Take Five: Including Raggamuffin and Perfectly Wasted

By Guy Somerset In Take Five

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Collapse, by Fletcher Vaughan, from Sculpture on the Gulf 2011

We New Zealanders, we do love our reggae – although the annual RAGGAMUFFIN festival stretches the definition, with former Fugee Lauryn Hill (sorry, Ms Lauryn Hill) headlining this year’s event, leaving Toots and the Maytals and Ali Campbell’s UB40 playing second and third fiddle. Ali Campbell’s UB40, by the way, contain only one member of the actual UB40 – Campbell himself. But since it’s his voice we associate with the band, that’s okay. Further down the bill: the usual Aoteareggae suspects. Rotorua International Stadium, February 1 and 2. Campbell (as headliner – the tail wagging the dog or what?) and Toots and the Maytals are also at the Vector Arena, Auckland, February 3.

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Outdoor sculpture exhibitions are everywhere these days – they’ll soon be as prevalent as school galas. Indeed, regular readers of this column will recall Wellington’s Wellesley College this year had a sculpture garden as part of its biennial Artbourne fundraiser. HEADLAND: SCULPTURE ON THE GULF is Waiheke Island’s take on the phenomenon and is older (celebrating its 10th anniversary) and better than most, featuring 30 works from established and emerging artists to be viewed along a 2.5km coastal walkway. This year’s artists include Terry Stringer, Regan Gentry, Gregor Kregar and Fatu Feu‘u. January 25-February 17.

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After productions of established stage adaptations such as The Portrait of Dorian Gray and Vernon God Little, the Long Cloud Youth Theatre company is going down the “devised theatre” route for PERFECTLY WASTED, which draws on the cast’s own experiences “to capture all the beautiful energy of youth, as well as the painful, ugly situations on a quest for the perfect night out in Wellington”. The company, under the direction of Leo Gene Peters (Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants), has also devised a new look for Wellington’s Downstage Theatre, performing in the round and straying beyond the confines of the main auditorium. February 1-16. Meanwhile, Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre is the latest venue for the revival of John Broughton’s 1991 one man play MICHAEL JAMES MANAIA that premiered at Downstage. Te Kohe Tuhaka continues in the title role, performing, according to Elspeth Sandys in her Listener review, “with breathtaking energy”. February 2-16.

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You can view the winners of all four categories of the 21ST ANNUAL WALLACE ART AWARDS 2012 at Porirua’s Pataka Art + Museum (until February 24), then for a longer perspective on the awards, established by art collector and philanthropist Sir James Wallace, you should head to Tauranga Art Gallery for TWENTY YEARS OF WINNERS: THE WALLACE ART AWARDS PARAMOUNT WINNERS 1992-2011 (until April 7 ), featuring works by Bill Hammond, Sara Hughes and Mark Braunias, among others.

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“New Zealand has served up its share of singer-songwriters, maintained its quota of metallers, punched above its weight in the indie rock arena and can boast the highest number of dub reggae groups per capita in the Western world. But how many original pop romantics can we claim? ANDREW KEOGHAN is that rare creature.” So wrote the Listener’s Nick Bollinger about Keoghan’s 2011 debut album, Arctic Tales Divide. Keoghan will be performing tracks from that and doubtless newer material on a mini-tour. Q Loft, Auckland, February 5; San Francisco Bath House, Wellington, February 14; Darkroom, Christchurch, February 16.

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