Sorry, I meant to see your show – the lyrics!

By request, here are the lyrics to my song, commissioned to open the 2011 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. I owe a clear debt of gratitude to the superb opening number to this year’s Tony Awards.

I’ve also uploaded the demo I made for the singers:

Sorry, I meant to see your show (demo) by Robbie Ellis

Some lyrics changed in the rehearsal process (and we certainly slowed it down from my speed-demon intentions), but most remained the same. Forgive my falsetto for soprano parts.

“Sorry, I meant to see your show” was performed last night at the Wellington Opera House by MC Emma Kinane and the Shoreline Cab Savs (Carmel McGlone, Bryony Skillington, Jess Robinson, Martyn Wood, Nick Dunbar & Gareth Farr/Lilith La Croix), with me (Robbie Ellis) on piano. read more

Read more

Sorry, I meant to see your show

I, George Nēpia publicity shot

I, George Nēpia - winner of four awards including Production of the Year, and yet another Wellington theatre success story I didn't end up seeing. (Publicity image thiefed from circa.co.nz.)

Last night the 2011 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards took place, an annual Wellington institution to recognise awesome. I played continuity music.

I also wrote the opening song called “Sorry, I meant to see your show”, which was performed brilliantly by the Shoreline Cab Savs and MC Emma Kinane. (Edit: Lyrics & demo here.) It’s quite appropriate: out of the nine shows that won awards – the cream of this year’s Wellington theatre crop – I saw only three. At least Nēpia has a return season starting tomorrow (Edit: Thursday) so there’s no excuse there. read more

Read more

Have my job

My desk at Radio New Zealand.

My desk at Radio New Zealand. I promise I'll leave it tidier than this.

I’m leaving Radio New Zealand Concert, finishing up in mid-January. (That said, I’ll stay involved as an external freelance contributor to programmes like Composer of the Week, The Critic’s Chair, Upbeat etc.)

My bosses have advertised my job and you can apply for it. I have reduced the job summary to a haiku:

…strong…working…artists…
…unusual blend…and…desire…
…celebrate…to hear…

That’s all you really need to know. I mean, you can send away for an actual full job description if you like but those things are always so full of HR waffle. Trust me, it’s a good job. read more

Read more

Wellywood Sign Song No 2

The title is now a misnomer in a way, but it’s been in my repertoire since May and I just had to put it up on the web to mark the occasion.

If you don’t get it, this may help.

Thanks to Bonnie Riley (whose name is ever so close to Bonnie Tyler) for the non-lead vocals and to Sam Smith for lending me his guitar and amp. Also credit is due to Joseph Sherman-Mendez, Chaz Harris and Morgan Samuel of Seriously Tanked (my 2011 48Hours Furious Filmmaking team-mates) for the initial inspiration. (This happened the same weekend.) read more

Read more

Snap-happy

Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust

My new default publicity shot accompanied by my new default publicity shot credit. (Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust)

A couple of months ago, I was photographed by Gareth Watkins. Gareth is a photographer, media producer and a work colleague of mine (by day he’s a studio engineer at Radio New Zealand).

He had asked me to be part of Composer 015 – a project to photograph and interview 15 New Zealand composers aged from their mid-20s to their early 90s! It’s currently a work in progress, supported by the Lilburn Trust and the Wallace Arts Trust. I believe that once the photos are compiled, they’ll be published in book form… I think that’s right? I should probably know. read more

Read more

Otāāāgo!

I’m sitting in Dunedin Airport waiting for the 1710 to Auckland. Time for a quick blog update…

Early yesterday morning I flew from Wellington (current home) to Dunedin (next year’s home). This is my first time in Dunedin as an adult – growing up in Auckland, the only time our family made it this far south was on The Big South Island Trip one summer. (In the words of my mother: “You’re growing up in Auckland and you won’t be a real Kiwi unless you’ve seen the South Island!”) read more

Read more

Austen Found – Zombie Time

Pride and Pestilence.

Pride and Pestilence.

I should blog about Austen Found – Zombie Time.

The short of it: I have played pianoforte for 31 public performances of Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen. We debuted it at the 2008 New Zealand Improv Festival in Wellington, sold out our drama school rehearsal room at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe, and were extremely well received in October last year as part of the STAMP Programme in Auckland.

Penny Ashton has more background on her own blog.

This new show, well, it’s a bit of a twist. I won’t have workshopped exactly this format with the cast before I get there, but all of us have improvised together before so I’m sure it’ll be just cooking. It is my first gig under the brand new Instant Kiwis banner – quite exciting. read more

Read more

New Zealand Improv Festival – systems go!

A lightbulb moment.So I missed the first night of the New Zealand Improv Festival in Wellington. I was filling in for Kate Mead on Sound Lounge. And I’ll miss the second night too. I’m filling in for Kate Mead on Nights with Bryan Crump. (See what happens when people take leave from work?!)

But I’ll be there the third, fourth and fifth nights, playing musical accompaniment for ten different shows. You should come. Book at BATS Theatre.

Two in particular leap out at me as being very exciting:

The Long Weekend. I blogged about this a few weeks ago but since then I’ve actually workshopped it with the players! The ideas they have will make for some emotionally honest improv – the disconnect between idealised memories of uni days and the reality of late-20s-hood / early-30s-hood is perfect fodder for interpersonal relationships to laugh and cry over. Thu 13 October, 9:30pm. read more

Read more

The weekend

So it’s the weekend – the time between two runs of shows, and the time in which I can do a load of washing.

Last night was the close of The First Asian A* B* – it was a reasonably successful season, considering that shows from Auckland seldom get the same audience numbers as Wellington shows. There’s just not the same degree off on-the-ground promotion.

Tonight is the opening of Zomburlesque. Out of the band of six players, I’m the only one not to have seen any rehearsal of the action yet. But I’ve received descriptions from those who have… I reckon it’ll be epic. read more

Read more

The First Asian A* B* up and running.

Place of birth / Lieu de naissance: TAKAPUNA, NEW ZEALAND

We are two performances into our eight-show season of The First Asian A* B* by Renee Liang. In a show of provincial loyalty, I went onto Trade Me and bought a second-hand 2009 North Harbour rugby jersey as a costuming decision. Its size is L, about 1.5 sizes too large for me, but it works well enough.

John Smythe has reviewed us for Theatreview, concentrating more on the script and story construction than the performances. Laurie Atkinson from the Dominion Post attended opening night; there may well be a review in Monday’s newspaper. (Edit: Dom Post review indeed appeared on Monday.) read more

Read more