Thursday May 24, 2018
WW1 soldier’s story Futuristic play brings virtual reality to audience leads to research on window Virtual reality is coming to Circa, in a first for audiences of New Zealand theatre. The Atom Room will bring a unique pre-show virtual reality (VR) prologue in the theatre foyer, in addition to the theme that will run during the show. Designed by Tony St George of Polytronik Studios especially for the show, ticket holders will witness a dystopian vision of Wellington 150 years in the future, as imagined by the world of The Atom Room. Written by award-winning Wellington playwright Philip Braithwaite and featuring new music from electronic music icons MINUIT, The Atom Room is a love story set within a highlyadvanced virtual reality system where couples ‘meet’ and ‘interact’ in ways so believable, it might as well be reality itself or “an ultra-modern version” of Skype. Sarah and Danny live in Wellington, 150 years in the future where climate change, tectonic shifts and nuclear accidents have wrecked the environment. Sarah secures an engineering job to create a new colony on Mars, leaving Danny behind on Earth. Can their long-distance relationship survive? Is the Atom Room their only hope? Starring Harriet Prebble (The Father), Taylor Hall (Filthy Rich, 800 Words), and Claire Waldron (King Lear), it is directed by Lyndee-Jane Rutherford (La Casa Azul - Frida Kahlo, Hand to God).
Harriet Prebble tries out a VR device featuring the prologue of Circa Theatre’s upcoming play The Atom Room which she stars in. PHOTO: Supplied
World’s delegates attend conference at zoo Wellington Zoo hosted the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) 2018 Conference earlier this week, which saw over 200 delegates from around the world attending. Delegates from local and international zoos, aquariums, government departments, councils, universities, and conservation non-government organisations were some of the attendees at the conference at Te Papa, with additional events and workshops at Wellington Zoo, from Monday to Thursday. Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield says the zoo was proud to have hosted this year’s biennial ZAA Conference. “Some of our delegates travelled from as far afield as Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Hong Kong to attend this conference,” Karen says. “This event is a great opportunity for other like-minded individuals and organisations to come together to showcase their work in the environmental and conservation space and develop partnerships for future collaboration.” Key speakers at the conference
included Josh Kempinski, Country Director of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Vietnam – one of the Zoo’s Conservation partners; Martin Kessick,
Deputy Director-General, Biodiversity at NZ Department of Conservation and Dr Michael Looker, Country Director NZ at The Nature Conservancy.
Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield, right, with World Association of Zoos and Aquariums president Jenny Gray in front of a new map of all the places the zoo supports. PHOTO: Supplied
Former bishop’s warden of St Jude’s Church Edna Hurd in front of the stained-glass window dedicated to fallen soldier Frederick A. Nees. PHOTO: Jamie Adams By Jamie Adams
At first glance it seems like a typical stained-glass window commonly found in any of Wellington’s churches. But a closer look at one of the many such windows on display at St Jude’s Church in Lyall Bay will reveal something special about it – the stained-glass design is a dedication to Frederick A. Nees. Edna Hurd, a former bishop’s warden at the now disused church, says her interest in the window was sparked in an article published in the May 3 edition of the Cook Strait News about Hataitai resident Louise Brockway collating stories of local soldiers who fought in World War One for a display at the former Hataitai Bowling Club. Central to the story was Lieuteant Nees who died on the battlefields of France in 1918 at the age of 26. The church was built in 1923 and Edna believes the stainedglass dedication to Frederick is one of the first that was installed in it. The design depicts Frederick as
King Richard I. The St George Cross, which features next to an English Lion logo as well as on his sword’s sheath, and the flag of Cumbria at the extreme top suggest he was born in England’s northwest. Unfortunately not much else is known about Frederick. After a fruitless Google search and several weeks of going through old newspapers as well as further inquiries with Louise, Edna was unable to determine where he was born and where he died. “I found in a newspaper article dated April 30, 1947 that a woman called Mrs Nees was calling for more New Year’s honours. “I don’t know if she was his wife or his mother, but she and her brother Mr Chisholm were very active in St Jude’s Church and it was them who requested the window be put in.” Other locals who have been given stained-glass dedications include Jennifer Calder, Matthew Robert and Simon Craig. The church is no longer functional as it requires earthquake strengthening, but the hall behind it is still used for other events.
Cook Strait News 24-05-18