More free tickets to Plum!

Photo of Colin McPhillamy as Plum
Colin McPhillamy as Plum

Congratulations to the lucky winners of the six double passes to ‘Plum’:

  • Jane Craker
  • Jennifer Leahy
  • Sally Cox
  • Kirsten Rayne
  • Colette Lim
  • Graeme Smart

Did you miss out? Fear not – there is another chance to win!

Today, at 1pm at Upper Riccarton Library, Colin McPhillamy (the actor who plays P.G. Wodehouse in ‘Plum’) will present an illustrated talk on Wodehouse and will read excerpts from his writing career. Colin will also talk about the play and there will be time for a Q&A session at the end.

Three spot prizes of double tickets to ‘Plum’ and an autographed show programme will be given away during the talk.

It promises to be a very interesting presentation and, who knows, you could be one of the lucky spot prize winners. Make sure you don’t miss out!

A Plum role

Being lucky enough to have some sneak peeks before the opening night of Plum, The Court Theatre’s new play, has really got me giddying up at the prospect of actually seeing it.

Photo of The Muse and Plum
Laura Hill as The Muse and Colin McPhillamy as Plum (courtesy of The Court Theatre)

At the photo call in the Heritage Hotel this week, Laura Hill (the Muse) channelled Wallis Simpson (only younger and much prettier) with a touch of Dita von Teese and was unbelievably at ease while being photographed. Perhaps they have classes at drama school in how to obey instantly when asked for the “1940s off to the future” look.

Colin McPhillamy (Plum) was resplendent in a specially commissioned cardigan featuring every Arran pattern known to an expert knitter. He had taken one for the team in having his normally full head of hair shaved to resemble P. G. Wodehouse’s less well-covered pate, while Laura Hill’s brunette look called forth the question “who’s in charge of the wig”?

And I cannot resist sharing the set model which is made, to scale, before each show so the set construction team, props and tech departments know what to expect when it comes time to build, install and light. Do they keep them all and if they do can I see them? All of them?

Photo of scale model of set
Scale model of the set for ‘Plum’ (courtesy of The Court Theatre)

Plum is a world premiere set at the most critical time of P. G. Wodehouse‘s life. The man who set off to be interned with a copy of Shakespeare, a pair of pyjamas and a mutton chop was accused of lending “his services to the German propaganda machine” and he never returned to England for the rest of his long life.

It’s going to be quite the combination of script, actors, costumes and set. I can’t wait.

Intrigued? Enter our competition and you could win one of six double passes to see Plum, courtesy of The Court Theatre.

Win tickets to Plum!

Competition alert!
We have 6 double passes to Plum to give away, courtesy of The Court Theatre.

Plum runs from 9 to 30 August and deals with the wartime shenanigans of P. G. Wodehouse, the enormously popular author of the Jeeves and Blandings Castle novels and short stories.

For more background on Plum, read our blog posts.

Photo of Plum

To enter:

  1. Answer the following simple question: what was P.G. Wodehouse’s full name?
  2. Email your answer, name and contact details to by 5 pm Sunday 17 August.

Conditions of Entry

  • Only one entry per person.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.
  • Staff of Christchurch City Libraries and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
  • The competition ends on Sunday 17 August at 5pm.
  • Winners will be drawn randomly and will be notified by telephone and/or email on Monday 18 August.
  • Prizes are in the forms of vouchers and don’t guarantee seats. You must book your seats at the Court Theatre’s Box Office.
  • Prizes are not transferable.

What a good boy am I. Or am I?

Cover: P.G. Wodehouse a life in lettersDo we have to love the artist if we love the art? Does an artist have to be a ‘good’  person? Of course not. If they did the art galleries and the libraries and the concert halls would be silent and bare.

Womanisers (why is there no female equivalent for that word? Maniser just sounds silly), alcoholics, drug addicts,  terrible parents, borrowers of money with no intention of paying it back. All part of the myth, and the attraction.

But how about traitor? Or fool?

I’m having a think about this in anticipation of  The Court Theatre’s production of Plum. Apparently the play considers whether one of the great comic writers of the 20th century, P. G. Wodehouse, betrayed his country or merely poked fun at it at an inappropriate time.

During the Second World War Wodehouse was tardy in leaving France after it was invaded by Germany. It’s said that his wife wouldn’t leave her dog, Wonder. Good story. Good name for a dog.

Back to the facts. Wodehouse was interned by the Germans and after his release made five ‘non-political’ broadcasts from Berlin, aired in America and aimed at keeping it out of the war. Although few people in England heard them they engendered howls of rage, calls for Wodehouse to be charged as a traitor, questions in Parliament and worst of all saw his books stripped from library shelves.

Cover: Nothing seriousJust as well the outrage didn’t spread to New Zealand, or he was reinstated by the time I was at school because he was one of the few readable writers in my school library and I loved him for it. “As a dancer I out-Fred the nimblest Astaire” seemed to me to be the height of wit. On reflection there may have been good reasons why I was haunting the library and not out living teenage life to the fullest.

So, fool or traitor? George Orwell said that “the events of 1941 do not convict Wodehouse of anything worse than stupidity”. He taught Stephen Fry, who memorably played Jeeves in the television series of Jeeves and Wooster,  that it is “enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind”.  Is it? Perhaps Plum will tell us.

Plum opens at The Court on Saturday the 9th of August. After seeing the play (or before) we can read Wodehouse’s  books and listen to them on audiobook, read his letters and the biographies  about him and watch the Films and television series.

Then we can make up our own minds.