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THE UNSUNG HEROES of the South Island


2 April, 2022
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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The Unsung Heroes tell stories from New Zealand’s settler past in finely crafted theatre, music, and song, with old newspaper articles & Poems that deftly introduce each song’s central character.

A photographic slideshow of historic images as accompaniment, with, gorgeously evocative music and words, and Elliott’s old style radio diction, sharp timing, and dry humour all predictive of ways we have come to see ourselves.

Chris Priestley… NZ Historian, fine musician, singer, songwriter, and originator of the Unsung Heroes. Over the last 40 years, he has recorded original music compositions and sung songs about Aotearoa New Zealand.

Cameron Bennett… is a storyteller. From his days as a cadet newspaper reporter to author and Foreign Correspondent he’s explored the stories and newsmakers behind the headlines, both here and around the world.

Nigel Gavin… is a multi-award-winning musician. Nigel has long been a featured player in New Zealand’s music scene, particularly in Auckland, playing 7 string guitars, banjo, mandolin, bass – indeed, almost anything with strings – with the Nairobi Trio, Lorina Harding, Wayne Gillespie, Whirimako Black, and many others.

Peter Elliott (ONZM) … has been integral to the development in the unique creativities of New Zealand theatre, film, and television, as actor, producer, presenter, and advocate for other actors. He trained at the Court Theatre in Christchurch and appeared in more than 60 TV dramas, over a dozen documentaries, various films, and more than 80 plays, musicals, and opera throughout the country. He has a passionate interest in NZ history and has been thrilled to be involved with Unsung Heroes over the last few years.

Sonia Wilson… is “a living, breathing human Womad Festival”. Born and raised in Paris, France, UK-educated and now based in Auckland, the Franco-American singer, songwriter, and musician had a dizzying musical apprenticeship. A member of gospel and Acapella choirs from a young age, her music has taken her from the streets of Paris, across the Kenyan savannah, through remote Himalayan villages, and then ’home’ to N.Z.

This is a fascinating musical concept, based on actual people and events that occurred in our colonial history. You won’t believe your ears – or the incredible stories contained herein. Rogues, rebels and folk heroes,and a truly valuable exercise, bringing all this history together in music…..NZ Musician Magazine Musically