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Jeanette Schäring

18 Mar 2018

A Swedish-Kiwi environmental artist is tapping into one of the big issues facing this country and indeed the planet - water quality. Jeannette Schäring, who's living in Mt Maunganui, has been busy collecting water samples and stories about how people feel about and use water. In a blend of science and art, Jeanette is… Audio, Gallery

Sunday 25 March 2018

On today’s show


12:16  Auckland University Music - a big change of direction?

Auckland School of Music

Auckland School of Music Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Outrage and concern have followed the release of a proposed radical restructure of Auckland University's Department of Music, with five key teaching positions held by respected musicians under threat.

The proposal talks about moving away from a "music conservatorium" approach to having much more emphasis on research and academic aspects of music.

It also makes the point that courses in a seminar/lecture format with class sizes smaller than 25 enrolments don't break even financially, and currently of the 89 courses offered at the School of Music, only 14 meet that threshold.

RNZ Concert's Eva Radich has been talking to a range of people about the move and what it means for music students. Lynn Freeman talks to Eva, as well as contributions from long-time staff member Eve de Castro Robinson.

12:36  Straight to tape

Cuba Dupa's taken over Wellington's Cuba Street this weekend and two of the hardest working artists taking part, are busy transforming spaces with their medium of choice - rolls of tape.

Tape Artists Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby create entire murals from tape, working with passers-by on works which have a lot to say, but which are not designed to last beyond 24 hours.

Lynn Freeman talked with Erica and Struan just before they headed back to Cuba Street for another day taping:

12:46  Protecting our valuable libraries  

Libraries are under the gun in some parts of the country where councils aren't convinced by the value of investing ratepayers' money into them.

LIANZA - Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa - is now meeting key ministers to put their case for libraries to be more appreciated and supported.

LIANZA represents around 380 library and information service institutions and this week Executive Director, Ana Pickering and President Elect Paula Eskett met the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Honourable Tracy Martin.

Ana and Paula told Lynn Freeman that top of the agenda was the hope for a move towards public library legislation.

1:10 At The Movies

This week Simon Morris looks at Tomb Raider and The Death Of Stalin, and talks to Australian director Garth Davis about his new film Mary Magdalene.

1:33 Stop Motion animator extraordinaire Antony Elsworthy

It's surprising that, in an age of computer-driven special effects, old-school stop-motion animation continues to fascinate and thrive.  It's got to be the most laborious art-form on Earth!  

Aardman - of Wallace and Grommit fame - is about to release a new feature Early Man.  Last year My Life As A Courgette was nominated for an Oscar, and this year Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs has been the big winner at the Berlin Film Festival.

The New Zealand connection with Isle Of Dogs is animator, Christchurch boy Antony Elworthy.  Antony's also worked on Courgette, Coraline and The Corpse Bride.  He tells Simon Morris that he plans to bring his skills back to New Zealand for an interesting new project in his home town.


1:47 Holly Best's toy camera offers something truly unique

Using a cheap toy film camera to photograph her young family at their home, has produced a whole exhibition of intriguing works - even if they might not be always technically perfect.

Christchurch photographer , and writer for Art New Zealand - Holly Best describes An imprecise organisation of forms as part family-photo album, and part something else entirely.

For several years after the Christchurch earthquakes, Holly roamed through the abandoned red zone areas, often photographing trees, weeds that grew like triffids, and once neatly trimmed hedges that went wild.

But the Red Zone has changed now and so has Holly's focus.  But, as she tells Lynn Freeman, one thing hasn't changed.  She's still not interested in ditching film for digital photography.

An imprecise organisation of forms by Holly Best opens at the Ilam Campus Gallery in Christchurch on Tuesday.


2:06 The Laugh Track - James Cain

James Cain

James Cain Photo: supplied

James Cain of the Red Scare Theatre Company is one of the hot new playwrights on the scene, and his interests are reflected in his plays.  M'Lady tackled sexual politics, and his new one, Movers, seems to take on everything else - age, race, class and standup comedy.

Movers has been shortlisted for Playmarket's Adam New Zealand Play Award - and among the cast is ex RNZ man Lloyd Scott.  On the Laugh Track, James Cain's picks include Rowan Atkinson and clips from TV series Black Books, Jane the Virgin, and The Good Place.

2:26  Ahuahu - hundreds of years of human habitation

Off the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula is an island that's gradually revealing information about how early Maori lived, including cultivation, and trading in one of the most valuable resources of the time - stone.

Archaeologists have been heading to Ahuahu/Great Mercury Island for decades, uncovering more than 20 pa sites and numerous gardens and kumara pits.

Several times a year the archaeologists and students head out to the island, which has been occupied for around a thousand years, to carry out excavations, hoping for new insights into how Māori lived in the past.

Auckland Museum and the University of Auckland are spearheading The Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project and will be talking about recent revelations as part of the upcoming Archaeology Week.

Lynn Freeman spoke to the co-directors of the project,  Rebecca Phillipps from Auckland University and Louise Furey  from Auckland Museum.

2:40 Tess Redgrave's new novel about the fight for the right to vote

Tess Redgrave

Tess Redgrave Photo: supplied

no caption

Photo: supplied

It's 125 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote. Now Auckland journalist Tess Redgrave takes us back to the origins of the suffrage movement in her debut novel, Gone to Pegasus.

The central characters are two women with very different personalities and back stories. Grace is the bored wife of a bullying husband, who believes she's entitled to vote and is prepared to fight for it.  Eva's banker husband has been admitted to the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum in Dunedin, so now she offers piano lessons and gives recitals.

When the two women meet, Eva finds herself drawn into the temperance and suffrage movements, which went hand in hand until the Women's Franchise League was formed in 1892.

Lynn Freeman talks to Tess Redgrave about Gone to Pegasus, published by Mākaro Press.


2:50 Speculative Fiction NZ anthology

Zombies attacking the InterIslander, a child accidentally eating baby mice, space travel, taniwha, demons and dragons - they all feature in a new collection of New Zealand speculative fiction.

Speculative Fiction New Zealand champions the work of this country's growing band of writers of "Spec Fiction". Now they've published an anthology,  which encompasses everything from science fiction to fantasy and out and out horror.  Spec Fiction also includes supernatural and apocalyptic fiction for good measure.

Lynn Freeman talks to co-editor of Te Korero Ahi Ka Lee Murray,and to one of the contributors Dan Rabarts. You can read their speculative fiction along with stories by other writers in Te Korero Ahi Ka, published by SpecFicNZ.

3:06 Drama at 3  - Sketch by Kate Morris