Home' The Wellingtonian : April 26th 2012 Contents 19
THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 26, 2012
Putting the spotlight on women
In focus: Photographer Bev Short has spent
three years on her latest project.
Photo: ALICIA SCOTT
By MOHAMMAD NAZAYER
Faces of New Zealand women from all
walks of life are being showcased at Bev
Short s exhibition, All Women, in Wel-
Short, a British migrant, said the
photographic exhibition was designed to
show how far New Zealand women had
come and how far they still had to go.
She described the three years she
spent on the project as the most interes-
ting and varied of her life.
I had a glimpse into lives that, with-
out doing the project, I never would have
seen -- anything from a nun to a wrestler
to a politician, worlds I knew nothing
about, she said.
She decided to pursue her dream
instead of her commercial photography
career and began the project with the
help of her family.
I knew I had to pursue my dreams or
I would feel even more unfulfilled. My
parents had both died and I had a small
sum left over from their estate, about
When that ran out I pursued sponsor-
ship, but the only help I got was from my
local pro printing lab, Imagelab, which
gave me substantial savings on my print-
Alongside famous faces such as the
Topp twins, former Wellington mayor
Kerry Prendergast, poet Dame Fiona
Kidman and comedian Michele A Court
are ordinary New Zealand women -- a
pilot, an electrician, a genetic scientist, a
I found every woman in the project
interesting in their own way.
They are so diverse in nature, abil-
ities, talents and beliefs and age. They
ranged from 17 to late 80s.
She said the openness and hospitality
that the women featured in the gallery
showed to her was amazing.
I can t think of a mayor in another
country opening their doors to a complete
stranger at 5.30am in the morning and
spending the next four hours with them
and then sending them on their way with
home-made salmon pate and mince pies.
When I came to the end of the project
I wondered how I was possibly going to
find such varied and interesting people
Short s next project is New Zealand
Tattoo, which explores the personalities
and beliefs of New Zealand men and
women with tattoos.
All Women runs from April 26 to July 8 at
New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11
Blackadder goes forth
By REBECCA THOMSON
into the theatre
Cunning plan: Adrian
Samuels, left, and
Vincent Wong channel
Blackadder and Baldrick
in Wellington Repertory
Adrian Samuels has a plan so cunning you
could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel.
The Weta Workshop employee is to play
Edmund Blackadder, a role made famous
by Rowan Atkinson, in the Wellington
Repertory Theatre production of Black-
adder the Third.
The play starts on May 1 at Gryphon
Blackadder the Third was written by
Ben Elton and Richard Curtis in 1987 for
the BBC. Set during the British Regency,
the show revolves around Blackadder,
who serves as butler to the Prince Regent,
portrayed in the television series by Hugh
Samuels said he grew up watching
Blackadder and was thrilled to be part of
the stage version.
When I watched it, I often thought I
would like to be one of those characters,
and now I am.
I watched all the series, but this
[Blackadder the Third] is my favourite
Although happy to be portraying Black-
adder, Samuels said there had been a few
Everyone knows who he is and I did
wonder if I could do it as well [as
In the end you can t try to be exactly
the same. That s not going to work.
I am thoroughly enjoying it now.
British-born Samuels came to New Zea-
land 10 years ago and scored a job at
He said he had always enjoyed acting,
but had done very little of it in Wellington.
It takes up a lot of time, so you do have
to choose something you really want to do
and concentrate on that.
Newtown doctor Vincent Wong takes on
the role of Blackadder s dim-witted
sidekick, Baldrick, played by Tony
Robinson in the BBC series.
Wong agreed it was hard to take on such
That s the problem. Everyone knows
the script. Even when I saw it at
rehearsal, I thought, They re not doing it
right , but then I got into it.
Hopefully the audience will also relax
and go with it.
Playing Baldrick was a chance to let
loose and have fun, he said.
It s all pretend and it s an excuse to
do and say silly things.
I can be a little bit of a show-off,
and this allows me to be a show-off
without people saying, Oh, Dr Wong,
you shouldn t do that .
Ross Miller, the play s director, said
the script translated well to the stage,
but allowances had to be made for
many set changes.
There are some horrendously quick
In television you can cut and edit, and
help yourself to the bits you want, but it s
impossible to design a [stage] set that
We do have some magnificent
swords . . . and because
it s Regency era, the
costuming is fantastic,
For once, the guys
really come out well. Prince
He said staging Blackadder
was marvellous fun, and was
not surprised the series was
The characters are solid
and immensely quotable.
You have the fall guy
with Baldrick, we all know a
real-life Hooray Henry like
Prince George and a fair
few us would probably like
to be Blackadder.
It s pure cult stuff.
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