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The Backstage Story

Roger Hall

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What books impressed you when you were a child? Swiss family Robinson, Coral Island.

Does a cover, or a poster advertising a book or play, make you want to read it?

RH interviewed about Middle Aged Spread: "You seem obsessed with sex?" "Well the country is obsessed with sex. People are either worried that they're not getting enough of it, or even more worried that everyone else is getting more than they should."

(And when he left the studio, taxi driver said "You're Roger Hall!" I modestly agreed I was. "yes" he said, "my wife can't stand you!"

He'd befriended Graham Sydney, who mentioned that he put postcards of famous paintings in his baby's cot as visual stim. (RH pinched that and used it in one of his plays.)

Wrote The Share Club about investor groups during runup to stock market crash of 1987, then After The Crash about the share club, having lost their shirts, turning to house renovation to recover. Then those characters became the basis for a TV series, Neighbourhood Watch. So he got 2 plays and a TV series out of the debacle, which makes him, he reckons, the only person in NZ who actually made money out of it all.

In Germany he went to dinner with a couple, the husband was a local magistrate. "I really admire New Zealanders", he said. "they always plead guilty."

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