Gallipoli Exhibition

Today we went to see the excellent exhibition ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of our War’ at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington.

It was stunning as well as very moving. Human figures at war, 2.4 times life size and in such detail that you were almost sure they were real… Personal stories, the despicable conditions suffered and the tragedy of war – it was all there, expertly constructed.

The Gallipoli Exhibition at Te Papa Museum, Wellington
Gallipoli Exhibition

After 8 months fighting and with many casualties on both sides, the 1915 campaign by the allies together with the Anzac forces (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) to capture Istanbul and secure a sea route to the Russian empire was abandoned.

Almost 18,000 New Zealanders – out of the then population of just over a million – died in or because of the war. Everyone remembers that here; children learn about the war’s devastating effect on New Zealand. I left the exhibition with mixed feelings of both awe and desolation.

Hillary Clinton / Young Lover

We were keen to get our theatrical cultural fix this last week, but as we couldn’t find one …we went to see the only play in town during our stay: Hilary Clinton / Young Lover.

I’m afraid that New Zealand humour doesn’t always translate to us Brits. For example, only last night I had to translate my comment on the wine to our enthusiastic NZ waiter:

‘When I say the wine is ‘not too bad‘ this is British speak for the NZ word ‘awesome!’’

In general I think I would have to agree with the New York Magazine’s description of the play; they described it as ‘demented’, a description which is proudly displayed as part of the publicity distributed by Circa Theatre. I didn’t have the heart to tell them …

It wasn’t a compliment guys…

The Circa Theatre on Wellington’s waterfront does put on some excellent theatre over the year.