City of the Future

Hamiltron - City of the Future

(Design thiefed from mrvintage.co.nz)

The programme for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival has been released. The whole festival runs from 17 February to 1 March 2012, and it’s held within the grounds of the best thing Hamilton has to offer. There are so many beautiful areas, especially the themed gardens (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, American modernist, etc), and many of the shows take advantage of those onnections.

For instance, in 2010 I performed inside the Victorian Garden Conservatory as the pianist in Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen – a slight anachronism in name (Jane Austen being from the Regency period some decades earlier), but very similar in culture and setting. read more

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#thenewauckland

It’s been only eight weeks since I was last in Auckland, but a lot has changed In Time For The™ Rugby World Cup™. I went for a wander and tweeted my thoughts.

Impression No 1: They tidied up the airport a bit before having guests over. Impression No 2: Approaching Wynyard Quarter from Beaumont St, there ain’t the feeling you’re coming to anything spesh. Impression No 3: Wynyard Quarter looks a bit of alright. But only a bit. Impression No 4: Why, Mr City Link driver, did you run to Commerce St when I pushed bell on Fanshawe? Change for game day? Impression No 5: Queen’s Wharf is looking bloody good. Prices steep but not unbecoming of a major world sporting event. Impression No 6: Britomart Concourse is starting to resemble a real rail station. The sooner they Flinderise it the better. Impression No 7: In 1-2 hrs, pedestrian volumes will justify closing Queen St to cars from Mayoral to Customs. Won’t happen. Impression No 8: [Auckland Art Gallery] exterior looks amazing! But 4 tourists saw the temp site on Wellesley&Lorne and were confused.
Auckland Art Gallery's subliminal suggestion.

Auckland Art Gallery's subliminal suggestion.

Impression No 9: Just left [Auckland Art Gallery]. This is what I’m doing tomorrow [pic].

  • Impression No 10, overheard leaving the Queens Wharf Booze Barn: “That was pretty av, ay.”
  • Impression No 11, from the corner of Darby & Elliott Sts. More of Auckland should be like this. Bits of Newmarket, perhaps?
  • Impression No 12: Aotea Square, significantly underutilised for [the Rugby World Cup]. A good thing?
  • Impression No 13: [Q Theatre] I quite like you, well, the publicly accessible bits at least. Greys Ave end still the same.
  • Impression No 14: [University of Auckland National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries] is setting up some cool shit in Myers Park atm, hope the weather holds up for the Fan Trail.
  • Also, I forgot to mention that it was good to see The Improvisors doing their roaming character thing down at Queens Wharf. Kenny King was Captain James Cook, the others were generic scurvy dogs. read more

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    Some observations

    Observation the First: It’s only been 7 weeks since I was last in Auckland (I don’t count the terminal transfer on my USA trip), but there’s so much new stuff for me to see this weekend. Wynyard Quarter, Queen’s Wharf, The Cloud, The Improvisors entertaining RWC punters, Auckland Art Gallery, Q Theatre…

    Observation the Second but following on from the First: I’m really glad to see that the city of my birth has started getting its shit together, train systems notwithstanding. I think a certain Mr Joyce should be a little more co-operative on that front. read more

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