August 23, 2015

Richter City Home season 2015: #4 Final Brutal Pageant vs Smash Malice

The original Wellington Richter City Roller Derby teams, Brutal Pageant and Smash Malice, fought for the 2015 title. Smash Malice was severely lacking in crowd support, possibly due to them holding the cup for the last two seasons.

The programme must have been printed early as there were a few peripheral changes. Tuff Bikkies and former RCRD skater Venom De Plume were MCing for the night. They provided a good level of detail which paired with the demonstration of fouls at the start of the match and head ref Referend Bear explanations during the game made it much easier for derby virgins, and seasoned veterans alike to understand. It’s a shame that it has taken so many years to get to this level. The NSO’s were very monochrome with the absence of Skathing Grace. Dragonball Lee stepped into her place as head NSO for the evening. The roster was filled out with several visiting NSO’s from Palmerston North. A surprise half time show by children from Leaping Lizards School Of Dance was a welcome addition.

It was good to see Meat Train bounding around the venue to support her former team mates, along with a vocal contingent from Wanganui there to cheer for Vicious Vege.

Our picks for MVP were Bailey’s Comet and Dolly Didit, neither of whom are generally the first to come to mind as Richter’s stronger jammers, but did some exceptional work during the night. Burn Witch Burn took a lot of hits and was visibly tired toward the end of the game. There was one suspected injury but Cher Trouble was back on track later in the game.

The scores remained close in the first half. At half time it was 97-89 to Malice. In the second half Malice pulled further ahead but towards the end of the game the scores evened up again and at three minutes before full time the score was even at 172. The crowd were screaming in the final jam as both jammers were sent to the penalty box and it could have been anyone’s game. Brutal Pageant, the crowd favourites, took the cup. Final score was 182 Smash Malice to 190 Brutal Pageant.

Next game: That was the final of the home season. Richter City will play Christchurch’s Dead End Derby on 5 September. They last played each other on Wellington soil in 2011. Both A and B (or “development”) teams will play in a double header starting at 5pm.

You can get tickets here.

August 13, 2015

Little Women

Wellington Repertory Theatre are currently staging Little Women at Gryphon Theatre. If you loved the book as a child no doubt you’ll enjoy seeing the characters come to life on stage.

The play suffers from trying to fit too many separate scenes into such a short time. The first half, the original Little Women, dragged despite jumping from episode to episode. There were drawn out silences as curtains were swept across the background scene. The second half, based on Good Wives, allowed for more character development, particularly explaining the relationship between Laurie and Amy which had been unsatisfying in the book. There were some moving moment based around Beth including an effective moment where she is revealed as too good and pure for this world.

Aunt March was especially good, despite an occasionally slipping accent. Meg and Laurie unfortunately looked too old for their roles which was extremely distracting but may have been a necessary evil to transition from childhood to adulthood. But the biggest casting error was casting the same actor for Mr March and the Professor, thereby making Jo fall for the man who played her father. It was unintentionally uncomfortable perhaps in part because of the lack of any sort of foundation for their relationship.

There was other unintentional humour as modern interpretations of words or events differ from when the book was published. The March girls are just as grating on stage as they are in print; broad caricatures of types rather than real people and insufferably good. An onlooker may have thought the play was staged by a religious group, helped along with the idea by the choral singing from the wings – sometimes at levels which made it difficult to hear dialogue. A line from the play is particularly apt “get rid of the moralising and stick to the drama.”

Performances: 12-15 & 20-22 August, 8pm; 16 August, 3pm; 19 August 6.30pm
Tickets: $25
To book: 479 3393 or