a lot to answer for in terms of women’s expression and representation in film. Like, isn’t it awesome when a female character’s motivation isn’t her rape, or when all of her narrative arcs aren’t in reference to men, or when she looks and acts counter to society’s narrow construction of her gender? Here are some films that will satiate the feminist spirit while entertaining the senses and stimulating the brain.

    Drama:
    The Color Purple (1985) Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey.
    Nominated for 11 Oscars and given 4 stars by Roger Ebert, the film is an emotional epic that covers off class, race, gender and sexuality. Phew! Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, it was never a film that was going to match the complex and breath-taking source material, but Celie Harris’s powerful narrative is deserving of whatever attention a platform is willing to give it. Admittedly, the blockbuster Hollywood shine did the private and personal journey of the characters more harm than good, and the desperate silver-lining complex and happy-ever-after mythology is in full swing here. Still, Oprah Winfrey’s rare on-screen moments are raw and incredible; her resilience and strength make it all the more harrowing to watch her graceless and cruel descent. The film reminds you that you don’t have fucking problems, and if women survived these conditions, you can make it through the day without your trim soy latte.
    Honourable mentions: Boys Don’t Cry (1999).

    Action:
    Alien: Resurrection (1997) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder.
    Its sci-fi, it’s postmodern. Postmodernism and feminism don’t typically mix, but it can be refreshing when gender is neutralised by survival conditions. I love the Alien franchise, and this instalment was a standout in terms of wrestling Hollywood’s women complex into submission. The allegory is all too obvious: Ripley’s body is exploited by the oppressive cooperation, the body is a host for the abuse and profit for others, commandeered for its function as life-giving vessel (extracting people of their bodily autonomy). Eventually, the Alien queen adversary (now laden with womb – how expository) must be confronted by Ripley (who embodies the disembodied and rejects the confines of her gender) and the latter is forced to defeat her proverbial alien-hybrid child, aborting it through a vacuum in space. CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE AVERTED! Woah! That’s a lot to process. And so much action and suspense and thrills!
    Honourable mentions: G I Jane (1997) Trigger Warning: questionable treatment of sexuality.

    Comedy:
    The Heat (2013) Directed by Paul Feig. Starring Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy.
    Hey, wouldn’t it be great if someone made a buddy cop movie where instead of men making jokes about their demanding family life, that they’re getting too old for this shit, and how everyone happens to be a motherfucker, there were ladies making jokes about their demanding families, that they’re getting too old for this shit, and how everyone happens to be a motherfucker. Well, someone did! And believe it or not, this exclusive comedy duo, without precedent, manage to pull it off. Sure, the storyline was uninspired and you may find the buddy cop genre a painful exercise in tedium. But let me put it this way: it’s probably because all the genre jokes to be made have been made, AND all of the jokes also just happen to have been made by men. Give in to mediocrity! This one flew under the radar during New Zealand syndication, but the extras material alone (on the DVD release) is worth digging out your old Video Ezy account number.
    Honorable Mentions: Sister Act 2 (1993), Some Like It Hot (1955)—this film is as transgressive today as it was back then, even though it doesn’t quite fit the bill, it is hilarious!

    Documentary:
    The Punk Singer (2013) Directed by Sini Anderson. Starring Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz.
    What happened to the third wave? Are we the fourth wave? This excellent documentary gives the viewer a mere snapshot, on speed, into the infamous phenomenon that was and is Kathleen Hanna. If you don’t know anything about riot grrrl, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin etc, you will come out of this film desperately googling for more. She’s fierce, accessible, opinionated, and honest: a real girl. Lots of tender intimate moments, lots of fan-girl moments (sadly, Joan Jett’s scene where she praises Kathleen is understated), lots of nostalgia and angst. Don’t put her on a pedestal; she asks you not to. Don’t create a martyr out of her; she’s not dead yet. That sort of thing. The archival footage alone is worth the watch, but of course it’s a healthy reminder of the personal as the political. And feminist punk is badass.
    Honorable Mentions: Miss Representation (2012), I Shot Andy Warhol (1996).

    Fantasy/Fairytale:
    Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) Directed by David Zellner. Starring Rinko Kikuchi, Bunzo.
    A modern fairytale adventure where a Japanese woman escapes her pedestrian existence in search of treasure that is all too real in her mind (even if it fudges with others’ expectations and sense of reality). Kumiko is a wonderful character that embodies a woman’s need to escape, particularly in the face of blatant patriarchy and society’s expectations of and for her. She is a bag of contradictions that is refreshing among the contemporary plethora of one-dimensional and equally boring ‘anti-hero’ representations of women. Beautifully shot and directed, there is something magical in the film’s use of realism: there are no princes, fairy godmothers or anthropomorphic animals, but you’ll get over that quickly. Of note: plot holes are filled efficiently and with little regard for the audience’s expectations – this movie requires that the viewer dispense with logic and simply enjoy a happy ending.
    Honourable mentions: Frozen (2014) – jokes, that storyline was terrible, but Brave (2012) was excellent. Spirited Away (2001) also deserves a nod.

