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Hudson and Halls Live

Kip Chapman and Chris Parker talk to Eva Radich about the stage production Hudson and Halls Live!

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This abstract focuses on a recorded interview with Chris Parker and Kip Chapman, who speak with Eva Radich about their stage production "Hudson and Halls Live!" conducted on November 17th, 2016, in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. The production pays homage to the iconic New Zealand cooking show hosts Peter Hudson and David Halls, who were known for their culinary expertise infused with humor and were trailblazers as an openly gay couple on television during a time when such public acknowledgment was rare.

In the interview, Parker and Chapman discuss their process for creating the stage show, which involves heavy elements of improvisation and engagement with the live audience, aiming to recreate the environment of a 1980s TV studio. Through this immersive experience, the audience is not just passive observers but participants in the recreated television atmosphere.

The actors also delve into the challenges of embodying the well-known personalities of Hudson and Halls, highlighting the meticulous observation of mannerisms, speech patterns, and a deep understanding of their relationship dynamics to evoke nostalgia and authenticity. This included capturing Hudson's secretive nature and Hall's blend of formality and casualness.

Although the original television episodes are scarce due to archival limitations, Parker and Chapman watched available episodes repeatedly to hone their performances. They reveal how their depiction of Hudson and Halls involves exaggerating the campiness and banter between the two, which resonates with the humor of the time and creates a fun and engaging live show. The discussion touches upon how Parker and Chapman were initially apprehensive about potential reactions to the perceived over-the-top campiness, yet feedback from friends and the community affirmed that this flamboyance was characteristic of Hudson and Halls.

A notable part of the conversation revolves around the social and cultural context in which Hudson and Halls' television show aired. During a period when same-sex relationships were stigmatized and illegal, Hudson and Halls publicly presented their relationship, although they never made political statements. The interviewees note that their approach is intended to celebrate Hudson and Halls' contribution to New Zealand culture and LGBTQ+ visibility without necessarily becoming a historical or documentary piece.

Parker and Chapman view Hudson and Halls as heroes who paved the way for future generations, influencing the present-day perception of LGBTQ+ relationships and the fight for equal rights. Towards the end of the interview, attention is given to the personal and professional impact of Hudson and Halls' relationship, especially the aftermath of their deaths.

Lastly, the potential for the stage show to travel and connect with audiences beyond New Zealand is addressed. With the success of their previous work, "Apollo 13," they are optimistic about "Hudson and Halls Live!" resonating with wide audiences and continuing to break boundaries in the theatrical world.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Broadcast date:17th November 2016
Interviewer:Eva Radich
Audio courtesy of:Radio New Zealand
Location:Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand
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