Past Events

They Also Serve - Stories and songs of NZ women in WWI

16 April 2016

They Also Serve - Stories and songs of NZ women in WWI
Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 5:00pm

Ilona Rodgers and Cathie Harrop will bring to life, through words and music, the stories of NZ women at home and abroad during World War 0ne with the support of musicians Paul Harrop and Jennie Khan.

Well-known actor Ilona Rodgers' breakthrough roles in British television included an adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit and Carol in The Sensorites, and a six-episode adventure from BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. She also made guest appearances in The Saint and The Avengers. Rodger's best-known role in New Zealand is probably TV series Gloss. She starred for three seasons, from 1987 to 1990, playing bossy magazine editor Maxine Redfern. 

During WWI, women's lives in their homes and families changed beyond recognition, caused by the loss of their men and the social turnaround over the 4 years of war and shortly afterwards.
Ilona and Cathie will entertain with integrity and humour, whilst bringing to the public through the medium of theatre, this part of our history when women ‘rose to the occasion’ and with true No 8 wire mentality they more than coped, only to be forgotten almost completely by the history book writers of our nation. 
Should we also remember the despair of the women who just couldn’t knit, or those who received up to four dreaded telegrams, or the woman who wrote beautiful poems, or even the misguided white feather girls?
The audience will be encouraged to pass on their own family history of women at the end of the performance when there will be time to talk about their stories with the performers, and hopefully this may encourage people to go back to their own families to record and share this part of our history.
This programme will promote and celebrate cultural diversity by including stories and music of women of all ages and ethnicities and backgrounds. The company of performers will remind people of a time when the women of NZ changed from a position of outlying colonialism to take their part in the modern developing world.
Finally They also serve celebrates the bravery and ingenuity of women who never left NZ, of the heroic women who joined as nurses to serve with our forces all over Europe, and also the many of our women who were already overseas following careers that were temporarily put aside and which for some  were never resumed.
Pop in or call the Gallery on (0)7 578 7933 to secure your tickets. See this website for more information. 
Ilona Rodgers and Cathie Harrop have successfully collaborated on many live performances and Radio New Zealand programmes. They first worked together in the children's TV series "Hunters Gold where they forged a friendship which has personally and professionally spanned more than 30 years.
In this time their work together has ranged from the long running radio series Pioneer Women of NZ which was originally written and performed for the Treaty of Waitangi Centennial celebration at Waitangi. This was followed by a further 100 radio programmes of Pioneer Families of New Zealand.
In contrast they also performed the very successful Town Hall ,season of " Joyce" the life and works of British Comedian Joyce Grenfell, and an acclaimed broadcast of Katherine Mansfield's Music to celebrate 100 years since her birth. More recently alongside their individual professional careers, they have staged performances throughout the North Island in Historic homes telling the tales of the original home owners.