    And, to top it off, a film to remind you why you are a feminist and that your ideology is still relevant:
    Pain & Gain (2013) Directed by Michael Bay. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
    Where to begin. This film epitomises modern misogyny in such a stark and obvious way it should probably have been named “Virulent male – the superior gender”. Male sexual impotence is lampooned and mocked. It is seen as a painful process of recovery – cloaked in shame, because there is nothing more demoralising than the loss of male sexual potency amiright? I mean, what else are we all doing here? Women only feature as sexual background material (Rebel Wilson, I expected better from you). At one point, cock-jock The Rock snorts coke off a woman’s derrière: after all, a woman is only as good as the prop you make of her. Women asked to “show them your tits” jiggle delightedly. Clearly, there can be nothing more gratifying than being complicit in your own objectification (especially given that your male counterpart – owner – has benevolently financed your physical improvement). In one scene, a group of men are desperately enthusiastic to play the ‘rapist’ in a safety skit with an attractive woman. The idea, that “but rape and sex are the same thing when we’re playing pretend”, made my hymen grow over. Of course, there are some classic homophobic ‘jokes’ – a man who shows emotion by crying is called a queer, and a priest is beaten to death for what is perceived as a sexual advance. Hilarious! The setting in a sex-toy warehouse paves the way for obsessive penetration complexes of such an extent that Freud would be rolling over in his grave to revise his castration-anxiety thesis. Regrettably, this movie isn’t satire. It’s not even comedy. Forgive me if I don’t trust Michael Bay’s good filmmaking intentions. This movie is a gross, morbid, car wreck of a spectacle. Its dedication to finding entertainment in said spectacle sees it traverse the boundary between entertainment and endorsement of completely insane regressive bullshit. This movie won’t just piss you off, it will make you want go full militant.

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  • A View from the Bridge

    4 Stars

    I was enormously excited to finally see a production of A View from the Bridge, having previously only read the play text. The opening night at Circa Theatre was a hoot. The staff hung up both Italian and American flags behind the bar, covered their tables in traditional red-and-white-checked cloths and even boasted about having both Italians and Americans in the crowd for the evening. I think they were trying to tell us something.

    Gavin Rutherford – who bears a striking, but no doubt unintentional, resemblance to Cam from Modern Family – plays Italian–American dockworker Eddie Carbone. He works hard to raise his orphaned niece Catherine (Acushla–Tara Sutton) with his wife Beatrice (Jude Gibson) among the thriving but temperamental backdrop of working-class Brooklyn in the 1950s.

    Sutton’s effervescent portrayal of the innocent Catherine is a pleasure to watch. I was almost sad to see it disappear into a panicked and confused heroine when the play took a dark turn. Many of Miller’s works have a tragic male protagonist. Think Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman and Joe Keller in All My Sons. Rutherford plays the role of Carbone with dignity, so that by the shocking end of the play, you as an audience member aren’t disgusted by Eddie’s actions; you feel sorry for him. The whole story is overseen by the narrator Alfieri (Chris Brougham), who sometimes steps out of his chorus role to provide legal advice to Eddie.

    The cast lay the Italian–American accents on very thick. They are almost comical at the start of the play. I felt as if it was going to turn into a Honeymooners episode; however as the show progressed and the cast shook off the inevitable opening-night nerves, their accents became more natural, and you’re left captivated by the wonderful, albeit heart-breaking, story.

    For a play that is considered a tragedy, I was surprised at how many times the audience laughed. A lot of the credit for that can be given to the brothers, Rodolpho and Marco. It was a pleasure to see them realised on stage. Paul Waggot plays an excellent Rodolpho. His delightfully charismatic performance of the sewing, singing and dancing blond Sicilian is everything you want the character to be: so charming, but just charming enough so his arrogance doesn’t lose the trust of the audience. His allure is balanced out by the straight-faced and sensible Marco, whose immense gratitude at being able to work in America finally breaks down when Eddie disrespects his brother.

    The inclusion of dramatic music aimed at raising the tension or highlighting the solemnity of certain scenes was unnecessary. The director needs to let the script do the work and trust her audience to pick up on which scenes are tense and which are sad. The addition of music does not add to the mood; it only distracts from it.

    Circa produces an annual Arthur Miller play because they prove extremely popular with their audience. However, there is more to it than simply numbers through the door. The beautifully crafted worlds of Miller’s plays are still a delight to watch, even 60 years after they were first produced. A View from the Bridge may not have the same eerie relevance as All My Sons or the political allegory of The Crucible, but it is still a brilliant play. It challenges any production to recreate the authenticity of the unique world that Miller has created, and Sue Wilson’s does just that.

    A View from the Bridge runs at Circa Theatre until 23 August.

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  • I Love You, Mr Zimmerman

    Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, is coming to New Zealand to play three shows in August and September. He’s 73. His life and legend, along with that of the Beatles and the Stones, tower over modern music. Salient writer Mr Jones gets inside the man, the music and the myth.

    THE MAN

    I try my best/ To be just like I am/ But everybody wants you/ To be just like them/ They sing while you slave/ And I just get bored

    “Maggie’s Farm,” from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965

    You were born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in a small Minnesota city named Duluth. Your grandparents had fled the anti-Semitic pogroms in what is now Ukraine in 1905.

