Come Along To the Tea Party

A new musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland called

The Mad Hatter

is coming to town and everyone's invited to the Tea Party.

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"I'm hoping that it will pull a very broad audience. After the complete sell-out season of Grease last year, it's a tough act to follow, but I'm hoping to keep this ball rolling," said playwright Julianne Parkinson.

Julianne Parkinson is the director of Dargaville Little Theatre's new play for 2018.
Julianne Parkinson is the director of Dargaville Little Theatre's new play for 2018.

Mrs Parkinson, who is also the director of Dargaville Little Theatre's new play for 2018, says the decision to focus on the Mad Hatter as opposed to Alice was an obvious one.

"I wanted to tell the story from a new angle, and decided to go with the story of the Mad Hatter which of course entwines with Alice and many of the other well-known wonderland characters.

However, her version of the story may not be exactly how people remember it.

"The story tells how the Alice in Wonderland everybody knows is an absurd and nonsensical version of the truth and explains why the story was told that way. The true tale is much more serious, mysterious and whimsical. Full of twists, heart ache and suspense, yet full of fresh, catchy melodies, and an unlikely love story."

Mrs Parkinson has grown up in the performing arts scene in Dargaville and has written a number of small skits and plays over the years and has even been recognised at a national level.

Back in 2016 she wrote her first full length play, The Rookie, a 1940s hard-boiled detective story which was performed at Dargaville Little Theatre entirely in grey scale.

"The Rookie was well received, and after many people telling me how strong my script was, I decided to enter Playmarket NZ's ADAM NZ Play Awards.

"To my surprise I was shortlisted to the top 20 plays and invited to the awards ceremony in Wellington. Some friends and I attended this, and while I didn't place anywhere, it was an amazing experience to find myself shortlisted amongst a number of professional playwrights.

Julianne Parkinson, far left, with the cast from The Rookie a play which was highly successful and went on to be nominated in the National Play Awards in 2016.
Julianne Parkinson, far left, with the cast from The Rookie a play which was highly successful and went on to be nominated in the National Play Awards in 2016.

"I am excited to have now written my first musical, and while a little nervous, I am looking forward to seeing it come to life on the Dargaville Little Theatre stage in June and I am hoping to have some new as well as ol' faithful talents audition this month. I'm counting on a strong cast and ensemble to bring my vision to life."

Race to the finish line

Stock car drivers from throughout Northland will be heading into Dargaville for the NZ C grade Circle Track Racing Association Championship this weekend.

One of those vying for the championship title will be Dargaville Production Stock Car Club president Aaran Johnston who will be driving his mate James Scotts' Mazda Familia on the day.

Mr Johnston, who usually drives in the A or B grade races, says it's his first time ever vying for the title in a championship.

"It's pretty much where I started, the C grade. However, this is the championship, so it's pretty exciting and we are expecting a contingent of 12-15 strong competitors."

Of those race car drivers Johnston says there's a good mix of both female and male competitors.

Fellow competitor James Scott says having more competition is always better so they're always keen to get new members.

"It's also a cheap fun day out for all the family."

Tickets are just $5 for adults and $2 for children. The CTRA NZ C grade Title is on this Sunday from 12pm-6pm.

Arapohue Show

Highland Dancing is just one of many events expected to draw big crowds to this weekend's Arapohue show.
Highland Dancing is just one of many events expected to draw big crowds to this weekend's Arapohue show.

For just a gold coin donation fairground lovers will be able to hop skip or jump on to any ride they like at the Northern Wairoa A& Show.

Event organisor Richard Alspach says there will be something for everyone at tomorrow's show.

From miniature horses to tossing the sheaf, four wheel drive races, gypsy cob horse, a bouncy castle, gumboot throwing, beef cattle showing, water slides, travellign farmyard, rock wall climing, floral displays, treasures hunts, shearing competitions, highland dancing, cooking competitions, doug the digger, food stalls and more.

Gate entry to the show is $8 adult; $15 couple; $2 children 5 to 15 years; Children under 5 are free this Saturday from 9am-5pm.

Top of The Rock
Have you got what it takes to make it to the Top of the Rock?

The Kaiwaka Sports Association's eighth annual multisport event, the Top of the Rock, will be held on Sunday, February 11.

"Top of the Rock is Kawaka's biggest event of the year and it attracts hundreds of people from all around the country," says Kaiwaka Sports Association manager Cheryl Anderson.

"The event caters for walkers, runners and mountain bikers with routes travelling through some of Kaiwaka's most scenic countryside – bush, lakes and farmland and crosses terrain usually closed to the public.

"And you get the opportunity to climb the iconic Baldrock Mountain and experience the breath-taking views," Anderson says.

Those concerned about their fitness levels needn't - there is no time limit on completing the event and there will be marshals in utes following the tail enders, who will give you a ride back if you get tired.

The event caters for all ages and stages including walks suitable for preschoolers.

"The more casual participants can choose to stroll along the 5km or 11km route taking in the scenery, while the competitive athletes often choose to tackle the more challenging routes."

On the day at the Sports Complex there will be food and drink stalls, live music, kid's games, bouncy castles, a water slide and pool. TV 3's Brendon The Money Man Johnson will host the prizegiving with prizes for placegetters as well as spot prizes.

Any queries, contact Cheryl Anderson on 4312 051 or email kaiwakasports@gmail.com

Broadband subsidy

Spark Foundation and 20/20 Trust have announced that subsidised broadband is available to more families in Dargaville through Te Roroa Learning Assistance and the Dargaville Public Library.

Spark Jump will enable more children to go online outside of classroom hours and get on the right side of the Digital Divide.

Families with children up to the age of 18 and no current broadband connection are eligible for the programme.

They will receive a modem and a wireless broadband connection and pay $10 for 30GB with no fixed term contract. As a pre-pay service, the modem can be topped up at any time in the same way as pre-pay mobile phones.

Contact Janet Te Rore, manager, Te Roroa Learning Assistance, 09 439 1001,
027 238 8089 or Jterore.122@literacy.org.nz

Let Rose know about Kaipara news – contact rose.stirling@gmail.com