Some days it can be quite a struggle, inspiration-wise,
dreaming up a caption ''kicker'' (known in the trade as the
dot-dot-dots) for photographs.
But, I have to admit today's didn't pose much of a challenge.
When Swedish group Abba were churning out their mega-hits
many years ago, they matched the super-catchy melodies and
easy-to-remember lyrics with snazzy titles like Gimme!
Gimme! Gimme!, and Money, Money, Money and I
Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do and Mamma Mia. and, of
course, Super Trouper - plenty of ready-made material
there to plagiarise for the sake of a snappy caption.
So, who are these ever-so-cheerful super troupers, all
dressed up in their Hawaiian gear?
Well, they are the previously unsung (and unsprung) singers,
I guess you could say, the hidden heroes of the popular
Mamma Mia! stage show, which has been playing at the
Regent Theatre since last week.
Concertgoers get to hear but not see the 17-strong backing
group, who are the vocal driving force behind the show, yet
they remain out of the limelight of centre-stage, hidden away
in a room under the stage.
Each night, since the Dunedin show (a joint production
between the Taieri Musical Society and DKCM Ltd), began, the
backing group and band has, in the interests of ''fun'',
dressed up in different costumes.
On Tuesday, when our photographer went behind the scenes, it
was an Hawaiian theme, but last night it was cowboys and
Still to come are Harry Potter and Mexican nights, among
The soundtrack to Mamma Mia! is based on arguably some
of the most sing-along music ever written - the hits of Abba
I guess there's only one thing left to say to our happy
troupe - Thank You For The Music.
• From one photographic line-up to another, I've had
some great response to yesterday's old black and white file
picture showing a contestants in a Celebrity Wheel of Fortune
show back in the 1990s.
Of the 15 people, I managed to identify nine, with reasonable
confidence, and invited readers to fill in the ''blanks'', if
Well, suggestions came from all directions, including one
from Auckland-based TV newsreader Peter Williams, who
recognised Grant Walker (third left), the well-known
''voice-over'' man'', former cricketing star Lance Cairns
(ninth from left) and, at extreme right, radio host Grant
Then, after some discussion, we agreed it could well be
netballer Wai Taumanu, now coach of the Silver Ferns, seated
between Tom Scott and David Lange. When two other readers,
Kim and Owen, had the same thought, we decided to settle for
That just left two unidentified people until Bernice Morton,
from Waimate, sent her email (''hi, enjoyed the blast from
the past ...''), suggesting the woman seated fourth from left
was Ngaire (''pop singer early '90s, To Sir with Love
This sent me scuttling to Google and, sure enough, Bernice
seems to be on the money as it does looks like Ngaire Fuata,
who, these days is a television presenter.
That means we have just one person to name, so, to help with
the task, I've had her ''blown up'', so to speak, giving
readers a closer look.
Does anyone recognise her now?
Thanks to everyone who entered into the spirit of the ''spot
the stars'' challenge and rang or emailed me with names
I also understand it was popular with local radio station
• Yesterday's story of a reader's ill-fated infatuation
with actress Diana Rigg brought back memories of her role in
The Avengers TV programme for Dorothy Gooding, of
She writes: ''Heartily agree with you re The Avengers and the
delectable Mrs Peel. When we lived in Christchurch many years
ago my husband brought home a kitten, which he named Mrs
Peel, for our then 3-year-old daughter.
"We moved to Invercargill shortly after and - yes, you
guessed it - the cat went missing from our new home and you
can't believe how silly I felt walking around the area in the
evening calling for 'Mrs Peel, Mrs Peel'!Luckily she was
found several days later, hiding in a shed in a neighbouring
street. PS: Mind you, Mr Steed wasn't too bad either.''