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The play’s the thing, Mark Houlahan

Best Playwriting Book Ever
Roger Hall
Playmarket, $22.00,
ISBN 9780908607600

Alison Quigan, Vivienne Plumb and Lynda Chanwai-Earle
Playmarket, $35.00,
ISBN 9780908607617

Bats Plays
Ken Duncum and Rebecca Rodden
Playmarket, $30.00,
ISBN 9781776560899

To review Best Playwriting Book Ever, I broke the first rule of playwright club. In his prologue, Roger Hall advises: “To get the best out of this book, write a play (or as much as you can of one) before you read it.” I have never written a play, though I have been watching and performing plays on various stages for almost as long as people have been flocking to Hall’s plays, since his break-out hit, Glide Time (1976). He has now written 50 plays, alongside film scripts and TV series, so he has certainly earned the right to stake his claim in the title of this book. Ticket sales from Hall’s plays have helped fund so many of our theatres, and Hall himself has managed the still rare local feat of making a living as a playwright. He has told that story entertainingly in his autobiography, Bums on Seats (1998).

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Posted in Literature, Plays, Review

Home and away, Hannah Smith

A Way of Life Roger Hall Playmarket, $26.50, ISBN 9780908607396   The Unforgiven Harvest/The Lead Wait Jo Randerson Playmarket, $26.50, ISBN 9780908607389   Urban Hymns Miria George Queen Bee Pip Hall Exchange Lauren Jackson Playmarket, $26.50, ISBN 9780908607402   We

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Posted in Literature, Plays, Review

Literary honours

Playwright Roger Hall of Auckland was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the latest Queen’s Birthday honours. Jo Noble, also of Auckland, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

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Posted in Comment

Just like home, but warmer, Roger Hall

Long Journey for Sevenpence. Assisted Immigration to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, 1947-1975 Megan Hutching Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0 86473 360 7 In 1960, after having spent two years in New Zealand, I went to work in Australia

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Tickled and moved, Peter Vere-Jones

Under the Bridge & Over the Moon Kevin Ireland Vintage, $29.95, ISBN 1 86941 363 6 bums on seats: The Backstage Story Roger Hall Penguin, $44.95, ISBN 0 670 88366 2 What makes a writer?  As requested, I read these

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review
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