Truth will out in Iraq and school

Full houses for Aspiring Conversations indicate investigative journalism is a hot topic.

Following Seymour Hersh's second talk on little-known truths behind American policies in the Middle East, Nicky Hager gave his take on what the New Zealand military have really been doing in Afghanistan over the last decade.

Even our genuine roles in reconstruction supported America's invasion of Iraq, says Hager, and despite Helen Clark's efforts to keep us out of the Gulf War, parts of the military involved New Zealand.

According to Hager, even principled people can be outmanoeuvred by spin if they don't have access to the truth.

Principles do not seem to figure at all for some of the characters in festival stalwart Dave Armstrong's Kings of the Gym at the Lake Wanaka Centre.

John Leigh nails louche PE teacher Laurie, a spectacular underachiever whose abhorrence of PC niceties appals his boss just as it endears him to the kids. He is supported by deputy Pat (Brett O'Gorman) in defiance of martinet principal Viv (Bronwyn Bradley).

Enter born-again Christian trainee teacher and potential Silver Fern (Cian Elyse White) and things will never be the same. Armstrong milks every sacred cow and the second half just gets better as he twists plot and characters with consummate comedic skill. Chalk up another winner.

Seymour Hersh and Nicky Hager
Central Lakes Trust Crystal Palace

Kings of the Gym Lake
Wanaka Centre
Friday, April 19

Weekend programme
9.30am, 11am:
Baby O, Crystal Palace (music).
10am: Street theatre, downtown Wanaka.
11am: Emily Perkins and Karl Maughan, Married to their art, Crystal Palace (conversation).
2pm: Bill Manhire, Hannah Griffin and Norman Meehan, Poetry and song, Crystal Palace (conversation and music).
3.30pm: Dave Armstrong, Masonic Lodge, Wanaka (play reading).
7pm: Strike, Lake Wanaka Centre (music).
7pm: Beautiful Losers, Cromwell Memorial Hall (theatre).
7pm, 8.30pm, 10pm: Salon, Flair Salon (theatre).
7pm: Tracing Hamlet, Puzzling World (theatre).
8pm: Electric Wire Hustle Family, Queenstown Memorial Hall (music).
8.30pm: Don McGlashan, Julia Deans and Anna Coddington, Songs to Leave Behind, Crystal Palace (music).
11pm: Aaron Tokona, Crystal Palace (music).

9.30am, 11am
: Baby O, Crystal Palace (music).
11am: Amiria Grenell, Crystal Palace (music).
2pm: Nikki Kaye, Jacinda Ardern and Holly Walker, Politics - the new generation, Crystal Palace (conversation).
3.30pm: Liz Breslin, Masonic Lodge, Wanaka (play reading).
6pm: Martine Harding and Oddity, Crystal Palace (music).
7pm: Beautiful Losers, Lake Wanaka Centre (theatre).
7pm, 8.30pm: Salon, Flair Salon (theatre).
8pm: Strike, Queenstown Memorial Hall (music).
8.30pm: Electric Wire Hustle Family, Crystal Palace (music).


- Nigel Zega



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