Saucy comedy comes to Kerikeri
Starting tonight the newly formed Kerikeri Theatre Company is putting on a risque comedy musical combining the themes of sex and death.
Called Stiff, the musical was written by Kiwi playwright April Phillips and tells the story of a brothel owner who inherits a funeral parlour.
It is directed by Barbara Kirkman, whose previous productions with the Kerikeri Little Theatre Company include Season's Greetings and the sell-out pantomime Cinderella.
Mrs Kirkman said Stiff was very entertaining and a little edgy. The cast was loving it, she added.
It would be performed as a musical, as the playwright intended, with a four-piece band directed by Tracy de Leeuw.
It had a cast of seven playing eight characters. Two had been in all Little Theatre Company productions to date - no one who saw Cinderella will forget ugly sisters Jase Taylor and Janna Sicely - with the rest of the cast new to Kerikeri's drama scene, though not to acting.
"It's about a woman who inherits a very valuable property, a funeral parlour, from a father she never knew she had. It's been in the family for 95 years and has to stay in the family another five before she can sell it," Mrs Kirkman said.
"She knows nothing about undertaking but she knows a lot about prostitution. So she talks to her girls and they decide to run an under-cover brothel."
The show, in the Turner Centre's John Dalton Theatre, is recommended for adults only. Shows are at 8pm on July 30 and 31 and August 1. Tickets are $25 at the Turner Centre and Kerikeri Paper Plus.
The Kerikeri Theatre Company was formed by the amalgamation earlier this year of the Kerikeri Players and the Kerikeri Little Theatre Company.
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway is up and running again after a hammering in the storm halted trains for the first week of the holidays. Large sections of track were underwater at the height of the flood and a lot of gravel was washed away, but a big volunteer effort saw the railway given the all-clear for train rides to resume on July 15.
Boost for waka project
Plans to carve a waka at Horeke have received a $7000 boost from the Ministry of Youth Development.
The project, which is led by the Northern Rural Fire Authority, started as an attempt by fire authorities to build a better relationship with the Horeke community - youth in particular - after a series of costly scrub and forest fires. It has since evolved into a plan to build a fully carved waka at the old rural fire base in Horeke.
Police, the Fire Service and master waka builder Hekenukumai Busby are involved.
Deputy principal rural fire officer Clinton Lyall said he was grateful that Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye had recognised the value of the project.
Bake a pony
Bay of Islands Riding for Disabled is taking part in a national fundraising week, starting July 28, and inviting supporters to help by baking and selling gingerbread ponies.
To find out how to take part, type 'NZRDA gingerbread horse' into Google, click on the first link, and you'll find five steps with all the information you need. To learn more call Lynne on (09) 405 9749.
Navy band visits
The Royal New Zealand Navy Band will be performing around Northland next month with shows in Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Dargaville, Kaitaia and Whangarei as well as kids' concerts at schools around the region. The Kerikeri show, featuring music from Stravinsky to Split Enz, will be at the Turner Centre from 7pm on August 5. Tickets cost $20. They will also play at Kaikohe's Memorial Hall from noon on August 6 for koha.
Gifted young jazz pianist Reuben Topzand, 16, of Kerikeri has received a scholarship from the ArtsXL Charitable Trust which supports promising musicians in the Far North.
The scholarship will pay for a term's tuition with Alison Lawless at the Kerikeri School of Music.
Proud mum Buffy McNicholas said Reuben's success was down to mentoring from tutor Reese Helmondollar in particular.
"Reese has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years supporting budding musicians like Reuben. With his jazz band Thelonious Punk, Reese has invited Reuben and many other students at the School of Music onto the stage to perform," she said.
Reuben said the step up of performing at gigs with professional adult musicians from the age of 14 was the challenge he needed to take his playing to the next level. He said he had his sights set on a career in music and had a lot to thank Mr Helmondollar and Thelonious Punk founder Bevan O'Brien for.
"They trusted me to get it right and I've had to really work hard, to make sure I wouldn't let them down."
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