    As a teen you listened to and played rock and roll – Elvis Presley and Little Richard. Your rendition of “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay” at your High School talent show was so loud that your principal cut the microphone off.

    You moved to the big city, Minneapolis, in 1959 to go to university. It was the edge of the Sixties, and you developed an interest an intense and life-defining passion for folk music. You preferred it to rock and roll, you said, because “the songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.”

    You moved to the really big city, New York, in 1961 to pursue music. It made sense to drop out of university to go in search of your life. You met your idol, Woody Guthrie. He was the giant whose shoulders you would later stand on.

    You played in pubs in the Village. You were a hit.

    From then on, you’ve been one step ahead of the game. Yours is a story of evolution.

    It’s impossible to really know someone whose life has been so closely documented but so little understood. ‘I’m Not There’ couldn’t tell your story without using different characters for the different phases of your life: young folk Dylan, mid-sixties electric Dylan, post-motorcycle-recluse Dylan, born-again Christian Dylan, older Dylan.

    Everyone and no one can identify with your life story. Your talent lies in being the unique everyman. With your music you speak to us, sometimes at us; always for us.

    THE MUSIC

    Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
    In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

    “Mr Tambourine Man,” from Bringing It All Back Home, 1965

    You’ve released fifty eight singles, thirty five studio albums, eleven live ones and ten bootleg discs. Your first single was released in 1962, your latest this year. You’ve won ten Grammys, you’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you’ve sold more than 100 million fucking albums. On paper, you’re one of the all-time greats.

    But the genius of a musical body of work shouldn’t be measured quantitively. The best songs are the ones that speak to the listener. Your lyrics speak universal truths, and people just get it. Your voice is nothing flash, but your music’s not so much about the sound; it’s all feeling.

    It’s clear you have loved: “I Want You”, “She Belongs To Me” and “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”.

    It’s clear you have lost: “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”, “Just Like A Woman” and “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”.

    It’s clear you have lived: you knew the times were a changing before anyone else, you exposed America’s injustice system, you saw through the facade and the fakeness of the social elite.

    Your life has informed your art, and vice versa. You’re a chameleon: sometimes found with your heart on your (album) sleeve, sometimes hiding with your emotions in near-impenetrable verse.

    THE MYTH

    The line it is drawn/The curse it is cast
    The slow one now/Will later be fast
    As the present now/Will later be past
    The order is rapidly fadin’/And the first one now/Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” from The Times They Are a-Changin’, 1964

    You have two lasting, intertwining legacies.

    You impacted wider pop culture – the social scene in Western countries owes part of itself to you. Movies featuring your music and story are part of the culture of today. Artworks of, about, and by you provide a backdrop to our lives. You were the Sixties personified, and our parents are all still so in awe of you.

    You changed music – folk is a part of our musical lexicon today because of you. You influenced The Beatles, who influenced everyone else. In fact, the greatest meeting in history came when you were backstage and introduced them to pot. You’d misheard them in “A Hard Day’s Night”:  you thought John Lennon had sang “I get high” when really the lyrics were “I can’t hide”.

    Covers of your songs have been influential in nearly every genre. Dylan’s Law says everyone is guaranteed to have heard one of your songs without knowing it was you who originally sang it.

    Rap music, the folk of our time, owes much to the person who put words and meaning front and centre of his songs.

    And of course, you’re still going. Releasing songs that three generations of people can get behind. Playing concerts while the rest of your generation slowly shake off their mortal coils, consigned to history.

    But that ain’t you babe; you will cast a long shadow. As long as there is music, there will be Dylan.

    The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

    by

  • Review of Second Afterlife, Young & Hungry festival

    Second Afterlife, written by Ralph McCubbin-Howell and directed by Kerryn Palmer, is a coming-of-age story set in the age of social media. Built around an extended reference to Dante’s Inferno, the play’s narrative is a journey through the dark recesses of the Internet, the place where the drunken photos we’d prefer to forget lead on a ghostly afterlife.

    The protagonist, Dan, an internet-obsessed teenager just out of school, wakes up the morning after a wild party, and decides to purge his online past of annoying and embarrassing memories. But, in this era where the apparent opportunity to present ourselves to the world however we like conceals the enormous degree of control we have ceded to giant corporations like Facebook over so many aspects of our private and public lives, things are not so simple.

    At first, it looks like a familiar quest plot; there are monsters representing various past online selves to be conquered, a romantic prize to be won. In the end, however, the all-too-simple and all-too-cliched romantic subplot gets satisfyingly subverted, while the monsters are defeated, but not in the way the audience might expect. At the very end, there is an important lesson about relationships for the self-absorbed Dan to learn.

    The play is definitely a crowd pleaser; the script is packed with one-liners, and references to a multitude of internet memes get a lot of laughs from the audience. The fight scenes are well-choreographed, and the performances are strong, with not a weak link among the cast. The writing is tight, the plot does not sag, and there is plenty of action. The subject matter, it must be said, is not astoundingly original, but it is handled very well by the cast and crew, and the end result is a satisfying and well-crafted piece of youth theatre.

     

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  • About the Author ()

    Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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