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RNZ: Standing Room Only

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Standing Room Only is literally radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment, pop culture, and music – all the things, in other words, that make life worth living.

Standing Room Only is literally radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment, pop culture, and music – all the things, in other words, that make life worth living.


Wellington, New Zealand


Standing Room Only is literally radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment, pop culture, and music – all the things, in other words, that make life worth living.




A new play explores the Kiwi-Filipino experience

Filipino-Kiwi playwright Kiya Basabas hopes her upcoming show will encourage more from her community to write their stories for the stage.


Dunedin art in unexpected spaces

Off The Ground is a new project that's given Dunedin events stymied by the pandemic the funding they need to proceed.


Sculptor Chris Booth is taking it to WA - remotely

It's a one-tonne scultpure made from macrocarpa veneer, and inspired by the fungi coral. And it's New Zealand sculptor Chris Booth's creation for Western Australia's Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach this year.


Jason Muir turns a building site into a theatre

A central Wellington building site is being converted into a cross between a sports arena and a theatre, with live commentary on what's happening on site.


Patricia Grace's classic Cousins is now a movie

It's been a long held dream - something like 20 years - for novellist Patricia Grace to see her novel Cousins on the big screen. But that dream is about to be realised.


Invercargill's Last Heritage Tour

A film recording architect Mick Hesselin's emotional last tour of Invercargill's inner-city, heritage buildings slated for demolition, is about to premiere at the start of Southland Heritage Month.


The Haka Party Incident is now a play

It was a famous scandal back in 1979 - the violent clash between He Taua Māori activists and a group of Auckland University engineering students.


Time to remember two traumatic Christchurch events

A frantic rewrite was required during the lockdown last year by novellist Janna Ruth, who'd set her novel Time to remember in Christchurch throughout 2020. The book's characters are mainly preoccupied by the 10th anniversary of the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake, but Janna knew she needed to include the pandemic once it took hold. But in fact she'd started working on the novel back in 2005, well before both traumatic events. Janna came to New Zealand from Germany to study geology, and...


Novelist Susanna Gendall and the "Disinvent Movement"

Imagine if you could disinvent things that really annoy you, things that also harm the planet. The central character in Susanna Gendall's debut novel The Disinvent Movement endeavours to do just that. The Movement that she throws herself into is also her way of escaping from her violent husband. The book is made up of ultra short numbered chapters. Susanna and her family are recently out of quarantine having returned from Paris, which is her second home. She reads from novel and talks to...


Jeweller Jane Dodd is inspired by the natural world

"I want to look at issues of extinction and infestation, cruelty and conflict. I want us to feel that we are being watched and that stock is being taken. I want us not to get away with it." Those are the words of Dunedin jeweller - and former member of the Verlaines - Jane Dodd, whose more than 30 years of work are being celebrated in her first mayor survey show. It's being held at Lower Hutt's Dowse Art Museum, as part of its 50th anniversary programme. There are more than 100 pieces in...


The intricate sugar art of Tracy Byatt

Sugar is treated as the enemy these days in terms of health, but in the hands of a skilled artist like Whanganui's Tracy Byatt, it can also be used to sculpt extraordinarily colourful and lifelike bouquets. This artistic sugar hit was wildly popular back in the European Renaissance when ornate centrepieces were sculpted for royal banquets. Even Da Vinci gave it a go apparently. Tracy Byatt is about to put her own mini-masterpieces on show, but she says she has the same arch-enemies sugar...


More support for Tauranga's creative sector

Tauranga may be growing rapidly but its city council has only now established a specific role to support the region's creative sector. James Wilson is the city's first Manager of Arts and Culture. He's one of the tens of thousands of people who've flocked to Tauranga in recent years. He moved there from Auckland in 2019 to manage one of the city's main venues, the Baycourt Community and Arts Centre. Before that he was the Chief Executive of Auckland's award winning Q Theatre. Lynn Freeman...


170 wonders from the Alexander Turnbull Library

From millions of items in the Alexander Turnbull Library, curators have chosen just 170 for a new exhibition to celebrate the institution's 100th birthday. It's actually the 101st. The Miharo Wonder exhibition was delayed from last year due to the pandemic. On show will be some tiny hand-sewn buttons created by prisoners on St Helena, ancient Sumerian tablets and a pocket-sized globe tracing James Cook's first voyage. Alongside taonga from the collection is new artwork commissioned from...


New Generation stone artist Joe Sheehan

He started small, intricately carving cassette tapes and lightbulbs from pounamu. But now Wellington-based sculptor Joe Sheehan works on big-scale projects that really take over a space. He's working on three works for the upcoming Auckland Art Fair, including a hefty granite sculpture called "Invisible City". In 2006 Joe Sheehan was one of the first recipients of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand's New Generation Award. He's repaid that faith in his skills by producing in-demand work, and...


The return of the Lyttelton Museum

Today marks the start of an ambitious 9.9 million dollar fund raising campaign for a new purpose built home for Te Uaka Lyttleton Museum. The former building opened in 1969, thanks to the efforts of its founder Baden Norris. However it was forced to close after the September 2010 earthquake. While 95% of the artefacts were salvaged, the building itself was demolished ten years ago. Now, after making the decision to rebuild, the Museum Trust is now revealing the design for the phoenix that...


Artist Mark Schroder takes on modern corporate culture

Corporate lawyer by day, subversive artist when he's not in his suit... Auckland artist Mark Schroder is casting a caustic eye over the corporate landscape in his new installation, Fortune Teller. It's part of a Gus Fisher Gallery exhibition called 'part of the happiness is only real when shared'. Mark's taken over the ornate Art Deco Dome Gallery, that used to be used as a reception area when the building was home to television studios. He's created the Bureau of Happiness within the space,...


Tongan tapa-making in a lockdown bubble

In the Coronavirus era, the word "bubble" has come to mean safety and sanctuary. But can bubbles also be cages, forcing families apart? This is one of the ideas explored by mother and daughter, New Zealand-based Tongan ngatu or tapa artists Sulieti Fieme'a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies. They're about to reveal a collection of large-scale tapa they worked on together, during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns here in in Aotearoa New Zealand. They call it Voyagers: The Niu World, and in it they...


Photographer Sara McIntyre remembers her father, painter Peter

Painter Peter McIntyre is best remembered for his work as New Zealand's official war artist during the Second World War, but a new exhibition takes us into the heart of the Central North Island rural community he loved. Kakahi lies 10 kilometres up the Whanganui River from Taumarunui and has changed little since Peter and his family first stayed there back in the 1960s. Peter painted many images of the village's people, marae and landscapes over decades until his death in 1995. Now the New...


A Red Leap from Dog Island - Ella Becroft

A fearless 14-year-old girl who lives in a bleak part of a place called Dog Island is the hero of a new production called Dakota of the White Flats from Red Leap Theatre company.


Innovative and fearless - Gecko Press's Julia Marshall

Innovative and fearless the judges call her - the founder of publishing success story Gecko Press, Julia Marshall, has won the lifetime achievement 2021 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for her contribution to New Zealand children's literature.