Blog Archives

The play’s the thing, Mark Houlahan

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

Shift
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 and Review

Theatre for life Lisa Warrington

Rebellious Mirrors: Community-based Theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand Paul Maunder Canterbury University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781927145456 Twenty New Zealand Playwrights Michelanne Forster and Vivienne Plumb Playmarket, $40.00, ISBN 9780908607471 Though differing in approach, tone and content, there are strong connections between

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Plays and Sociology

Strip-mines and elegies, Mark Houlahan

Slip Stream Paula Green Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404628   Crumple Vivienne Plumb Seraph Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473177171   Time of the Icebergs David Eggleton Otago University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877578021   The Radio Room Cilla McQueen Otago University

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Remind me where we are now, Nicholas Reid

Secret City Vivienne Plumb Cape Catley, $24.99, ISBN 090856189X Shot Sarah Quigley Virago, $34.95, ISBN 1860499635 What country am I in here? Characters get ideas from watching “5.30 With Jude”, there’s a reference to “old Maori guys”, and one of

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Play it again, John Smythe

Red Light Means Stop: Six Super Solos from Aotearoa NZ ed Vivienne Plumb The Women’s Play Press, $27.95, ISBN 0958231001 Readers of this potent volume of mostly solo plays may engage with them as literature, as texts “auditioning” for production,

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Posted in Literature, Plays and Review

Poem — Vivienne Plumb

The Waiting Room   You are the space I have to go to before teeth, before tickets, before examination, and lying on the funny little bed, before the train, the plane, the exam, the interview, the sudden realisation, the notification,

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Posted in Poem

More than a decent splash, Diana Bridge

Carnival of New Zealand Creatures Lauris Edmond Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473073188 I’ll Tell You This Much Vincent O’Sullivan Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 047306345X Avalanche  Vivienne Plumb Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473067056 Plunge Harry Ricketts Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473076306

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Confident variety, Phillip Mann

Love Knots Vivienne Plumb, $16.95 ISBN 0 9583393 1 7 Front Women Lorae Parry, $16.95 ISBN 0 473 02171 4 Cracks  Lorae Parry, $14.95 ISBN 0 958 339309 The Case of Katherine Mansfield  Cathy Downes, $16.95 ISBN 0 958 339333

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Posted in Literature, Plays and Review

The same old plot, Colleen Reilly

Like You, Really Kate Flannery, Penguin Books, $24.95 The Wife Who Spoke Japanese in Her Sleep Vivienne Plumb, Otago University Press, $24.95 Best Friends Elspeth Sandys, David Ling, $19.95 All the Tenderness Left in the World Stephanie Johnson, Otago University

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review
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