Title insurance in the art world

If you think this is a touch esoteric, then you should consider that disputes over title are not uncommon even with the most ordinary of substantial financial assets: the residential property. Title insurance is an important component of a number of financial instruments connected with homes. There are some similarities between certain copyright protection schemes and title insurance as well.

Cabaret - the musical - by Auckland Theatre Company: A Real Great.

On Saturday Fran and I took in Cabaret at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent which is temproarily set up at Auckland's viaduct harbour.

Cabaret isn't only a good excuse for some great songs and raunchy dancing, although those things are good, and don't need any excuse. It is also, as Director Michael Hurst notes in his notes in the programme, a cautionary tale reminding us to fight totalitarianism which might seek to shut the clubs and take their desire to 'clean-up' to horrific lengths: killing lots of people that don't agree with them. So, for a musical in which everyone you like dies at the end, it's incredibly good fun.

The audience loved it too. There was only one point where I felt like someone should hold up a sign saying 'it's alright to laugh' - that was at the end of "If you could see her". A dance done by Hannah Tasker-Poland with a heavy leg brace on, where she is pretending to be handicapped (who were also a target of the Nazis) finishes with the emcee singing "If you could see her through my eyes, she wouldn't look Jewish at all". What Hurst has done is take the Cabaret back to it's original (in various versions it has been mucked about with quite a bit). This is one example. Wikipedia notes that the line was changed in some productions:

'"She wouldn't look Jewish at all," which, while meant to be anti-anti-Semitic, sounded so anti-Semitic that it was changed.'

I think the production was brilliant, and also that the audience did get it - but not quite quick enough to laugh right then. All in all the show was great: the atmosphere of the unusual venue, the decision to run with the original format, the choreography, the perfomer's energy, and the incredible dance involving both Mike Edward and Ebon Grayman. Anyone who works out can appreciate just how hard it is to achieve their strength, anyone who has danced can appreciate just how hard it is to achieve their grace - but both together...

As an aside, I think the play is also about the balance between short-term happiness, and long-term happiness - and that governments should broadly keep out of the constant search for the right balance between those that individuals are striving to arrive at.

Here is the ATC site link (some good photos)

Here is the NBR review.

Art in the Park

We went to the inaugural Art in the Park at the Western Park (near the top end of Ponsonby Road) last night. It featured a series of art installations based on the theme of light. My phone surprised me by taking a couple of barely passable photos - although, the problem is that the better works didn't yield to this.

Also, it's hard to convey how 'a pile of recycle bins covered in light ropes' looked cool, especially from a distance. Or how the 'falling lights' exhibit looked mesmerising as you caught glimpses of it between the trees. I wasn't much fussed on the strings of CDs hung over the path, illuminated by passers-by. The cyclists with illuminated wheels were easy to mock, but drew quite a crowd.

All in all, it wasn't high art, but it was fun.

Art and Seeds 010

It was the first time for this event and I expect it could get a lot better, but this was a good start.


I've just had the word 'firking' cut by my editor

Now, it's not what it sounds like - it has a specific meaning. It's from the verb to furk, which my Chambers Dictionary defines as "to drive: to rouse: to whip or to beat" and quotes first use in Shakespeare, and states that it is derived from the Old English fercian, which means 'to conduct'. Iill admit it's a little rare, but I felt that the context would have made it plain to everyone. Well, nearly everyone. The context was - broadly - 'to firk money out of life insurers'. I am sure you can think of plenty of times that's been done :-)


Had a great time at my 40th birthday party. Here's a photo of the band.

40thpartyphotos 034 picnik 

These are the Sly Riders, slumming it in my rumpus room. Names (from left to right) Kevin Findlater, Toni Kenyon, and Andrew Snoid.

They were brilliant.

My NZ music knowledge is too poor to understand, but my friend Matt said "the highlight of my evening was when they played Sierra Leone".