Plenty of culture to experience

A busy time if you chose to avail yourself of the opportunities. Ralph McAllister

The Kapiti Chorale in fine voice

by Ralph McAllister


Locally, the Kapiti Chorale, with some help from its friends, performed John Stainer’s The Crucifixion together with some other English Romantic Works.

This was another excellent programme to add to Eric Sidoti’s growing reputation for getting the best out of local talent.

The oratorio is second only to The Messiah in English choral works in terms of popularity, and while some might question the blandness of some of the music, there was no doubting the commitment and the passion of the choir, conductor and, particularly, the singing of bass Simon Christie.

A packed St Paul’s in Paraparumu appreciated this enjoyable event.

A wonderful piece of comic live theatre


The Pianist  at Circa was one of those shows which people will talk about for a long time if they saw it and mourn the fact that others missed out.

One hour of Finnish Thomas Monckton never quite getting to play his grand piano was in the tradition of all the great comics. It is not an unfair comparison to think of Chaplin, Keaton and the like when watching Monckton.

This was an hour of unmitigated disaster and uncontrollable laughter as he, first, couldn’t find his way on stage, then kept missing notes, scores, piano legs and spotlights. Truly inspirational!

Both these shows have gone but the other two you can still catch.

More serious American drama

Other Desert Cities

Other Desert Cities at Circa One is one of those well made American family dramas where all is not as it seems. Christmas is upon us and Republican Mum and Dad try to cope with their children, one of whom has written a dubious biography, the other produces reality rubbish.

Lots of hilarity but things begin to turn sour particularly when an alcoholic sister starts to open up. Consummate acting from a fine cast makes for a rewarding evening ,writer Baitz has obviously learned much from Miller, Williams and O’Neill.

It continues for two more weeks. See it.

Children’s theatre at its very best

Mr McGeeMr McGee and the Biting Flea is Capital E ‘s National Theatre for Children’s latest work. Pure magic!

Three accomplished young professional actors offer six stories from author Pamela Allen. The energy, timing and singing of the troupe is as good as you will see anywhere in this part of the world.

The packed Hannah Playhouse sat entranced, two years as captivated as the seventy two year olds.

The show goes on a national tour this week. It should be compulsory viewing for all. The good news is that it will return to Wellington later in the year.