Quake musical `very crass`

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Quake musical ‘very crass’
boost for
Tina Law
[email protected]
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Beverly Stick
Earl Stick
Jeff Sanft
Jayden Andrews-Howland
Phil Coppeard
Andrew Craig
Lucy Routledge
Joseph Routledge
Wellington Fringe Festival show features bored, imaginary commuters on a bus before an earthquake finale shakes the theatre.
Joelle Dally
[email protected]
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The parents of a man killed in a
bus with seven others in the
February 2011 earthquake say a
musical about the tragedy is a
‘‘crass insult’’.
Its writer may pull the show
due to the upset caused.
William Duignan, 26, recreated
the fatal No 3 bus ride for a musical theatre show in Wellington’s
Fringe Festival.
Red Bus replicates the bus
journey from Sumner to central
Christchurch on February 22 but
uses ‘‘imagined commuters’’ who
are bored before an earthquake
finale shakes the theatre.
The group uploaded a comical
promotional video to their
fundraiser page.
Eight people died when building debris fell on the real No 3 bus
in Colombo St during the quake.
One was PhD student Philip
Coppeard, 41.
His England-based parents,
Barry and Barbara Coppeard, read
about the musical online and
called it an ‘‘insult’’.
‘‘It’s a very crass thing that they
have done,’’ Barbara Coppeard
‘‘They’ve no idea who those
people were and what their lives
were like.’’
Their son phoned them before
he got on the bus in Redcliffs and
was ‘‘on top of the world’’, she said.
‘‘It is an insult to him, the other
victims and their families to imply
they were ‘bored and bothered by
minor problems and minor disputes’. I don’t see that as entertainment,’’ she said.
Ann Brower, the only bus passenger to survive, was ‘‘all for art’’
but felt mixing fictional characters
with a real event was disrespect-
ful. Brower posted a message on
the group’s fundraising page on
Monday, along the lines of ‘‘I have
no words but please be aware
you’re taking our story’’.
‘‘I would be pleasantly surprised if it was done in anything
but appallingly bad taste,’’ she told
The Press.
‘‘It’s too soon,’’ she said.
mother, Helen, said the idea was
It’s a very
crass thing
they have done.
Duignan, who was in Papanui
during the quake, was upset to
learn his show had offended
victims. ‘‘It’s hard to hear that.
The show I’ve written is not for
laughs,’’ he said.
Duignan initially intended to
contact those involved but lacked
the resources to find them.
‘‘We try to stay true to my story
in the musical, not theirs.’’
Duignan would write to Brower
and was willing to send the
Coppeards his script. If there was
‘‘serious objection’’ he might pull
the show. ‘‘I don’t want to belittle
their pain,’’ he said.
Fringe Festival marketing manager Brianne Kerr said the festival
did not select or vet participants’
Anyone who paid the registration could take part. Fringe was
designed to allow people to push
boundaries but ‘‘it’s not meant to
be at the expense of other people’’,
she said.
Duignan said his next work
‘‘won’t be so real . . . then we can
be a bit freer’’.
Lives lost: Eight people died after the No 3 route Red Bus was crushed by debris in Colombo St in the February 22, 2011, earthquake. Passenger Ann Brower survived.
Deciding fate of heritage buildings ‘hardest part’ of job
Lois Cairns
[email protected]
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The man in charge of Christchurch’s city centre rebuild is
Warwick Isaacs, the director of
the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), has announced
he is leaving to take up a new job
as chief executive of homebuilding company Stonewood
His resignation comes just two
months after the shock departure
of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton.
Isaacs told The Press he had
fielded numerous job offers over
the past four years which he had
turned down because the timing
was wrong, but he now felt sufficient progress had been made in
the rebuild that he could walk
away with his head held high.
The residential red-zone demolition programme was well
advanced, the horizontal infrastructure rebuild programme was
past its halfway mark and the central city blueprint was starting to
come to life, with construction or
planning under way on most of the
anchor projects.
Isaacs said deciding the fate of
quake-damaged heritage buildings
has been the toughest part of his
As the man charged with
overseeing the post-quake demolition programme it was Isaacs
who had to decide which buildings
in the city would be issued with
section 38 demolition notices
Warwick Isaacs
because they were deemed unsafe
by engineers.
It was Isaacs who controversially signed the section 38
notices for Christ Church
Cathedral and the Majestic
Theatre in Manchester St.
Isaacs said he did not regret any
of the calls he had made but had
found dealing with the heritage
issues challenging.
‘‘It’s been the hardest part of my
job, having to make those
decisions knowing they are not
going to please everybody. But
nevertheless I’ve had to make
those decisions so we could move
on with the recovery of the central
city,’’ he said.
The former chief executive of
the Timaru District Council has
been working with Cera since its
inception and was initially responsible for co-ordinating all the
demolition work within the central city. In April 2012 Earthquake
Brownlee assigned him a new task,
❯❯ Continued on A3
announced plans to build a $20
million apartment and retail complex on New Brighton’s waterfront.
The three-storey building, on
the corner of Beresford St and
Marine Pde, will be the first development of its kind and scale in
New Brighton. Business leaders
hope it will not be the last.
The building would house 49
residential units and additional
ground floor retail units, Ray
White New Brighton agent Maxine
Jones said.
There would be a mix of studio
units, and one, two and threebedroom apartments, situated
across all floors. The price for each
unit would differ depending on its
view, Jones said.
The studio units would start at
$299,000 and apartments would
range from $340,000 up to about
$500,000, she said.
The developers needed to sell 60
per cent of the units before development could start, Jones said.
‘‘It’s the right time to develop.
These are going to be done properly. They’re going to be high
Jones said expressions of interest in the units were due to open
this weekend, but would be
delayed slightly because the project was waiting for the necessary
consents from the Christchurch
City Council, which has requested
some small alterations to the plan.
Jolmin Holdings, owned by a
group of partners from an Auckland accountancy firm, owns the
land and is behind the development.
The company has owned the
land, on the site of the former
Esplanade Hotel, for several years.
It put the land up for sale in 2009,
without success.
The group has shares in the
Terrace Downs resort in the Canterbury high country, near the
Rakaia Gorge.
A lot of market research was
done on who would most likely
live in the units and Jones said she
envisaged single people would be
attracted to the studio units.
She also expected professional
couples would be interested, along
with retired couples looking for a
‘‘nice lifestyle’’.
Overseas investors had already
expressed some interest in the
development, Jones said.
New Brighton Business and
Landowners Association manager
Paul Zaanen said the development
was exciting for New Brighton.
The building was the first of its
scale in the area, he said.
‘‘This is the first off the rank.
Others are being worked on. It’s a
chicken and egg situation. Everyone is waiting to see who is going
to move first.’’
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