The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

My son’s friend John, who is Irish, said that there’s always something sexual in Irish dancing (he probably just calls it “dancing”). Malo explained this to me when I expressed surprise that all the women Irish dancers in Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games had stripped off their pretty traditional outfits to bras and tights. Later in the show the boys got their shirts off too, which felt like it evened things out a bit.

Lord of the Dance

Lord of the Dance is a frenzy of a show. From dancing robots to virginal damsels to sort of 90s urban youth (camo pants! Vests with no shirts!), with live duelling violins and a singer with the spirit of Celine Dion, it is quite the romp. Loosely themed around the story of The Lord of the Dance in a battle with a bad dude, it provided an opportunity for lots of dance offs and and dingy hell scenes and pretty meadow scenes and scenes I’m assured by Malo are lifted straight from Warhammer. There was a nod to NZ when the baddy started doing a haka. It was complex.

In all honesty I’m not much of an expert at the Irish dancing genre (apart from the odd hilarious foot kick when Dirty Old Town plays), and much of the dancing looked kind of the same with different lighting and costumes. The crowd was loving it though, and the older Irish dude next to me was whooping it up in a very charming fashion. It was a full house and I daresay if you have an interest in Irish dance you’ll be there with metaphorical bells on. Possibly literal.

If this sounds like your thing Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games plays at the St James until the 30th August.



WOAP: those doughnuts

by Alan on August 19, 2015 in Events, Food & Drink

The doughnut popup web page said Wednesday! Leeds Street Bakery! Rhubarb and cream! Salted caramel and bacon! Chocolate and hazelnut! This all sounded pretty promising. So I circled the day on the calendar and wondered. Would the doughnuts be ironically Simpsonesque, or would they be inspired by Portland’s finest?

This morning, having heard the popup was fairly popular and queues would be involved, I arrived at around 7:55am. I wanted to make sure I could get enough to share. Yes, the queue was real and it only got longer. But about 40 minutes later I had a big paper bag full of warm fried dough and was making my way back to work in the Station end of town.

Pictures from the Doughnut popup The doughnuts: for me, were something of an anti-climax (not helped by being given one less doughnut than I paid for). My overblown expectations of what was going to be for sale were clearly not going to match the reality: a ball the size of a small fist with some sauce injected into it.

But, that aside, the warm dough and slightly crisp sugared exterior were delicious. I had the Salted Caramel and Bacon version; and while I found this a bit bland (it wasn’t very salty and I could taste no bacon) the sauce and the doughnut together provided a pleasing combination of textures.

My workmates meanwhile were very appreciative. Doughnuts all disappeared in short order. Win! Day improved, just like that.

But next year, can we have a weekday popup closer to the boring end of town? Ta.

The Doughnut Popup is part of Wellington on a Plate. It’s on Volunteer Corner (Victoria & Dixon), weekday mornings until the 28th. Each day, a different team make the doughnuts, so my experience may not be representative.


Statue inside the National War MemorialLast week saw the launch of Pukeahu: an Exploratory Anthology, an online collection of writing and photography exploring Pukeahu/Mt Cook from historical, cultural, geographic and imaginative perspectives. Collated and published by staff and students of Massey University, it explores a part of Wellington that’s seen more than its share of anguish, conflict and grandeur.

It features work from Katherine Mansfield, Bill Manhire, Witi Ihimaera, Laurence Aberhart, Alison Wong, Hinemoana Baker, and many other names both familiar and new. It even includes an excerpt from my Notional Significance series, from where the State Highway slices across the flank of this much-damaged hill. Tales of dislocation mingle with musings on domesticity; terrifying stuffed moreporks mix with visions of buried streams; tram crashes and hate crimes give way to dawn blessings and bells of peace.


More posts…

WOAP: Dining through the Decades

by Joanna August 16, 2015

This is going to sound a bit silly, but I choose my Wellington on a Plate events looking for value for money.  The silly part, obviously, is that no one needs to drop over a hundred dollars a head on dinner, but if you’re looking to have a degustation and matched wines, you’re going to spend […]

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Our advice for Wellington on a Plate 2015

by Joanna August 13, 2015

Tomorrow begins that most magical time of the year. The stupid film festival has released my friends from its evil clutches and it’s time to eat, eat, eat. We’ve been covering Wellington on a Plate for a  long time now and I think we’re getting pretty good at knowing what’s what. So here’s our thoughts. […]

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Notional Significance: Lagoons

by Alf Rune August 11, 2015

[Alf’s back after a long absence! You can catch up on his previous post in this series, or read all Notional Significance posts.] The path skirts the six-lane highway, compressed between traffic and hillside, passing beneath stolid, galvanised totems that awaken onrushing commuters to an imminent decision. Soon the curve of the carriageway straightens, but the scrubby […]

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Review: Krishnan’s Dairy

by Alan July 29, 2015

   One of New Zealand’s most-loved plays has returned for a short season at the Hannah Playhouse. Having not seen it before (despite it coming around every couple of years for almost the last twenty!) we took the chance to finally go see it. Gobi Krishnan (“a small man”, as the McGlashan-esque song/narrator would have […]

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The Phoenix Foundation – Mountain

by noizyboy July 28, 2015

The new Phoenix Foundation track ‘Mountain’ (first single off their forthcoming album ‘Give up your Dreams‘) and accompanying video are very good. Enjoy. And head over to their website to get your hands on some of the fantastic looking limited edition copies (12″ vinyl!) of the new album.

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Review: Young & Hungry 2015 season

by librarykris July 20, 2015

The Young & Hungry festival of new theatre provides young people with the opportunity to gain practical experience working in a theatre under pressured timeframes. Actors, technicians, designers, & directors have all been mentored through the programme. The three shows in the 2015 season are quite different in style but uniformly entertaining. How to catch a […]

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