Something different also close to home Teacher has three roles in this show
Tired of visiting the same old places? How about destinations not too far away on escorted tours with departures from Whanganui?
The Chatham Islands are a special place 870km east of the mainland, 45 minutes ahead of New Zealand time. The locals are friendly and welcoming. Their isolation (no mobile phone signal!), changeable climate and a history that goes back to the Moriori, gives them a strong community spirit, independence and self sufficiency. With rare flora and fauna, and opportunity to fish this is a unique place. Departures are available during January, February and March.
Lord Howe Island is an unspoilt jewel of the Pacific with a fascinating ecological ethos, a World Heritage Island with 168 bird species, 241 species of native plants, 500 marine fish and 90 different coral species. Lord Howe enjoys a sub tropical climate with temperatures rarely rising above 26° in summer or below 16° in winter. It is two hours’ flying time from Sydney, 11km long and 2.4km wide, home to about 350 locals. Visitor numbers are restricted to 400 at any one time.
With more than a third of the of the island in reserves, National Parks and World Heritage sites, Tasmania’s unspoilt natural beauty and clean beaches will leave you wanting more. Highlights include Wineglass Bay, the infamous penal colony of Port Arthur, wilderness train trips and friendly down-to-earth people. Hobart is a modern city with arts, food and entertainment, while Launceston is Australia’s oldest provincial centre.
■ Colin Thompson is freelance travel consultant with New Zealand Travel Brokers. email@example.com Dave Craig, a science teacher at Wanganui High School, is rehearsing three roles in Dick Whittington and His Cat: he’s the chief of the Spice Islands, the Mayor of Hawera and the Mayor of Wellington so you can only begin to imagine just how busy he is.
“Hamish had better watch out come the next elections,” Dave joked.
“I met my wife Karen through theatre in Auckland,” Dave says. “I was playing Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady .”I asked if he had a preference for musical theatre over “straight” theatre but he said that he enjoyed serious drama equally with musical drama.
“I’ve done a lot of other things around theatre, set building and such like and I’ve played the trombone in the orchestra too.” Dave was responsible for building the set for The Tempest at Bason Botanical Gardens earlier this year.
As well as theatre Dave enjoys shooting, tramping and camping.
He spent four years training teachers in the United Arab Emirates where he enjoyed very different travelling and camping experiences in the desert.
On stage with Dave is 14-year-old Isabel McKenzie who plays the part of the Cat. Like Dave, she’s had a variety of theatre experiences, despite her youth, playing in The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and assistant stage managing. She’s also studying drama at school.
“Theatre’s good for you. It helps to build confidence,” she said.
Isabel is interested in learning other aspects of theatre such as the lighting and sound as well as honing her acting skills.
Isabel likes the Cat. “The Cat is the only one that really knows what’s going on while everyone else is oblivious. She’s disgusted by Dick’s mother and does a lot of eye rolling.
There are a lot of rats running around all over the place despite everyone’s efforts to catch them. The cat’s not interested.
She does, however, save the day, but it’s Dick who gets the credit. Is Isabel enjoying playing the Cat?
“Oh yes, and I have a little kitten as well,” she grinned. Dave and Isabel are two happy members of a show that’s ticking along nicely.
■ Apology: In last week’s Midweek I misquoted Chris McKenzie as saying that he “parented” members of his church youth group. I apologise to Chris and anyone offended by this error.
The Chatham Islands are a special place to visit.